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The Time Machine Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 2002

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reprint edition (Oct. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451528557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451528551
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.8 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 59 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE TIME TRAVELLER (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us. Read the first page
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By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 27 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I commend both HG Wells and Jules Verne for creating a new fictional genre that has proven itself to be highly prophetic, there is a major problem with this fictional selection. The story, in itself, is very gripping and the futuristic rides of our 'hero' are very revealing. In the first case the human population has evolved into two distinct species, one of which is blandly placid the other of which has adapted solely for the sake of its own survival. The second journey takes us to the era where the sun is decaying and the earth, in turn, has devolved back into its initial beginnings of the evolutionary process.

That being said, the problem with this novel lies in its protagonist. In order for a fictional tale to be successful the 'hero' is depicted as one who we, the reader, can easily identify with or is so extreme from our manner of thought that we are entranced with his opposing personae. The nameless time traveler of 'The Time Machine' is neither. He is depicted as being one of the most cowardly, whiney and purposeless characters imaginable. Most of the time he is nearing a fainting spell or nausea, he lacks any common sense planning abilities or he simply sits around feeling sorry for himself. While I realize that laboratory scientists are not the most 'manly' creatures we find in nature, I have experienced three year olds who were more rationally centered than this character!
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By S Smyth on Feb. 17 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Things in the science-fiction world haven't moved on much since 1895, with respect to Science Fiction and its love affair with time travel and the paradoxes thereof. I suppose this is because the Time Machine by H. G. Wells is very much a philosophical piece on the nature of man and abstracts to do with multidimensionality, more so than any technology to do with time travel.
I was surprised at some of the ideas put forward at the beginning of the book, one of which postulated that time could be a state of mind as much as anything. Something along the lines of Groundhog Day, with only a possible glimmer of memory as indication of what might be happening. A notion given a touch of reinforcement at the end of the book where the Time Traveller finds himself forgetting details of where he's been in the future because of the intrusion of his normal surroundings and associations. The white flowers given to him by Weena, acting as a mnemonic jolt.
This is more a novelette, than a novel. Even so, it does tend to get on its soapbox on occasion, instead of keeping a tidier eye on a few odds-and-ends details as would have been more appropriate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 746 reviews
81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
One of the greatest books I've ever read--get this edition! July 25 2005
By Polymath - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I tried reading this book as a child many, many years ago, some of the "big" words and allusions made it hard going, and I never completed it then. Finally, about fifteen years ago I did read it through, but still was missing something. Then, a few weeks ago, I got this edition, after having enjoyed the Penguin edition of "The War of the Worlds" with its annotations and map. Well, the annotations in this edition (about four pages worth as endnotes) of "The Time Machine" cleared away whatever fuzz remained, and I was completely overcome by the greatness of the book, great from whatever way I looked at it: plot, speculation, characters, "sense of wonder", even throw away humor were all topnotch. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing. A few days later, I read another editon of the book that didn't have notes, and had no trouble following that version. I plan to reread the book again shortly. So if you've had difficulty reading "The Time Machine" for some of the reasons mentioned above, get this version pronto and find out what a true classic is.
125 of 135 people found the following review helpful
A Timeless Classic July 14 2001
By Daniel Jolley - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It goes without saying that this book is a science fiction classic in every sense of the word and that H.G. Wells was a founding father of the genre. This book proves that science fiction does not necessarily need to be heavily technical but does need to deal with grand themes such as the nature of society; man's hopes, dreams, and fears; and the very humanity of man. Wells does not go to great lengths in describing the time machine nor how it works. He lays the foundation of the story in science and then proceeds with his somewhat moralistic and certainly socially conscious story. This makes his writing much more enjoyable than that of a Jules Verne, who liked to fill up pages with scientific and highly technical nomenclature. One of the more striking aspects of the novel is Wells' treatment of the actual experience of time travel--moving in time is not like opening and walking through a door. There are physical and emotional aspects of the time travel process--in fact, some of the most descriptive passages in the book are those describing what the Time Traveler experiences and sees during his time shifts.
Basically, Wells is posing the question of What will man be like in the distant future? His answer is quite unlike any kind of scenario that modern readers, schooled on Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like, would come up with. He gives birth to a simple and tragic society made up of the Eloi and the Morlocks. In contrasting these two groups, he offers a critique of sorts of men in his own time. Clearly, he is worried about the gap between the rich and the poor widening in his own world and is warning his readers of the dangers posed by such a growing rift. It is most interesting to see how the Time Traveler's views of the future change over the course of his stay there. At first, he basically thinks that the Morlocks, stuck underground, have been forced to do all the work of man while the Eloi on the surface play and dance around in perpetual leisure. Later, he realizes that the truth is more complicated than that. The whole book seems to be a warning against scientific omniscience and communal living. The future human society that the Time Traveler finds is supposedly ideal--free of disease, wars, discrimination, intensive labor, poverty, etc. However, the great works of man have been lost--architectural, scientific, philosophical, literary, etc.--and human beings have basically become children, each one dressing, looking, and acting the same. The time traveler opines that the loss of conflict and change that came in the wake of society's elimination of health, political, and social issues served to stagnate mankind. Without conflict, there is no achievement, and mankind atrophies both mentally and physically.
This basic message of the novel is more than applicable today. While it is paramount that we continue to research and discover new scientific facts about ourselves and the world, we must not come to view science as a religion that can ultimately recreate the earth as an immense garden of Eden. Knowledge itself is far less important than the healthy pursuit of that knowledge. Man's greatness lies in his ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Speaking only for myself, I think this novel points out the dangerousness of Communism and points to the importance of individualism--if you engineer a society in which every person is "the same" and "equal," then you have doomed that society.
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Past and present masterpiece Nov. 11 2000
By Philip Challinor - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the little number that started it all. For the English-speaking world (some translations of Verne possibly aside), science fiction begins with the four brief, brilliant novels published by H G Wells in the 1890s. The War of the Worlds is a still-unsurpassed alien invasion story; The Invisible Man one of the first world-dominating mad scientist tales; and The Island of Dr Moreau a splendidly misanthropic story of artificial evolution and genetic modification. But The Time Machine came first, launching Wells' career in literature; and, after just over a century, there still isn't anything nearly like it. A Victorian inventor travels to the year 802701, where the class divisions of Wells' day have evolved two distinct human races: the helpless, childlike and luxurious Eloi and the monstrous, mechanically adept and subterranean Morlocks. Predictably, the film version turned them into the usual Good Guys and Bad Guys, though it's still worth seeing, particularly for its conception of the Time Machine itself - a splendid piece of Victorian gadgetry. The book, despite its sociological-satirical premise, is rather more complex in its treatment of the opposed races, and the Time Traveller's voyage ends, not with them, but still further in the future, with images of a dead sun and a dark earth populated only by scuttling, indefinite shadows. As in the other three novels, too, the premise of the story is carefully worked out and clearly explained - a discipline largely beyond science fiction today, in which time travel, invading aliens or whatever are simply taken for granted as convenient genre props and automatic thought-nullifiers. After more than a century, The Time Machine is still waiting for the rest of us to catch up.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I saw the Rod Taylor movie first. The book difference was a surprise. Dec 26 2009
By bernie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
An unnamed time traveler sees the future of man (802,701 A.D.) and then the inevitable future of the world. He tells his tale in detail.

I grew up on the Rod Taylor /George Pal movie. When I started the book I expected it to be slightly different with a tad more complexity as with most book/movie relationships. I was surprised to find the reason for the breakup of species (Morlock and Eloi) was class Vs atomic (in later movie versions it was political). I could live with that but to find that some little pink thing replaced Yvette Mimieux was too munch.

After al the surprises we can look at the story as unique in its time, first published in 1895, yet the message is timeless. The writing and timing could not have been better. And the ending was certainly appropriate for the world that he describes. Possibly if the story were written today the species division would be based on eugenics.

The Time Machine Starring: Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux

Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human L
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Excellent!! Aug. 2 2008
By LexiJane - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I stated in my other reviews, I normally don't enjoy science fiction novels; this book I had to read for school. As I read what I expected to be a boring and unentertaining novel, my opinion changed, and I became more open to enjoying the story. I found that it was an enchanting novel that no one should pass up. H. G. Wells made the story come alive and he made the setting, set in the future, somewhere you feel could possibly exist as his descriptions are so vivid and his wording fanominal. Read this story and your beliefs on time travel and the way earth will turn out in the future will change. H.G. Wells gives you somthing to ponder while you enjoy the sentences that flow together like the river he describes. H.G. Wells makes an unknown world seem familiar and is an expert in his proffesion. I guaranty this book will send powerful astonishment and awe up and through your mind.

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