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When The Sleeper Wakes

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  1,848 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Graham fell into a deep and abiding sleep in the 1890s -- and woke, centuries later, having hardly aged. He has been the famous Sleeper for centuries, and has come, by inheritance and the compounding of interest, to own the world. The people adore him -- and their masters (who rule in his name) do not want him breathing. . . . "Nothing is more striking about Mr. Wells . . ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Alan Rodgers Books (first published 1899)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Impressive how Wells' depiction of a future 200 years or so beyond his time is realistic, and provides the background for a moral tale.
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!!! :(
Art Mke
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.
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
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
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
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
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 moder
Steve Walker
What a dud. I've read H.G. Wells major well known works and found them engaging, thought provoking, and well written. He's written many other books so I thought I'd go through his lesser known works. Maybe they are lesser known for a reason.

This story has a good premise of a Rip Van Winkle character that wakes up 200 years later. He does a fair job of painting his socialistic style future and I believe one of the main agendas of the story is to fault the idea of socialism as a viable political
Mark Carver
Kind of a mix between Rip Van Winkle and 1984. A man from Victorian Era England awakes after a 200 year slumber to a strange and exciting new world that he is now essentially emperor over. But all is not well, and allies cannot always be trusted.

The story is nothing new for our times, but I think it would have been pretty shocking in Wells' day. But what was shocking was how eerily accurate he predicted the future...our future, just one hundred years after Wells wrote this story. Here's a non-ex
This book blends together utopian socialist fictions such as Morris’s News from Nowhere and Wells’s more well known scientific romances. The Sleeper Awakes isn’t constructed as well as The First Men in the Moon, but contains more than enough to interest the reader: airplane skirmishes, explorations of the proletarian nether-world, Wells’s views on advertising, and the bizarre references of which late-Victorian artists are canonized 200 years in the future (hint: Richard Le Gallienne and Grant Al ...more
Christopher Rex
HG Wells was a genius. Nuff said. The dude was so ahead of his time in terms of outright imagination and ability to express it in the written word. It's hard to even express the level of creativity and overall writing-ability displayed by Wells. This book is great. I'm not 100% convinced it is up there with "Time Machine" or "Doctor Moreaux" but it comes during the same time-frame when Wells was at the height of his power - a fact which is clearly seen in "The Sleeper Awakes".

The story centers a
Mutlu Cankay
Graham, uykusuzluktan muzdariptir. Sosyalist idealleri olan hayatının yeni aşamasına alışamamış biri olarak intiharın eşiğine gelmiştir. Her uykusuz gece onu biraz daha toplumdan uzaklaştırmaktadır. Bir gece tanıştığı başarısız bir ressamın arkadaşlığıyla biraz rahatlayan Graham, kataplektik şoka girer. Tüm yöntemleri denediği halde uykuya dalamayan Graham, girdiği şok sırasında uzak bir akrabasının malvarlığı ve sağlığı ile ilgilenmesi sayesinde huzurlu bir şekilde uyur. Doktorların verdiği ila ...more
As far as Wells goes, I wouldn't say this is my favorite book, but it was good of course. The opening was great, and the ending, even better. There were sections in the middle I found very interesting an exciting, but also pages and pages through which I had to drag myself.

One of the main reasons this book is incredibly interesting is the future Wells imagines for us. As many people have pointed out, the book is rather racist and a bit sexist, but this is surely a reflection of the society he li
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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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“...fact takes no heed of human hopes.” 14 likes
“After telephone, kinematograph and phonograph had replaced newspaper, book schoolmaster and letter, to live outside the range of the electric cables was to live an isolated savage.” 7 likes
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