The Wonderful Visit
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The Wonderful Visit

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This short novel of 1895 tells the story of a fallen angel who arrives in an English village one night, and faces the struggle of adapting to everyday life. His purity makes him disliked by the other villagers, but the longer he stays on earth, the more human he becomes.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1895)
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‘The Wonderful Visit’ seems to be regarded mainly as a mocking reflection on attitudes, beliefs and the social structure of a typical English village in Victorian times. I read the social commentary as ornamentation round the more essential theme, the tragic/comic conflict that can accompany awakening.

A strange bird was sighted.

Ornithology being a passion of the Vicar of Siddermorton, Rev. K. Hilyer, he was going to outdo his rivals and hunt the strange bird. So it came to be that on the 4th of...more
I wish I had such a pretty edition!

A wonderful, slightly satirical, and melancholic little novel by Wells about an angel who falls to earth and his impact on a small English village. Wells wrote this right after The Time Machine and it shares some similar ideas, but is a bit more fanciful. There are some remarkable passages about pain and human suffering that almost seem Buddhist in their concepts.
In this novel an angel mysteriously lands in the Siddermorton, and is shot by an unsuspecting vicar who is birdwatching. After this, the vicar's guilt leads him to take responsibility for the visitor and he tries to guide him through the nuances of English, upper-class social etiquette.

Needles to say, things don't go smoothly for the angel, and after his initial introduction to pain, hunger and fatigue he then has to deal with the disconcerting complexities of human nature. Also, his arrival ca...more
Really very clever. Starts as a rather deft comedy of manners and ends as a cautionary tale about the corruption of innocence - the Angel's in a weeks time, and the Vicar's over decades. Just set this down and am still pondering the implications. Strong, thought provoking storytelling by the master. I thoroughly recommend it.
…or in this case, when it is shot, what happens next. This is the premise of H. G. Wells’ second novel, “The Wonderful Visit”. Wells explores the ideas of different dimensions, as well as the corrupting influence of society on the innocent in this novel, which was published just a few months after “The Time Machine” in September of 1895. However, while “The Time Machine” is a classic which has long endured, “The Wonderful Visit” is not remembered, and though it can be found easily on the interne...more
D.L. Morrese
In a parallel dimension, creatures of myth and fantasy live their magical lives without care, or pain, or need of food. One day, a rift opens, and one of its inhabitants falls through into late Victorian England. It's an angel. It's not really much of an angel. Its only miraculous ability seems to be an unnatural talent for playing the violin, but it does have wings and other angelic features.

The local English vicar, Mr. Hilyer, hears rumors of sightings of a large, strange bird in the area, and...more
Dec 22, 2013 Kayla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book was so fantastic I read it in a manner of hours. I expected it to to be quite humorous considering it was placing an Angel (through accidental circumstances) in southern Britain where it has never been before. He does not understand eating, pain, death, or any of the characteristics humans are used to and I was prepared to be amused with his adjustment. While it did have moments of humor, it was also very sad. The Angel starts off gloriously happy, not quite understanding everything ar...more
Scott MacMartin
How would an Angel, suddenly thrust into our world, cope. Apparently not well. Our mean spirited, shallow, routine-driven lives are revealed, unpleasantly, in this shorter novel. I find myself disappointed with humans in general.

The ending is sweet though, and the book becomes worthy of an evening's read.

Hayley Farr
I generally find that it is the less known Wells books that have the most insight into the human mind, and this is exemplified by the Wonderful Visit. It began slowly and uncertainly, but by the end the terrestrial world was painted into a magnificent image of flaws and sorrow. I felt this book down to my core, and I think I'll carry it and its messages with me for some days to come. Definitely a book to pick up, especially for those that only think of "War of the Worlds" and "the Island of Doct...more
I read this on on the tail of the Time Machine. I wasn't sure what to expect to start off. It began like a 1950s science fiction movie with the appearance of an 'alien' visitor in an English visit, and within a page or two I was laughing out loud and getting looks from people on the bus!
A witty and biting social satire. I would have given it 5 stars except the ending was enigmatic.
Very enjoyable. Not quite 5 stars because the point was rather too heavily laboured, and the plot predictable, but the early part of the story is enchanting and the underlying hypothesis thought-provoking. I very much like Wells' writing style: it remains fresh today while retaining the old-fashioned virtue of good construction.
I'm not exactly sure why H. G. Wells seems so popular, maybe back in his time I would understand why, but now... I'm not so sure.
I thought it was a nice story, but nothing more. I never felt pity of sadness for the angel, nothing.
Not bad. Chapters were oddly short at times. Seems like this had more potential than Wells managed to get out of it.
Michael Jennings
Do not read this edition! An appalling amount of typos and misprints. Takes away from the beautiful story.
Really well done commentary on society in the late 19c. And today. Highly recommended.
an awesome original angelic story. an author so far ahead of his time
Brynne D
Surprisingly charming, hysterically funny, and morally poignant.
An angel comes to earth. He is not welcome.
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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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“If it were not for collectors England would be full, so to speak, of rare birds and wonderful butterflies, strange flowers and a thousand interesting things. But happily the collector prevents all that, either killing with his own hands or, by buying extravagantly, procuring people of the lower classes to kill such eccentricities as appear.
Eccentricity, in fact, is immorality--think over it again if you do not think so now--just as eccentricity in one's way of thinking is madness (I defy you to find another definition that will fit all the cases of either); and if a species is rare it follows that it is not Fitted to Survive. The collector is after all merely like the foot soldier in the days of heavy armour-he leaves the combatants alone and cuts the throats of those who are overthrown. So one may go through England from end to end in the summer time and see only eight or ten commonplace wild flowers, and the commoner butterflies, and a dozen or so common birds, and never be offended by any breach of the monotony.”
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