A Scientific Romance Paperback – Jul 7 1998
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In London at the turn of the 20th century, H. G. Wells's time machine mysteriously appears--empty--in a squatter's flat. Whence did it come, and for what purpose was it sent? The answers to these questions--though not to an even greater mystery connected with the machine's appearance--are contained in a letter written by Wells on May 2, 1946, which falls into the hands of one David Lambert on the eve of the millennium. Lambert, an industrial archeologist, reads the letter foretelling the arrival of the machine and, half convinced the whole thing is a hoax, goes to the address Wells provides, where, at the appointed hour, the time machine materializes. Thus begins Ronald Wright's fine and fantastical novel A Scientific Romance.
Romance can refer to an affair of the heart; it can also describe a heroic tale of extraordinary events. In A Scientific Romance, Wright plays on both possible meanings as he weaves a tragic story of betrayal and lost love into a larger narrative of time travel. Lambert, having lost the woman he loved, is reckless enough to test Wells's machine himself, catapulting 500 years into the future, where he finds London--indeed, all of England--a deserted, semitropical landscape. As David explores the future, he also sifts through his own past, creating in this Möbius strip of time and relationship a chilling cautionary tale about the limits of science and human ambition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
English-born historian Wright, who lives in Canada, is the author of several celebrated works of nonfiction, including Time Among the Maya and Stolen Continents, but his first novel is such a triumph that it's a wonder he didn't get around to writing one earlier. The plot is something of a curiosity: English archeologist David Lambert stumbles upon a Victorian time machine?the very one, it turns out, that H.G. Wells described in his famous novel. When Lambert discovers that he may have the same disease that killed his lover, he lights out for the future: A.D. 2500, to be exact. There Wright creates for him a vivid, compelling world, a depopulated, tropical dream of what had once been England. The book's central drama is Lambert's struggle to excavate and uncover the exact nature of the calamity that erased London. At the same time, he sifts through the shards of his own unhappy personal history?which he is, of course, tempted to touch up a little with the help of the time machine. The narrative bristles with fascinating characters, both fictional and historical, and Wright furnishes it with a rich store of enthralling scientific Victoriana. His writing is charming, unpretentious and wonderfully literate. J.G. Ballard explored this same territory in his disaster novels of the 1970s, but never with Wright's psychological insight or pathos.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Taking a page from H.G. Wells's classic THE TIME MACHINE, Wright has fashioned a fiction based on the 'reality' of a fiction. Wright's protagonist David Lambert, archaeologist and devotee of Victorian machinery, discovers that Wells based his novel upon a factual incident. Lambert subsequently discovers the time machine, intact but riderless, and decides to travel to 2500 A.D.. What he discovers raises more questions than answers about the fate of humanity, but it also raises questions as to what events led Lambert to this point in his life. As he travels the futuristic England countryside, he retraces his past with his friend Bird, and the woman they both love, Anita. The farther Lambert treks through England, the farther his despair over past actions becomes.
Not having perused Wells's classic, I am unable to compare his and Wright's styles. I can reveal that there is a deeply pleasing antiquated feel to Wright's tale; something in his style evokes the nostalgic prose style of Jules Verne. The font also seems charmingly old-fashioned (and for anyone who doesn't believe a font can affect a story, please discover Chip Kidd's terrific novel THE CHEESE MONKEYS, which covers just such a format consideration).Read more ›
"A Scientific Romance" is a very eloquent eco-catastrophe novel. Wright's prose is florid but never pompous; his characters, although stereotypical, are sensibly developed. David Lambert is a flawed, tragic, completely engrossing hero who must deal with the knowledge that he and the Earth are victims of unchecked "Industrial Man". This book deservedly appeared on best-seller lists in Canada and should be sold in other parts of the world without delay.
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,/ The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,/ Man comes and tills the fields and lies beneath,/ And after many a summer dies the swan./ Me only cruel immortality / Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,/ Here at the quiet limit of the world.
Highly recommended for all eco-warriors, romantics and lovers of excellent modern literature!!
Most recent customer reviews
This novel is a great idea that was complicated by it's execution. There are multiple letters to different characters over many pages. Read morePublished on July 3 2012 by PawsAttraction
If you live by the philosophy that the real joy of any experience is in the journey towards its conclusion, then this book is for you. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2007 by Don Eglinski
I came across this book when my english teacher was handing out a list of novles for us to choos from for our ISU, and I somehow ended up with this. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2006
This is an interesting concept novel used to drive home a point about technology and scientific hubris run rampant that eventually chokes our planet and all but destroys the human... Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003 by C. Baker
First the concept - A man with an uncurable disease, discovers a time machine created by an associate of H.G. Wells. He decides to go to the future to seek a cure. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2002 by Michael A. Newman
It may seem to be a contradiction in terms, to use a time machine to travel into the future to pour over the details of one's past. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2002 by Stone Junction
I certainly wish Wright would write some more novels. He's mostly a travel writer, but has proven with this release that he's capable of a lot. Read morePublished on April 2 2001 by David Myers
Truly a fascinating premise...I've always wanted a time machine of my own, but the protagonist wastes his opportunity. So does the author. Read morePublished on June 6 2000 by V. Mike Smith
This is an enthralling read, beautifully written, and the story has stayed with me since I read it last year. Read morePublished on April 24 2000