Dave's Reviews > Select Conversations with an Uncle (Now Extinct) and Two Other Reminiscences

Select Conversations with an Uncle (Now Extinct) and Two Othe... by H.G. Wells
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's review
Aug 30, 11

bookshelves: fiction, literature
Read in August, 2011

H. G. Wells published “Select Conversations With An Uncle (Now Extinct) And Two Other Reminiscences” is a collection of 14 pieces of short fiction in June of 1895, supposedly just one day prior to “The Time Machine” and before “The Wonderful Visit” (September), and “The Stolen Bacillus” (November) which appeared later in the same year. Wells did have two non-fiction books published prior to this one, but this was his first book of fictional stories, though “The Time Machine” was based on an earlier work called “The Chronic Argonauts” which he wrote in school. The stories had previously been published in “The Pall Mall Gazette between 1893 and 1894.

These stories are short mildly humorous works mostly concerning an uncle and his observations on the state of things. They cover fashion, ideals, being photographed, music, being engaged, being in love, being married, and other topics, each being handled as a conversation between the narrator and his uncle. Also included are two other works of short fiction. Though there are 14 stories in all, they are all very short and it does not take much time to read through the entire collection.

Wells is of course known for his works of science fiction which helped to create the genre which is so well known today. However, Wells was quite capable of writing other types of works, and this collection of short fiction is a good example of his early style. I don’t want to give the impression that this is a lost treasure. This work is interesting because it was written by Wells, and there is good reason why it is not one of his better known works, and had it been written by another it would have little interest at all. It is not that it is a bad work, but rather that it is an unexceptional work. This is recommended for those who are interested in H. G. Wells and his development as an author.
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