Monday, June 28, 2021

Review for The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Novel, Science
Intriguing Connections = Once Upon A Future

Short Description

“The Time Traveler was one of those men who are too clever to be believed; you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity, behind his lucid frankness.” – H. G. Wells, Chapter II, Page 17

“Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough – as most wrong theories are.” – H. G. Wells, Chapter V, Page 40

“It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble.” – H. G. Wells, Chapter II, Page 87

Elaborate Description

To prove to a group of intellectuals that time is the fourth dimension, proof was needed.  Much like normal measurements are abstract until given physical form, so time needed a tool to go through it.  A time machine was built.  Leading to the protagonist to test the time machine.  What was astounding was not the machine, but what the Time Traveler saw in the future.  Moving to the future initially lead to many advances.  But moving into the far future, the Time Traveler got out of the machine and perceived a utopia.  Filled with people who were very curious but dull.  No disease and plentiful food.  But horror soon struck as the time machine was stolen, and the theory of utopia proved wrong.  To get back to the past and away from danger, the time machine needs to be found. 

This story has a very logic oriented narrative.  Commenting on the social conditions of the era, and the test of dominant ideas.  A take on the divergent nature of capitalism and communism.  A take on the divergent evolutionary paths that the social ideas can have on a people.  That intellect and skill needs a struggle, for otherwise there is no need to develop them.  A lesson of this book is not to judge a society based on what happens on the surface, as looking deeper, it might not be the same underground.  Those theories and ideas come from limited information, and need to be adjusted to new information. 

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•How did the Time Traveler come to believe that time is the fourth dimension?
•What did the Time Traveler see when he came to the future?
•Why was the time machine stolen?
•What impact did evolution have on the future people? 
•Is there such a thing as utopia? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  2940161304112
Pages to read:   98
Publication:     1895
1st Edition:      2019
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    4
Content          3
Overall           4