by H.G. Wells
Plot Summary:“I’ve had a most amazing time....”
So begins the Time Traveller’s astonishing firsthand account of his journey 800,000 years beyond his own era—and the story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him the reputation as the father of science fiction. With a speculative leap that still fires the imagination, Wells sends his brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes...and our darkest fears. A pull of the Time Machine’s lever propels him to the age of a slowly dying Earth. There he discovers two bizarre races—the ethereal Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks—who not only symbolize the duality of human nature, but offer a terrifying portrait of the men of tomorrow as well. Published in 1895, this masterpiece of invention captivated readers on the threshold of a new century. Thanks to Wells’s expert storytelling and provocative insight, The Time Machine will continue to enthrall readers for generations to come.
Review:This is a seminal work of science fiction and one that is surprisingly effective given the brevity of the book. The Time Traveller tells his tale to a group of his friends - and it is interesting how every character in his time is labeled by their profession and not by name. Except for the narrator who is never named at all. The story is wrapped in thought-provoking speculation on the nature of mankind and because the Time Traveller works to understand why mankind has seemingly evolved into the two races he sees in the future, the reader is treated to a discourse on the nature of man's intellect, the need for fear and hardship and the possible outcome of a real utopia. It's rather a disheartening story when you think of how H. G. Wells visualized the future. But so readable and engaging - especially seeing how the Time Traveller uses his ingenuity to get back to his time.
There's little in the way of character development - the focus is on the narrative and the world-building and the cleverness of the story. And while it's possible that the story could have delved more into the relationship between the Eloi and the Morlocks, the believability of the story is maintained because the Time Traveller is more concerned about getting back to his time and away from danger than really recording future history. So while this story seems very sketch-like, there's so much ingenuity in the main character and in the story that it more than makes up for it.
The actual descriptions of the fourth dimension - time - was a highlight for me. I loved how possible the author made time travel seem. And how simple it seemed too, with the comparisons to how we perceive the three dimensions. If only it were that easy! This is a wonderful, short read, and so full of incident and mystery inherent in discovering what the future holds.