- Hardcover: 332 pages
- Publisher: Kessinger Pub (May 31 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1432612301
- ISBN-13: 978-1432612306
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 612 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,721,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Men Like Gods Hardcover – May 4 2005
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About the Author
Often called the father of science fiction, British author Herbert George (H. G.) Wells literary works are notable for being some of the first titles of the science fiction genre, and include such famed titles as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Invisible Man. Despite being fixedly associated with science fiction, Wells wrote extensively in other genres and on many subjects, including history, society and politics, and was heavily influenced by Darwinism. His first book, Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought, offered predictions about what technology and society would look like in the year 2000, many of which have proven accurate. Wells went on to pen over fifty novels, numerous non-fiction books, and dozens of short stories. His legacy has had an overwhelming influence on science fiction, popular culture, and even on technological and scientific innovation. Wells died in 1946 at the age of 79.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This one is a Science Fiction Utopian novel.
In a parallel universe, on a planet much like Earth but 3000 years into our future, a pair of scientists try to rotate one of the other dimensions, one they believe is empty and not very long (maybe a foot or two).
As a result, three cars from 1920s England appear.
What we have here is a culture clash: Wells' view of the people-in-charge (not positive) versus his view of the future (which involves the devlopment of telepathy).
The overall effect is closer to a social novel than a science fiction novel.
But it is /very/ readable.
Boring, seen in a hundred other books. But this is slightly different. Slightly more realistic than even some of Mr. Wells' own versions of utopia.
Because in this one the Earthlings bring illness and evil ideas to Eden. Yes, the flawed Earthlings bring death and destruction to Utopia and what are the goodie-goodie natives going to do about it?
I also love how Wells hints at the fact that while the people of utopia are well meaning and nice, they do seem to treat the Earthlings as lower creatures. After all they ARE Superior. By the end of the book, in fact, only the flawed or the very young show any interest in the main character from Earth. They have moved beyond us, to the point where even some of the ideas they have do not translate, and they see us as early examples of flawed humans. Like we may look at a pet ape.
Unlike his work, A Modern Utopia (Forgotten Books), this just feels more realistic and, sometimes, even has a touch of humor. This is just how people would act if they were dropped into a utopia. Sad to say I feel this hits our soul and ideals, or lack of them, right on the nose.
As another has mentioned, this isn't so much a high science romance but rather a story that incorporates social philosophy. It is a social philosophy almost entirely 180 degrees out from my own. And just to get it out and over with, yes; there are a lot of misconceptions regarding evolution, biology and science. To enjoy the story, it is necessary to make the same exceptions for those misconceptions as we happily make for errors regarding electricity while reading Frankenstein.
Our main character is what we would refer to as a typical middle class working stiff. He suffers the same discontentment that many today do with children growing up not exactly the way we would wish for them, a spouse that is less than exciting after all these years, a boss he doesn't respect and a job he detests going to. Sound familiar? An impromptu holiday winds up quickly as an accidental push into a sort of parallel dimension with all the others who traveled the road near the same time. Their cars simply wind up in a new place after a bit of a jolt.
In this new place, the people are all perfectly formed, beautiful, supremely intelligent and telepathic. The story, which I won't ruin further by detailing, revolves around the inevitable clash of the "modern" human in a place that has eschewed all the things we consider worthwhile and made themselves infinitly superior. Needless to say, our hero develops the appropriate appreciation and awe and eventually returns home a different man. Should I detail further, I will certainly ruin the action that isn't at all sparse in the story.
I'll admit that I was very surprised by the book. I had pictured the author in different ways, as far as his ideas and opinions, but never like this. This is the socialist and communist dream made manifest. Of course, the problem with that delves down into our deepest pre-history and evolution but he couldn't know that. As primates who "collected" as our evolutionary advantage, we can no more leave behind the desire for personal property and the safety of objects than our need for oxygen to fuel our bodily processes. It is part and parcel of who we are.
The largely unspoken, but occassionally obvious use of eugenics and denial of parentage to achieve these aims is a bit frightening and may be difficult for modern sensibilities, but it was an openly discussed topic during that era and should be considered in that light.
Reading this book is a great idea for anyone who has an interest in H. G. Wells and his marvelous works because it does help to round out his viewpoints in other works. It's also a less P.C. work that allows a reader to pause and think of their own opinions as the story moves along and various philosophical points are brought to light by the action.