Reviews

The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells

prodoehl's review against another edition

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4.0

What a ride this was. If this were written today it would still be visionary and imaginative. But it was written in the 1890s. Just wow. Wow.

melissa_reads's review against another edition

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4.0

My love for the ending elevated my rating from 3 stars to 4.

bly's review against another edition

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2.0

It was sort of... boring. Not the sort of Sci Fi book that you would find making money today. It was alright, for it's time. You may say it's a classic, but if you take that bias away, it's a solid 2.5 stars at best.

fool_of_a_tookworm's review

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3.0

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

after3am's review against another edition

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2.0

It was okay

vr_alyssa's review against another edition

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2.0

Man oh man.. this is not what I was hoping for at all. I understand it's significance, but the narration is just not entertaining. Not to me. It would have worked better had we experienced the tale with the Time Machine, rather than reading how he talks about what he went through.

sequentialrun's review against another edition

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3.0

Whoops forgot the H.G. Wells was racist.

Seriously awkward racist single sentence aside... (About explaining things to different cultures in the terms of 'advanced' and 'undeveloped' but you know, the shitty way.)

Otherwise, it is a good sci-fi book, following a man who invents a time machine and continues to get wrecked by its existence in a way that more explanatory than emotion-driven. There is not a lot in the way of character development as it speaks to very little of what the character actually feels. Mainly focuses on what he does to go forward and exact the plot. Not that its dry just written as a series of actions and responses.

I liked it for what it was. Classic Sci-fi. It certainly wouldn't have made it in another time period but it holds for its historical value in the genre.

angelaboersma's review against another edition

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4.0

Really liked it. The first part was quite slow, but about halway through, I REALLY got into it and I am glad I finished it as I really like Wells' writing.

thea6897's review

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adventurous mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

sch91086's review against another edition

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4.0

I have very mixed feelings about The Time Machine. On the one hand, it's an important book, being one of the first literary ventures into science fiction. But I just don't know if this novel(la?) stands up to the test of time.

The idea of time travel is one I have obsessed over almost all my life. I'm a little bit of a history nerd, and for that reason, if I ever had access to a time machine, the first place I would go would be the past. Much like Wells, my idea of the future is that it will be a bleak one.

I liked how the time travel was explained in the beginning. It almost made the subject graspable by my tiny brain. But I wasn't crazy about how the story was written. It's mostly a monologue from the Time Traveller (we are never told his name) with no interruptions or interjections from the Medicine Man or the Editor or the completely unnamed narrator.

I found the world he traveled to kind of unimaginative and bland. I suppose in the period this was written it was probably very imaginative, but in a world of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, it just felt kind of lame. Cannibalistic monkey men? Silly men- and women-children? The lesson HG Wells was getting at, I think, was also an important one. What if the caste system (in present day, I guess socioeconomic status) leads to the decline of the human race? Communism (true communism- not the evil dictator kind) could be great but to what end? Everyone is happy in the upper world. With beautiful clothes and vegan diets and and beautiful architecture. But they are also stupid (uneducated?) being likened to happy cattle in a happy field. Which brings us to another point, is ignorance truly bliss? You decide.

This is a very short book but in that time Wells gives the reader a lot to think about.

"And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers—shrivelled now, and brown and flat and brittle—to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man."

This one line kind of redeemed the book for me. It seemed like he spent the whole book saying: "We're killing our selves! It will all end badly! Change your ways! Don't end up like stupid cattle!" and then suggested that perhaps these things don't matter so much. What makes us human is our ability to feel for others. What separates the surface dwellers from subterranean cannibal ape men was their capacity for caring. While the story itself doesn't make me feel anything, nor do the characters, I know I'll have plenty to think about for a long while.