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The Sleeper Awakes

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  1,695 ratings  ·  138 reviews
A troubled insomniac in 1890s England falls suddenly into a sleep-like trance, from which he does not awake for over two hundred years. During his centuries of slumber, however, investments are made that make him the richest and most powerful man on earth. But when he comes out of his trance he is horrified to discover that the money accumulated in his name is being used t...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Penguin Classics (first published 1899)
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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
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...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
Scifireader
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 moder...more
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...more
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...more
Neil
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...more
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
Beth
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...more
David
Not one to be worried about spoilers, HG Wells revised the project Gutenburg version I read, and included a preface briefly detailing the things he'd changed. Said revisions didn't include the ending, but he thought he'd tell us that anyway. Thanks HG.

Anyway, this is something of a mish-mash of quite posh sci-fi whimsy, and Orwellian dystopia, and quite an entertaining romp it is. Never for one moment are you really led to believe that there's any hope for the future of mankind, nor does the aut...more
Simon
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this book. It certainly has its flaws but there is something about it that I rather enjoyed.

Graham falls into a Cataleptic trance for two hundred years (in which he does not age, nor require sustenance of any kind) and awakes into a dystopian society that is on the cusp of revolution. He finds that he has, thanks to compound interest and a committee of shrewd investors, become owner of most of the world's wealth. This committee now effectively rules the worl...more
Thee_ron_clark
Although I finished this a few weeks ago, I have been too lazy to update my reads here.

I could not find the version I have, which is titled, "The Sleeper Wakes." This was the closest one to it as far as I could tell.

Anyway, I am a huge fan of The Island of Dr. Moreau so I figured it couldn't hurt to read more wells.

The Sleeper Wakes is the tale of a man who falls into a deep death-like slumber for around two hundred years. When he finally wakes, the man finds that he is the wealthiest man on the...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.” 13 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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