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The Time Machine/The War of the Worlds

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,875 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
H. G. Wells

Scientific visionary. Social prophet. Master storyteller. Few novelists have captivated generations of readers like H. G. Wells. In enduring, electrifying detail, he takes us to dimensions of time and space that have haunted our dreams for centuries -- and shows us ourselves as we really are.

The time machine

In the heart of Victorian England, an inquisitve gentl
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 12th 1986 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1961)
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Soulless by Gail CarrigerLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldBoneshaker by Cherie PriestPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
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430th out of 751 books — 1,148 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 21, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay I am biased I cannot praise this book enough for either story.

I think both have such deep roots in my past - from the first book I was able o convince my English teacher to allow the class to read, the growing up listening to my brother play the musical to death (literally) to all the various images artists through the years have tired to envisage what the Martian war machines would look like.

And then there was the time machine - I can almost word for word repeat the lines from that film
I really enjoyed The Time Machine. In a way, it was a very simple story. Wells didn't batshit around with science, he just went in, said 'he built a time machine', and you dealt with it. Don't worry about how, it just happened. I wish this happened more with modern sci-fi writers, but unfortunately, most nerdy people (unlike myself) don't like that. They want to know how the time machine was built. To hell with gamma rays, they don't do zip!

The War of the Worlds was similar. The narrator admitte
May 16, 2016 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. I love the story, the way it's told, and its ending. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer. But then, if it were, maybe its added length would ruin it.
I'm glad I read A Modern Utopia before I read this; many of the ideas in The Time Machine are more fleshed out in Wells's utopia. The narrator of TTM actually uses the term "utopia" several times, and I wondered while reading if his own book make Wells want to explore his own ideas further.
I highly recommend this book
Nov 25, 2012 Diana rated it it was amazing
I often wonder if HG Wells really did have a time machine. It is astounding that he wrote such great science fiction in the 1800s that you'd expect to read in the pulp fiction popularization of the 1960s! Mentions of things like lasers (though not named as such) are impressive.

Moreover Wells's works are just great reads and the opening to The War of the Worlds is second to none! So chilling - I recommend listening to an audiobook version where these lines are read out:

"...across the gulf of spac
Valerie McNamee Earl
Aug 16, 2008 Valerie McNamee Earl rated it it was amazing
I love these two stories. Reading them is a lot more rewarding than watching them as movies, only because of the visions others have sometimes don't gel with mine. The recent War of the Worlds came close to the way the planet ended up looking like in my mind. I love creating the picture and scene myself. That is in a good book. The Time Machine is one of my favorites and I have had many a child I tutored read it also! War of the Worlds too, though it is pretty gruesome the way Wells wrote it!
Kyle Smith
Jun 23, 2013 Kyle Smith rated it really liked it
A great two in one science novel. The Time Machine is the best time travel story I've ever read, plus it leaves few to none headaches. The War of the Worlds is the first alien invasion story, and is the finest of the era. If you haven't read either of those I would highly recommend it. H.G Wells is one of the best science fiction authors out there. So if you are wary of science fiction dispel those woes, H.G Wells is the best writer to start reading science fiction from.
Todd Stockslager
Aug 10, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Review Title: Near classic about time and space

The time was the last decade of the 19th century, when progress was both a science and a religion, and the infinite perfectibility of man through science was not just still possible, it was assumed. The space was England, still the great Empire whose people were preeminent and whose technology was mighty, metal, and moving; the great cathedrals were Brunel's railway stations, the idols they housed massive moving steam engines. Henry Adams writing of
It had been a long time since I'd read The Time Machine and I'd never read War of the Worlds. One of the really good things about both of these stories was the way that Wells didn't try to explain everything. He used the perspective of someone who didn't have all the details and would openly admit that they had no idea what was going on. That way, he could tell the story that he wanted to without worrying about the nitty gritty details.

Something I didn't expect in War of the Worlds is that it i
Jun 16, 2008 Beth rated it it was ok
The Time Machine was really interesting. It cast a picture of what might happen to our species in millions of years, if we're still around that long. The War of the Worlds was kind of silly. It might have seemed probable at the time it was written, but today we're so much more creative about aliens! This is too tame for our day and age.
Kavyasrestha Khatai
Aug 16, 2015 Kavyasrestha Khatai rated it really liked it
One cannot chose but wonder.It may be that he swept back into past and fell among the blood drinking, hairy savages of the age of unpolished stone or he had gone forward to nearer age where man are still man but with the riddles of his own time and many unanswered questions. The time machine saw the growing pile of civilization only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy it's maker in the end, But the future is still black and blank in a vast ignorance. Even when mind ...more
Kira Brighton
Jan 27, 2014 Kira Brighton rated it really liked it
The Time Machine is a great story with some interesting social commentary; The War of the Worlds is beautifully intense.
Jan 17, 2016 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Time Machine" - Wells wrote this during the Victorian age of enlightenment and industrialisation. This is clear from his extrapolation of the Eloi and Morlocks. Rather than a look at the future of humanity, it is his way of holding a mirror up to society.
"The War of the Worlds" - This takes place over a much narrower time span and location than I expected. If you don't know London well it's hard to follow the directions of his journey. However it's not about the details but the human reacti
Nov 14, 2011 Charles rated it it was amazing
Before I get into my review I'd like to say reading the introduction by Isaac Asimov I learned quite a bit about how Wells grew up and later in life he was influenced by Verne to write science fiction. I'm not going to lie I love Wells's books as well as Verne's books, I don't think one's better than the other they were both visionary in their writing that have influenced many authors. I still have quite a few more Wells and Verne books to read.

The Time Machine: (4.5/5)
I found some interesting p
Apr 24, 2016 The_Mad_Swede rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2008
A very nice volume collecting Wells' The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds.

The Time Machine is Wells' classic science fiction novella about a time traveller who journeys forward in time and finds that both human society and the species itself have developed in ways both astonishing and horrifying. It is a well-written and interesting text and clearly has not lost its strengths although more than a century has passed since it was first published.

The War of the Worlds, which is a longer piece
Sam Villaron
Mar 22, 2013 Sam Villaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science Fiction fans are not to be put-down or teased. We know what we want; stellar beings attacking the big cities, dense clouds of chemicals that make every cell and atom inside ooze out through all the holes of your body... and of course, baffle-making advanced technology such as heat/laser death rays.
In the great country of England, the country side of London becomes an evil layer for the Martians who begin to attack with heat rays. “Running”, for the humans, looses its sense of being an o
Dec 06, 2013 Matthew rated it liked it

I have only read The Time Machine, for I read it as a separate book. Thus, I shall only review The Time Machine, for I have no desire to read The War of the Worlds.

Invisible Man, another of H.G. Wells' works is much better than The Time Machine.

Mainly because The Time Machine is a more-or-less dry book. Yes, the thought of a time machine sparks interest in me. But the future that Mr. Wells depicts seems possible, yet far-fetched at the same time.

Of course, anything can happen, but he mer
Stephanie E
Oct 30, 2013 Stephanie E rated it it was amazing
In the book there was really only three characters, there were other characters but they didn't have a big role and were barely mentioned in the story.
1) The Time Traveller: 5- This character was described more that another character in the book, "His grey eyes shone and twinkled, and his usually pale face was flushed and animated"(Wells 1). We are never told what his name is because the narrator of the story wants to keep his identy a secret, "Where's ---?" said I, naming our host" (Wells 13).T
Gene Gant
Jul 29, 2014 Gene Gant rated it it was amazing
I love science fiction, and these are two of the best novels in the genre I've read. Wells is a fantastic storyteller, and there are scenes in both novels that are masterfully suspenseful and frightening. These novels have been translated into multiple film/television versions, some of which are quite good. But none of them are as good as the original novels.
Matthew Kleiner
Nov 14, 2014 Matthew Kleiner rated it liked it
I liked the book, but the use of english made it a little bit hard to understand. I really liked the machines that had three legs and a bunch of metallic tentacles. I also liked how the martians could use different bodies, like how the used big machine three legs. I was having a little bit of trouble understanding the overall goal of the main protagonist, so I was confused on where he was trying to go. Overall, the book was good, but slightly confusing.
Peter Boody
Apr 04, 2013 Peter Boody rated it really liked it
Very interesting, probably as much as an artifact of the era in which it was written (1895) than as a time travel story.
Surprising how modern the Time Traveller's cultural and even scientific references seem today.
But still, I found the book powerful and compelling despite the thick filter of the narrator's voice, which may seem heavy handed and distracting to today's readers. The tale's polemical aspect as a tract on Darwinian social evolution also will be a distraction today. But I enjoyed th
Jaime San miguel
Debo decir que la calificación es para la maquina del tiempo.Después de la guerra de los mundos no tenía muchas expectativas con Wells, sin embargo la máquina del tiempo es una obra fantástica, es la mejor novela hasta el día de hoy que he tenido el placer de leer.
Liliana Reynoso
Dec 24, 2015 Liliana Reynoso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
No se parecen para nada a la peliculas; pero wow. El libro es mucho mucho mejor. Valen mucho la pena, quisiera que la gente lo leyera más. No me entra en la cabeza como alguien del siglo 19 penso todo esto... simplemente no lo comprendo. Es un nivel de creatividad que me parece fuera de todo lo normal. Admiro muchisimo a H.G. Wells en este momento. El prologo sin embargo me entristeció un poco :/ su vida suena algo frustrante. Y odié mucho la última mención que quizó y nunca le dieron. En fin, m ...more
Jan 06, 2011 David rated it liked it
Science Fiction
Like most of H.G. Wells books, I thought it was very good. It didn’t stay on one specific subject for too long. The thing I liked most about it was the plot wasn’t to slow moving. For example in the book he built a time machine it didn’t explain in detail how he made it. I don’t like books that move to slow. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the ending. In the end the time traveler goes far into the future and never returns back to present time where his friends and family
Mar 03, 2014 Prakruti rated it liked it
the ideology that drives the conflict between the Morlocks and the Eloi is wonderful. The rest, a landscape for fanatasy realms. Overall it is a decent read, but asks for patience.
Dec 12, 2012 Monica rated it liked it
I liked how the Time Machine had the Traveler going far into the future after leaving Weena's time. I would've like see that in one of the movies. What an imagination Wells had to describe a future in which the sun is a red giant & most of the planet's life has died except for big crab-like beasts. War of the Worlds started good but began to drag as the plot changed focus from the Martians to the main character reacting to everything. I've seen the origina movie & the Tom Cruise remake a ...more
Joachim Viktil
Aug 19, 2015 Joachim Viktil rated it it was amazing
Two short tales well written and with interesting concept. The geographical references of small town England were hard to follow in the latter story. Apart from this, both stories are magnificent reads I would recommend to anyone.
Daniel Peterson
Nov 30, 2012 Daniel Peterson rated it liked it
H.G.Wells wrote the science fiction book, The War of The Worlds.H.G.Wells has written many other science fiction books. There are a lot of other science fiction writers out there though. Which is about a mans story who survived the Martian invasion of Earth. The narrator also tells about his brother's adventure as well. Reading this book in this day and age is a little difficult because a lot of older words have been used to write this book. So reading and enjoying this becomes pretty difficult. ...more
The Time Machine, I read a while ago . . . I seem to remember Jake being a baby, so let's say 2003. It's in the same book as War of the Worlds, but for some reason I was never able to get into that one. But since I was adding this book today (and Time Machine isn't ever a book choice all on its own), I figured I'd read WotW so I could honestly add the book.

I saw the Tom Cruise movie when it came out (and it TOTALLY freaked me out), but I have to say that reading the book was SO much more satisfy
Nov 03, 2009 Abby rated it liked it
The Time Machine- I really enjoyed this story. At first I thought it was a slow and too much scientific talk for me. Once the scientist started talking about the time he entered, I found it exciting and thrilling. I enjoyed the descriptions of what society and huminity had become. This was a fun quick read.

The War of the Worlds- I liked that this book got right into the action. I found it intriguing and unsettling, fun to read around Halloween! I liked the storyline of the brother and I was happ
Rae Lundy
Apr 14, 2015 Rae Lundy rated it it was ok
Interesting Ideas but The War of the Worlds was difficult to get through, the beginning was too mundane. But great idea
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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
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