I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to read this science fiction classic by H. G. Wells. I wasn’t a huge fan of The Invisible Man and I feared I wouldn’t like this novel either. My main concern was that it would seem out-dated and feel too hokey for me. I was wrong.
The synopsis from Goodreads:
“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.
The narrator, the Time Traveler, resides in Richmond, Surrey in Victorian England. He hosts weekly dinner guests and the book starts off with the Time Traveler discussing a fourth dimension. At first I was like here we go, a bunch of terms and theories that will go straight over my head. But the discussion was brief and not too taxing for my non-scientific brain.
The following week, the Time Traveler is late for his own dinner party and his guests start wondering if he did in fact succeed. Soon he appears for dinner and he’s disheveled, bewildered, and famished. Then he sits down and recounts his experiences in the future.
What I loved about this story was that Wells has his narrator recount his story instead of following his narrator into time. This made it so much more plausible and enjoyable. It was like sitting around a campfire, or a dinner party with plenty of wine, listening to a whopper of a tale. And boy was I pulled into his story. Considering I thought this book would be a dud, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. And I read most of it while sipping a beer in a dark London pub. That always enhances any reading experience. If you haven’t read The Time Machine, give it a go, it might just surprise you.
What’s the last book that surprised you? Good or bad.