woensdag 7 januari 2015

H. G. Wells: The Time Machine


The Time Machine was first published in 1895. This is a science fiction novella and it counts 106 pages.
I love my copy. Better yet; I love every Penguin English Library novel (which is why I bought every Jane Austen novel in these editions). Just love them, they’re so pretty, so unique and calming in their effortless orderliness.
This is a reread for me though it has been years since I’ve read it.
You can find all my H. G. Wells reviews here.

We only get to know the protagonist, an English gentleman and scientist as The Time Traveler. No name or other details are known about him. On one of his weekly meetings with his gentlemen friends, he discusses time and how he thinks he might be able to travel in time as it is the fourth dimension. He goes on to show them his model time machine. A week later, at their next meeting he arrives late and in a disheveled state. While eating he recounts what happened.
The Time Traveler tested his time machine and he landed in a world hundreds of thousands years in the future. There, he meets the Eloi, childlike humans who are afraid of the dark and have no energy or interest in work. They lack any kind of curiosity and they make no effort to understand our Time Traveler. Tired of this small society, he goes back to his time machine to find it gone and possibly taken by a more violent group of ‘humans’.

The feel of the century and the time it is placed in shines off every page. The fear of change, Wells’ own political and social views are important aspects of the novel. Society and class are a big part of the story, but it starts very subtle, and as reader, it takes some time to catch on to what he really means.
I must say I really liked this novel.
I didn’t know what to think about it in the beginning.
The Time Traveler explains us his machine and the theory behind it, but it was boring and I didn’t really grasp it all that well; especially in a language that’s not my own. Even though *shame on me* it is the second time I read it, I kind of skimmed over it. This scientific part does make it believable though as I’m sure I wouldn’t understand the reasoning behind it in real life too.
But once our protagonist disappears! Ye gods! It becomes an adventure story mixed with a psychological thriller and some horror. I loved it, I really did. The suspense was almost killing me! Wells shows us that he really is a master storyteller and he definitely deserves his status as a classic sci-fi writer.

Happy reading!