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WHEN THE SLEEPER WAKES

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  2,053 ratings  ·  154 reviews
One afternoon, at low water, Mr. Isbister, a young artist lodging at Boscastle, walked from that place to the picturesque cove of Pentargen, desiring to examine the caves there. Halfway down the precipitous path to the Pentargen beach he came suddenly upon a man sitting in an attitude of profound distress beneath a projecting mass of rock. The hands of this man hung limply ...more
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Published December 11th 2010 by New Century Books (first published 1899)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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John
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Tony
WHEN THE SLEEPER WAKES. (Serialized 1898-1903; re-written as “The Sleeper Awakes” in 1910). H. G. Wells. ***.
It’s hard to say good things about this dystopian novel by Wells. The story line is time-worn: a young man – 30-years old – falls into a trance in Victorian England. He awakes two-hundred-three years later and discovers that he owns half the world through the miracle of compound interest on his investments. He is known as “The Sleeper,” and is worshiped as a saviour by the masses. Graham
...more
Dfordoom
The Sleeper Awakes is one of H. G. Wells’ lesser known science fiction novels, and a rather odd dystopian tale.

In 1897 a man named Graham is having trouble sleeping. When he finally does fall asleep it’s for a very long time indeed. 203 years, in fact. When he awakes he discovers that his long sleep has made him a figure of vast importance.

It’s not just that his own not inconsiderable personal fortune has grown like Topsy. He has been left as heir to the fortune, the very very large fortune, of
...more
Julian Meynell
This is a lesser known work of Wells and not taken as seriously as some of his more well known works. Having read enough Wells, I was not surprised to see that it was considerably better than it is supposed to be. The book belongs to Wells' great period from 1894 to 1901, when Wells managed to anticipate virtually the whole of future science fiction in novels of genius. This work despite its reputation deserves to be in that league, and for instance, is better than the Invisible man.

This book is
...more
Gregg Wingo
Over the last few years publishers have been dragging public domain works off the shelves, blowing the dust off classics, and selling them to travelers on the cheap. H. G. Wells, the father of English Science Fiction, has not been left out. This work is clearly - like all good SF - a critique of the author's society. Wells was like Verne firmly rooted in extrapolation of science or what would one day be called hard science fiction but they were also focused on it effects on society and the natur ...more
Herman Gigglethorpe
This is probably my least favorite Wells book.

The writing is rather dull. A lot of it seems to be exposition dumps, and the action sequences often involve the main character being told about it after the fact. Harry Turtledove-style repetition also drags the book down. Yes, we know that Graham is the Sleeper and the owner of half the world already!

Much of the society and its technology also sounds dated today. This issue was mostly avoided in Wells's other books, which were either set in his p
...more
Ali  M.
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Kristy Buzbee
Wells is hit-or-miss with me. I'm an avid sci-fi fan so I certainly can't just pass him by, but he's not always a smashing success to me. I really like War of the Worlds, but The Invisible Man and The Time Machine were both pretty lackluster. The plot of The Sleeper Awakes caught my interest, so I bought it - the Penguin Classics edition, which I recommend for anyone reading Wells. The Penguin Classics editions of his work has footnotes for all the weird words and references he uses that modern ...more
Michael Battaglia
A man falls asleep, outlives all his annoying neighbors in the process and wakes up in a future filled with amazing technology where life is blissfully easy. Oh, and now he owns the whole world. How is this book not titled "The Best Day Ever"?

As it turns out, Wells had other concerns on his mind. The basic idea here isn't that far removed from the old tale of Rip Van Winkle, where a man displaced in time lets his experiences be extended into metaphor for the differences between those different t
...more
Ivan
One of his best - riveting from start to finish.

Of all his prophesies, the most damning is that society remains largely unaltered. For all of man’s technological advances, we still suffer under an ever widening gulf of financial disparity; are the slaves of the Labor Company any different than political prisoners in China making our athletic shoes, or the migrant farm workers in the USA?! It’s a horrible blot on civilization (syphilisation?) that the filthy rich have unfettered influence in Wash
...more
Mark
This book was kind of all over the place in regards to a "science fiction" novel. Wells' descriptions of the futuristic world were sometimes vague and disorganized, which made it hard to envision what he was trying to depict. So relating to strict science fiction, there are better novels out there.

However, when you consider that Wells wrote this novel 4 years before the first flight (1899), and many years before other technological innovations, hie foresight becomes very impressive. But the best
...more
Asiye
Victoria dönemi edebiyatının izlerini taşıyan bir distopya. Bu açıdan bildiğimiz distopyalardan farklı. Biraz da zamanın eskittiği bir kitap ama yine de başarılı buldum.
Sarah Stones
This was one of the books that came pre-installed on my e-reader, so I decided to give it a go, as I'd quite enjoyed Wells' The Invisible Man.

While the general premise - man falls into a deep sleep in Victorian times, wakes up 200 years later to discover he basically owns the world due to a vast increase in value of estates left to him - is interesting enough, and the book does have its own merits, I can't exactly recommend it.

I'm generally a fan of dystopian novels, and this one has a lot in co
...more
Alex S
I'm a big fan of that old dystopian vision of the future; the hierarchical, sterile society, the vast future cityscapes and all manner of things envisioned by a plethora of authors such as Arthur C Clarke, Aldus Huxley, Philip K Dick and of course HG Wells.

The Sleeper Awakes tells the story of an ordinary man called Graham, propelled into the most extraordinary circumstance, after falling into a 203-year sleep-like trance in late 19th Century Cornwall.

Having been a public wonder, often “on disp
...more
Dan'l
Interesting premise of a man in suspended animation whose investments earn compound interest to the point of being the richest man in the world. While unconscious for centuries, a regent bureaucracy has arisen around his wealth. These regents are none too pleased when the richest man in the world emerges from his suspension and is conscious again. Some of the inventions in this science fiction are quite fanciful (e.g., the 300-foot-wide eadhamite (high)ways with medians in the center, but where ...more
Umut E. B. (Kareler ve Sayfalar)
1899 yılında kitaplaştırılan Efendi Uyanıyor, uykusuzluk sorunu çeken, üniversitede sosyalist gruplara yakın olduğu yalnızca bir satırda belirtilen Graham'ın, altı günlük uykusuzluk ardından daldığı derdin uykudan, 203 yıl sonra uyanışını anlatıyor. Değişen toplumsal, siyasi, ekonomik yapı, gelişmiş teknoloji Graham'ın şaşkına çeviriyor ve her şeyin nasıl, neden bu hale geldiği merakı içinde bırakıyor. Ancak şaşkınlığını katlayacak olan bir başka şey daha vardır; Graham, yıllardır hesabında biri ...more
Robert Hepple
The Sleeper Awakes is a 1910 revision of Wells 1899 novel When the Sleeper Wakes. This edition includes some further revisions made to the text in 1924, but the bulk of the novel dates from the 1899 publication. The novel has a man from the 1890s going into a coma for more than 200 years, during which time he does not age. Many authors before or since have used a plot similar to this to plant the main character into the future, so it is not surprising that Wells used it – after all he used many ...more
Daniel
Good read, a lesser known book by Wells. The premise is that a man does a Rip Van Winkle - falls into a coma and wakes hundreds of years later to a drastically changed world.

I give it 3 stars, though it would be a 3.75 if I could fine tune it. It's imaginative, prophetic almost - but a wordy, hard read for some so not one I'd recommend to everyone.
Allison
This was a fairly exciting and inventive portrait of a future dystopian society brought down by the violent, horrifying racism that permeates the final stretch of the book. While reading the first part, I was impressed by how Wells conveys the joy of flying, and laughed out loud at the phonetic spellings he feared the advent of technologies would cause. (Apparently, no one could predict emojis.) When I got to the ideas spouted about racial segregation and violence in the last part of this book, ...more
Glglgl
In diesem Buch ist es nicht seine berühmte Zweitmaschine, mit der Wells die Leser in die Zukunft entführt, sondern der lange Schlaf seines Protagonisten. Nach mehr als zweihundert Jahren erwacht der Held in einer veränderten Welt und wird sofort als Hauptperson in revolutionäre Unruhen verwickelt. Er stellt sich schließlich auf die Seite der Unterdrückten - das ist nach dem physischen sein eigentliches Erwachen. Das große Wells'sche Thema, die Entwicklung von Menschheit und Gesellschaft ist auch ...more
Phillip
This is a spectacular book. Although he clearly got some things wrong (e.g., air combat doesn't involve ramming one's plane into other planes) Wells was able to see clearly how the world would be reconfigured if capitalism went unchecked and followed its natural tendencies. We can actually see a version of Wells' dystopian 22nd century in places like the Foxconn plants in China, which could almost have used The Sleeper Awakes as a blueprint.

Of course, there is the problem of Graham's racism, whi
...more
Lizzie Shannon-Little
This book had a great concept at its very heart (and apparently it's one that a lot of other scifi-style writers of the time played with) - a man in Victorian England falls into a deep catatonic sleep and wakes a couple of hundred years later (looking more-or-less the same) to find that he has become the richest man on Earth (due to various investments etc) and also represents for the underclasses a potential saviour and benevolent demi-god of sorts ("When the Sleeper wakes" is an oft-used phras ...more
Bruno
Impressive how Wells' depiction of a future 200 years or so beyond his time is realistic, and provides the background for a moral tale.
Jenn
Apparently the third time is the charm, I have read two other works by H.G Wells (The Time Machine and War of the Worlds) and found both fell flat from the expectation society had placed on them. This one though had my favorite book plot... dystopian society. I love hearing about what people think the future will be like, especially when its messed up. It was great! Was going to give it 4 stars.
Until the book took a SERIOUSLY racist turn... and the bad guys in the future are Black people!!! :(
WH
...more
Art
King David, King Arthur, Rip Van Winkle and others star in legends of the sleeping hero who falls into a trance and awakens many years later in a new, different or expectant world. Here, the Sleeper awakens around 2100, after falling into a trance 203 years earlier, in the mid-1890s.

Today, we live midway between the beginning of this story and the hero's awakening. We read the story today while the Sleeper sleeps.

Because his investments did well, The Sleeper awakens as the owner of the world.
...more
Petra
H.G. Well's look at the future is interesting, as we are the future he tries to image.
Graham wakes from a deep sleep 200 years in the future, in the 2090's; not far from where we are today. He finds himself the King of the World, due to a combination of his money, inheritances from rich relatives & friends and 200-years worth of compound interest. In a sense, he's become almost a Messiah-like figure to the people of the future, with them filing by his sleeping body. Those who rule his Fortu
...more
Nickolas
This was another free Kindle read I finished whilst travelling in Asia, which was a fairly easy read however being a book by H.G. Wells published in 1910 it is naturally packed full of political and social topics which I’m not 100% schooled on but I get the idea. There is some kind of future allegory taking place here discussing human rights battled between the leadership of the Labour and Conservative parties in the UK.

The story is about a man named Graham from 1897 London who gets insomnia the
...more
Ken Sodemann
Imagine falling asleep today and waking up 200 years later. Or, imaging being a soldier in the war of 1812, falling into a coma, and then waking up today. How much of the world would be completely foreign to you? Simple things that we take for granted in our daily routines would all be completely changed. How would you deal with that? In this book, H.G. Wells imagines what that would be like.

For the most part, this is a well written book that draws you in to the story. Some issues, such as racia
...more
Liam Hogan
Read for it's influence on all Scifi city depictions that follow - Asimov, Fritz Lang, even (possibly) The Matrix - the "party" scene in Zion is not dissimilar to the Theatre scene.
Read it for the amazing imagination, the inventions and inventiveness, the extrapolation to a packed urban life, and what that means to the inhabitants.
Alas, don't expect HG to predict an equitable future, by either race or gender, in fact, it's quite shockingly bad on that front to the modern audience. Can we forgive
...more
Steve Wales
After reading The Forever War * with it's time travel by effect of relativity I've moved on to time machine-free time travel by means of a really long sleep...

It's hard to judge this novel on its own merits, rather than making comparisons with later depictions of dystopias such as the equally highly stratified society of Brave New World , published over a quarter of a century later. In some ways it's very much of its time: more so in the racism and sexism which may be far more jarring to a mod
...more
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880695
In 1866, (Herbert George) H.G. Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government schol ...more
More about H.G. Wells...
The Time Machine The War of the Worlds The Invisible Man The Island of Dr. Moreau The Time Machine/The Invisible Man

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“...fact takes no heed of human hopes.” 16 likes
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