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The Time Machine

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  191,951 ratings  ·  4,347 reviews
“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 his 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 bur...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Signet Classics (first published 1895)
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Alison Killilea It's a very easy read, although an obvious Victorian era voice, I think. Old English is from before the 11th century, so it's definitely not that!
Dryden Because the time traveller is the object of the story.If you read the book very few of the characters are given more than a brief description.At the…moreBecause the time traveller is the object of the story.If you read the book very few of the characters are given more than a brief description.At the time nearly it was written all what is now "modern science" was speculation.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Beth F.
One of the most difficult courses I took in college was a class called Sociological Theory. The professor was either brilliant or a total nut, I’m still not sure, and one of the questions for our final exam was actually:

Why? (Use diagrams to support your response).

Ugh, ugh, ugh!!! I walked out of that class with a B and I kid you not, I have never worked so hard for a B in my life! I pity the one guy in my class who walked away with an A and don’t even want to think about what his social life w...more
Lou
If there was one single reason to read this it would be that H.G Wells was a favoured author and an inspiration to the Legendary writer Ray Bradbury. Pictured below in a time machine movie prop.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
2333 December 19th
Alas this is a fine work from a writer of bygone times and if he could only discover his vision and writings of Time Travel were in fact prophecies and became true. As I have indeed traveled to 802,701AD and meet the lovely Weena a female Eloi and the dreadful Morlocks. The Time Machine...more
Michael
Without "The Time Machine," we might not have science-fiction. Or at least not as we know it.

That's not to say that someone wouldn't or couldn't have come along and filled a gap had H.G. Wells not written this. But would it have been as popular and caught fire with the imagination of the reading public if had been something or someone else. Maybe not.

What I'm trying to say is that sci-fi fans owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Wells for this story. Not only was it hugly influential, but it's...more
Brandon
A brilliant inventor creates the world’s first time machine. After explaining its inner-workings to guests of his weekly dinner parties, he arranges for a follow up meeting about a week later. When the group convenes, they find the scientist exhausted and weathered. After cleaning up and consuming a well deserved meal, he sits down to tell of his journey over 800,000 years into the future.

Damn, this book is old. In fact, I’m certain it is the oldest novel I've yet to read clocking in at one hund...more
W.E. Linde
"In a moment my hand was on the lever, and I had placed a month between myself and these monsters."

What a classic, wonderfully imaginative science fiction sentence.

I had read H.G. Wells' The Time Machine many years ago. I remembered enjoying it, and thinking there were some creepy elements to the story. And since that was all I remembered, I decided I needed to revisit this. I'm on a mission to read or reread classic science fiction and horror writers, so I used that as an excuse to bump The T...more
Werner
Nov 29, 2008 Werner rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th century fiction (esp. science fiction), and of adventure fiction
Wells was the first science fiction writer to posit time travel by mechanical means as a literary conceit for presenting both ideas and storylines that otherwise couldn't be explored in fiction; he had done this already in his 1888 story "A Chronic Argonaut," which is sometimes erroneously described as an early version of this novel, although the characters and plot are quite different. But it was through The Time Machine that the idea caught the popular imagination, and became a staple of the g...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I was torn between 3 and 4 stars on this one and finally went with 4 based on the time it was written. It doesn't read like a more recent SF novel, but it's another thought provoking read. The storage devices that survived times passing, the question of what went with him on his last trip and what kind of society would now result stays with us. Not a bad read.

This has been made into more than one movie (the earliest probably being the closest to the actual book). It like many of Wells' works has...more
Shayantani Das
This book really should have been longer. I mean it not in the “I can’t get enough” sense, more like, ‘its necessary to make the book and the themes it portray effective’ sense. I am a bit puzzled about my feeling regarding this classic. On one hand, I love the Marxist social commentary, the innovativeness of future world, the Eloi and the Morlocks, but, it really didn’t make an impact on me, and dystopias usually do!
Jacob
January 2009

As always, there is little to say when coming late to a classic, except this: I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read H. G. Wells!

It feels a bit embarrassing. I went on a smallish time travel reading marathon near the end of last year, but I somehow managed to skip over The Time Machine, the grand-daddy of all modern machine-based time travel stories. Perhaps I didn’t think it was necessary because I already knew the story; I watched the Wishbone version when I was a kid, an...more
Tracy
Time Machine was required reading for a course I took in college about the history/evolution of science and man's place in nature. Wells' classic, along with Shelley's Frankenstein and Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, was written in response to the panic that ensued following Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species. People were freaked out by the idea that we evolved from "lesser creatures" and feared that if evolution explains how humans developed, then "de-eveolution" must also be a...more
Jessica
Ooo - I liked this a lot! What rich worlds Wells creates! In the year 802701 A.D., humans have evolved ("evolved"?) into two distinct species, borne from an increasingly growing chasm between the leisure class and the working class. The Time Traveler experiences this world in a way that is both entertaining and aphoristic. He finds that without challenges and change, humans have become simplistic and animalistic. He theorizes that "an animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect...more
Apatt
“Any real body must have extension in four directions: it must have Length, Breadth, Thickness, and—Duration. But through a natural infirmity of the flesh, which I will explain to you in a moment, we incline to overlook this fact. There are really four dimensions, three which we call the three planes of Space, and a fourth, Time. There is, however, a tendency to draw an unreal distinction between the former three dimensions and the latter, because it happens that our consciousness moves intermi
...more
Sean
The Time Machine is a classic novel in the Science Fiction genre but is it is an average book overall. It is short read at just over 100 pages that tells the story of a scientist who builds a time machine and travels 800,000 years into the future. Much of the story describes the time traveler’s surroundings and his assessment of the environment and society that he visits. The Time machine has been superseded by better time travel stories but this book can be credited as the pioneer of such tales...more
Cheryl in CC NV
GR says five stars means 'it was amazing.' Well, I was amazed by how much I liked this. I'm not clever enough to enjoy Classic Literature - but this was surprsingly fun! Exciting, resonant, thoughtful - and much more accessible to modern readers, whether fans of SF or not, than I thought it would be.

Yes there were some slang and some allusions I didn't understand, especially at the dinner parties at the beginning. Nor do I understand why each gathering had different members. Nor do I understand...more
Barks & Bites
The Time Machine (1960) was one of my favorite movies as a child. I guess I was a weird little girl because I absolutely lived for the days when I could find it on the tv on weekends. For some reason, I never did get around to reading the source material until now.

My first thought when starting this audio and hearing The Time Traveler’s wizened voice as he was blathering on about his stuffy dinner party plans was, “Uh oh, this is going to put me to sleep.”

I was wrong.

It starts out a little dry...more
Mark
Sometimes the band director wanted a break. The band-room was behind the stage in The Little Theater of our middle school. You climbed a steep, short flight of concrete stairs, skirted the stage, stage-left, and wormed your way behind the curtains and through an skinny hallway which, through an always open door blossomed a huge semi-circular room, multi-leveled.

But sometimes the band director wanted a break.

He was an ogre of a man. Really. About six-foot-six, huge proboscis, thinning, close cr...more
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 06, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi lovers
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Must Read Books Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core, 501, sci-fi
This 1895 classic sci-fi coined the term "time machine." I remember my classmate in elementary way back in 1974 telling me about this novel that his brother in Manila read. He was raving about it and I almost thought that traveling back to the past was possible.

Anyway, this book is a must read for all sci-fi fans. It is well-written and mind-blowing. Imagine traveling forward to year A.D. 802,701! I wonder why Mr. Wells chose that year and not a nearer year like the 1949 novel of George Orwell,...more
Fewlas
C’è un po’ di tutto: relatività, entropia, critica al darwinismo sociale e al capitalismo. C’è il recupero di archetipi antichi in un futuro inquietante dove resiste la divisione Eden-Inferno. C’è l’inizio della fantascienza, la rinuncia al vero in favore del fantastico. Insomma, è uno di quei libri che segnano la storia della letteratura. Però ha i suoi difetti e, infatti, se a tratti è davvero molto coinvolgente, altre volte è un po’ noioso, macchinoso e ripetitivo. Però tanto di cappello a We...more
Otherwyrld
The first thing I noted about this book was how short it was - my copy ran to barely 100 pages, little more than a novella by today's standards. In fact I thought that maybe I had picked up an abridged version at first. If someone was writing this story fresh today, I would be surprised if it ran to less than 600 pages.

The second thing to note is that this story is really quite simple, as it's length suggests. An unnamed time traveller goes into the far future, gets into trouble, accidentally g...more
DJ
Aug 11, 2008 DJ rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: little boys and sci-fi fans
Shelves: fiction
Stranded in India with nothing to read, I picked this granddaddy of science fiction up in an Indian 'American classic' print for 50 rupees (just over a US dollar) - a steal for both its literary importance and compelling story.

One of the first sci-fi novels ever to be written from one of the first writers ever to write sci-fi, 'The Time Machine' is a short but captivating journey into the early 20th century imagination - and a fascinating extrapolation of popular philosophies.

Though the science...more
Mohamed Galal
-- الرواية من ترجمة : محمّد العزب موسى .
-- يعتبر الكاتب من أوائل الكتّاب الإنجليز الذين كتبوا روايات أدبيّة من " الخيال العلمى " .
-- الرواية كُتبت عام 1895 م .
-- بدايتها ضعيفة جدًا .
-- دعنا نقول أن العيب فى التّرجمة ! :D
-- فكرة أن رواية مثل هذه تُكتب فى أواخر القرن قبل الماضى فهذا بالتأكيد شئ جميل .
-- بشكل عام لست من هواة الخيال العلمى ، لعلّها لو وقعت فى يدى فى مراحل تعليميّة سابقة لأعجبتنى كثيرًا ، نادم جدًا على عدم بدئى القراءة من الصغر !
Arghya Dutta
Hate, HATE the plot, completely. I generally don't use this word-- unless I mean it. Though the prose was beautiful and the plot was full of suspence, I do not believe, or to put it better- I HATE, in the future of humankind which is pictured in the book. By the way, change my rating to 5 stars if the author tried to create this nauseating feeling.
Jason Koivu
Still thrills to this day! Yes, it's dated and compared to other sci-fi it will look like child's play, but there's a genuinely creepy moment or two within The Time Machine. And by now, reading this is sort of like reading a sci-fi history book!
Huda Aweys
I think it's a Marxist vision for the distant future .. but it's not impossible! :). . I also sympathized with the heroes .. In general it is a very rich novel.. enjoyed reading
Jenelle
how can things really be the way they seem/
love'm Elois & Morlocks. the speciazation of humanity in Wells' imagined future is still so fresh & cool!
there's very little real science in this book, which has done miracles for protecting it from its age (the Monica Vitti effect: being mysterious). however, it's a great study into how our ethos about science has changed in the last hundred years. here's the scientist-adventurist, looking vaguely aristocratic and very very romantic, with his a...more
jzhunagev
A Timeless Masterpiece
(A Book Review of H. G. Well’s The Time Machine)


The subject of time travel is common place today, with plenty of books, television shows, and movies using the process as a storytelling device, but back in 1895 when The Time Machine was published, it was so trailblazing, time traveling has become one of the pioneering fundamental science-fiction concepts ever introduced it even spawned an entire sub-genre in itself.

The recent film version of The Time Machine (starring Guy Pi...more
Zeek

SO- if you’re any kind of Sci Fi nerd, as I am, you know this story. I mean, know this story. Not only have you read the book, you’ve seen the old movie starring Rod Taylor and you’ve also seen that glowy, gadgety, steam punky, levered, whirling time machine guest star on a recent TV show which shall remain nameless, because it’s become a fixture in nerd culture worldwide.

But here’s a recap in case you aren’t as aware of it: Around the turn of the century, a guy makes a time machine. He travels...more
Marvin
I do not believe that H. G. Wells holds up that well in the 21st century. He hasn't held up that well from my readings when I was a child. Unlike Jules Verne, my other childhood hero, Wells need to be read with the socio-political perspective of the time in mind while Verne can be read as a fun period fantasy. And of course like Jules Verne, the science is outdated and was even questionable during its time.

Yet The Time Machine, as with The Island of Dr. Moreau, holds up the best and are still cl...more
Eng
تقريبا أول حاجة اقراها في الخيال العلمي
مفيش كيمياء حصلت بينا خالص مع اني مكنتش متوقعة كده
يمكن عشان الاحداث اللي الواحد بيقرا وسطها
أو احداث القصة نفسها اتهرست في 30 فيلم قبل كده
بس كنت فاكرة اني هنبهر و لو حاجة بسيطة
بس مفيش
النجمة التالتة عشان اتكتبت من قرن و نص
وهي دي أكتر حاجة بهرتني
Stephen
3.5 to 4.0 stars. Even as dated as this book is, it is still an excellent read that asks some important questions about mankind. I plan to read this one again in the not too distant future as it has been some time since I have read this sf classic.
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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 War of the Worlds The Invisible Man The Island of Dr. Moreau The Time Machine/The Invisible Man The First Men in the Moon

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“Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no need of change.” 192 likes
“We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. ” 143 likes
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