Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When The Sleeper Wakes” as Want to Read:
When The Sleeper Wakes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

When The Sleeper Wakes

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,752 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
When The Sleeper Awakes is about a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years, waking up in a completely transformed London, where, because of compound interest on his bank accounts, he has become the richest man in the world. The main character awakes to see his dreams realised, and the future revealed to him in all its horrors and malformities. Graham fell into a dee ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Aegypan (first published 1899)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When The Sleeper Wakes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When The Sleeper Wakes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
David Sarkies
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Wells' Dystopian Vision
13 July 2016

When I started reading Jules Verne a number of years back I became increasingly interested in some of these pioneers of the science-fiction genre, and while many of us have heard of Wells' more well known books, after digging around the internet I discovered that there were quite a few other books that he had written that I was particularly interested in, especially the ones where he writes about the possibility of flight and how disruptive a technology it wou
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Büşra Göç
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İlk distopik roman olmasına rağmen başarılı bir kitap.

Kitabın başlangıcında, oldukça merak uyandırıcı bir konuyla kitap sizi içine çekiyor. Devamında ise yavaş bir tempoda ilerlemesine rağmen kitaptan kopmadan ileleyebiliyorsunuz.

Kurgu diğer distopik kitaplardaki gibi çok güçlü sayılmaz ama yine de kabul edilebilir bir kurgu var. Bu kitabın yazılış zamanını ve türünün ilk kitabı olduğunu düşününce, iyi bir kurgu olduğu bile söylenebilir.

Yazarın öngörüsünü de takdir etmek gerekir. Yazarın tekno
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
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: favorites
It's odd to say that I'd wanted to read this book for almost twenty years and in surprising ways it did not disappoint. Wells,pioneer of science fiction that he was, pulled out all the stops here. There's action, warfare, loads of colorful future stuff, betrayal, romance, and politics.

The plot concerns a 19th century insomniac named Graham who ends up sleeping for 200 years only to wake and discover he owns half the world. He's a fish out of water and he's odd circumsatnces result in people tr
MJ Nicholls
H.G. wrote this novel at warp speed nine, as evidenced by the bluntest ending ever written and presented in a Penguin Classic. His dystopian vision here, however, is one of the most influential in SF and beyond. Needless, we’d have no 1984 if it wasn’t for this patchy, overtly racist, but workmanlike tale. Respect to Herb.
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
İlk distopya özelliği taşıyan eser. Diğerlerinin aksine farklı bir dünya betimlemiş yazar. Ama her zaman hayran olduğum özelliği ise öngürülerinin çok ileri olması. Kendi yaşadığı zaman içersin de gelecek hakkında çok ileri teknolojileri tasavvur etmiş.
Sep 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
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
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristy Buzbee
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Julian Meynell
This is a lesser known work of Wells and not taken as seriously as some of his more well known works. Having read enough Wells, I was not surprised to see that it was considerably better than it is supposed to be. The book belongs to Wells' great period from 1894 to 1901, when Wells managed to anticipate virtually the whole of future science fiction in novels of genius. This work despite its reputation deserves to be in that league, and for instance, is better than the Invisible man.

This book is
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
Brian Bess
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you oversleep by 200 years

H.G. Wells’ ‘When the Sleeper Wakes’ is one of his ‘scientific romances’ (he hated the American term ‘science fiction’) that I first read when I was fourteen. When I was first reading Wells, a friend recommended this novel that I had never heard of and gave me his Ace paperback copy of it (with a cover price of .40). While I liked the concept quite a bit, I found the writing a bit turgid and, at that age, could not understand how a man, simply by sleep
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
H.G. Wells is so smart that it scares me.
Alex Storer
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lostaccount by: 136
“Wealth now is the power as it never was before – it commands the earth, the sea and sky”

Graham from Victorian England wakes up from an unspecified coma to a future London when the city is in revolt against a plutocracy called The Council (Graham’s Trustees) which has enslaved the working, lower classes by errrm "putting them to work". As the richest man in the world because of financial investment while he “slept” for two hundred years, he is now owner and master of the world, because in this f
Ali  M.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
1897 lernt Graham den Künsteler Mr. Isbister kennen. Graham geht es nicht gut, er leidet unter Schlaflosigkeit. Isbister nimmt ihn mit zu sich nach Hause, wo Graham in eine Art Trace verfällt, aus der er nicht mehr aufwacht. Isbister übernimmt die Verwaltung von Grahams Vermögen und Grahams Pflege und sorgt dafür, dass man sich auch nach seinem eigenen Tod um Graham kümmert.

“I’ve understood,” said Isbister after a pause, “that he had some moderate property of his own?”
“That is so,” said Warming.
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had started the book with high expectations, second step towards the wrong that I did, first being picking this book up after consecutive dismays experienced recently. I don't know if it's me, but this book is surprisingly unsurprising. Would've never expected it to be so predictable that it would turn unenticing. Overall, an unexpected disappointment.
Mar 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
John Stuart
Apr 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most disappointing ending to a book I have ever read. Very confused descriptions of the dystopian world that Wells was trying to create. Plot line intially seemed okay, but the chaos in the revolution was hard to imagine. Far better to read Orwell's 1984 than this. Not a classic.
Kelly Goffin
“What a wonderfully complex thing! This simple seeming unity - the self!”
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victoria dönemi edebiyatının izlerini taşıyan bir distopya. Bu açıdan bildiğimiz distopyalardan farklı. Biraz da zamanın eskittiği bir kitap ama yine de başarılı buldum.
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, ebook
Impressive how Wells' depiction of a future 200 years or so beyond his time is realistic, and provides the background for a moral tale.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like _In the Days of the Comet_ and _Men Like Gods_, _The Sleeper Awakes_ is Wells imagining the future of mankind. Unlike those other novels, however, the vision he presents is not a Utopia, but rather a world where the troubles of his own time are ongoing, if not magnified. This rather more cynically toned tale is richer in curious details than the other future-gazing novels, and the focus on the Sleeper who became the Master of the world during a 203-year coma lends the tale a somewhat advent ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No doubt about it: H.G. Wells could write a ripping yarn. There is much about this Dystopian narrative that is similar to many other "sleeper" tales from "Rip Van Winkle" to Looking Backward: an average Victorian-era man named Graham falls asleep and doesn't wake up for two-hundred years. But within this classic narrative is a unique economic twist. During Graham's sleep, a council is formed to handle his finances. Through their work, and the investment of other rich patrons who leave him their ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Coming Race
  • Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century
  • The Iron Heel
  • A Strange Manuscript found in a Copper Cylinder
  • Off On A Comet
  • The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Fiction of Mary Shelley
  • Ayesha: The Return of She
  • The Lost Continent: The Story of Atlantis
  • The Complete Moon Trilogy: The Moon Maid/The Moon Men/The Red Hawk
  • The Fortunes of Captain Blood
  • The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Volume Two (Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang #1.2)
  • The Lost World & Other Stories
  • One
  • Georgia on My Mind and Other Places
  • A Prisoner in Fairyland
  • House of Corruption
  • The Blazing World and Other Writings
  • Erewhon (Erewhon , #1)
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...

Share This Book

“...fact takes no heed of human hopes.” 23 likes
“You cannot imagine the craving for rest that I feel—a hunger and thirst. For six long days, since my work was done, my mind has been a whirlpool, swift, unprogressive and incessant, a torrent of thoughts leading nowhere, spinning round swift and steady” 13 likes
More quotes…