5.0 étoiles sur 5
A genious book from a genious writer, Feb 14 2004
The Everyman edition is really great, though it has many additional information about H.G. Wells and his time. So if you want to get additional information this book is the right one. John Lawtons introduction gives you a brief overview about H.G. Wells and the book. A listing of historical facts, Wells life and science and art, sort by date, gives the reader the possibility to understand his books better. At the end some critics are collected and suggestions for further reading are made.
The book itself / Summary:
A stranger came to an artist and reported him that he can't sleep. The artist invites him in his house, where the stranger falls asleep in a chair. The artist thinks he died, as he doesn't react anymore, but he just fell into a deep trance. The years passed on and Isbister, the artist, doesn't believe that he will ever wake again.
But long after Isbister's death, Graham, the stranger, wakes in an unknown surrounding and everything seems very strange. From outside he can hear people screaming "Wake" but he doesn't know what this means and soon after his awakening he faints. After he recovers he is told that his trance lasted 203 years. He learns a lot about the new age and there is still the crowd which requires the Sleeper. Because of this, he goes on a balcony where the people can see him, but he is pulled away and a man leads him through a huge building and finally to the council. After a short discussion he is brought into 2 rooms, where he's kept imprisoned. In his room he discovers new things, but he doesn't get new information about the world. After a few days a few people help him to escape and after a chase he lands in a theatre, where the people receive him. But he is very weak and so he's brought into a small room, where Graham is told that he owns nearly the whole world, because his fortune grew steadily. He meets Lincoln, who was Ostrog's brother, who is the leader of the revolution, and an unknown beautiful woman. Graham appears in front of the crowd and tells them to march, because Lincoln told him to do so. Then a fight begins in front of the council house, which Graham watches guarded from the distance, but the enemies chase Graham and so he looses his guards and has to flee. In a lonely street he meets an old man, who tells him the history of the world and that Ostrog just takes advantage of the Sleeper. As Graham reveals himself the old man doesn't want to believe and so Graham goes back to Ostrog's headquarter, where he meets Ostrog for the first time. After watching the decline from the council, they go to the council house and Graham gets a Japanese attendant, whose name is Asano. Graham and Asano go to the top of a wind-vane and later to a high society party, where Graham is told much more about the world. After Graham flew with an Aeropile, an aeroplane, he is so fascinated that he spends his next days with becoming an aeronaut. Then he meets again the unknown woman, which is Helen Woton, a niece of Ostrog, she reports him of the slavery and bad conditions under which the people are living and begs that he should rule. He discusses his knew knowledge with Ostrog, but he tries to convince him that everything is necessary. However Graham, guarded by Asano, goes into the city to see how the people are really living. After watching the middle class and the stations in which children are brought up, he goes to the working places of the poor workers. He's very upset while watching them, but he hears shouts which tell him that the black police is coming. The black police is feared, as they are a cruel specialist unit of Negros, which should bring the people into order. Graham and Asano flee back to the headquarter, where Graham has a quarrel with Ostrog and as a result Ostrog wants to imprison him. However the crowd sees this and they free Graham, but an Aeropile can help Ostrog to escape. Helen comes back and Graham holds a speech to the people to prepare them for a war to prevent the black police from reaching London. They can capture one flight stage out of four, but this is not enough and so Graham decides to take an Aeropile to fight against the aeroplanes, which bring the black police. He's successful and able to dispel and even destroy some ships from the black police. After this large fight, he sees the Aeropile in which Ostrog flees and he starts to fight it but he looses and the earth is coming near.