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

The First Men In The Moon

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  12,858 ratings  ·  645 reviews
'As we saw it first it was the wildest and most desolate of scenes. We were in an enormous amphitheater, a vast circular plain, the floor of the giant crater. Its cliff-like wall closed us in on every side . . .'

Thanks to the discovery of an anti-gravity metal, Cavorite, two Victorian Englishman decide to tackle the most prestigious goal - space travel. They construct a sp
Paperback, 208 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 1901)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,858 ratings  ·  645 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The First Men In The Moon
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: s-f
Forget The Invisible Man and The Time Machine, this should be considered a timeless classic by Wells! The science is outdated and fantastical, but it has all the wonder and intrigue of science fiction. It is an eccentric blend of tongue in cheek humor, swashbuckling adventure, and chilling despair. It is one of the most entertaining science fiction books I've read, and this is from a major Isaac Asimov fan! I particularly love the imaginative and visually rich world that Wells has created! It is ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...and no cheese to be found...

When Mr Bedford's financial difficulties become pressing, he leaves London for the quiet of the Kentish countryside to write a play which he is sure will win him fame and fortune, despite him never having written anything before. Instead, he meets his new neighbour Mr Cavor, an eccentric scientist, and becomes intrigued and excited by the possibilities of the invention Cavor is working on – a substance that will defy gravity. Bedford, always with an eye for the ma
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to the moon in 1969,the astronauts of H.G.Wells were already there in 1900.

They get there courtesy of a new material,cavorite,which negates gravity.They find extraterrestrial life on the moon,which captures them.

They experience weightlessness and find gold on the moon.One comes back,the other is left on the moon.

I didn't enjoy it particularly.When Wells talks about the science of it,I found it fairly boring,and way too long.
Back when I read The War of the Worlds I had this dream that I was going to love every book by Wells. To be honest I'm in the cliché part with this author. Lets say I loved his most iconic works and got bored with his indie ones. I don't know what it was with The First Men in the Moon, it started very interesting I have no idea when it lost me. The first half was great but the second half, well, I have no idea. Anyway I can't go lower than 3 stars, the man was a visionary!

No es el estilo, ni l
Marts  (Thinker)
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys classic adventure stories!!!!
Shelves: classics
This book was most interesting and quite an adventure.

Two men, namely Bedford and Cavor, travel to the moon in a sphere designed by Cavor. When they arrive there, they are most amazed at what they see, something like snow, plants growing at alarming rates, and strange beings called Selenites among others. The adventure actually takes place 'inside' the moon after Bedford falls into a crevice as the two explore the surface, after the 'snow' lures them out of the safety of thier sphere.
Well after
☙ nemo ❧
the first men in the moon - 4 stars
the world set free - 1.5 stars
the inexperienced ghost - 4.5 stars
the new accelerator - 1.5 stars
mr ledbetter's vacation - 2.5 stars
a dream of armageddon - 3 stars

overall: 3 stars
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was such an unexpected fun recounting of how an idealistic explorer and a businessman fly to the moon.
The tone of the narration is pleasantly tongue-in-cheek and doesn't take itself seriously. And the moon ... what a wonderful vivid imagination.

Forget that it is dated, just enjoy.
Alex Bright
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Men in the Moon was an unsuspected, joyful surprise! The narration I listened to, by Alexander Vlahos was excellent -- just over-the-top enough to bring the Wells' story to life. In any case, it's immensely satisfying to have a story so well told that its visualization is both intricate and easy for the listener/reader.

This late-Victorian novel (1901) tells the story of a naive, idealistic scientist named Cavor, and his industrialist/capitalist companion, Bedford, who also serves as the pri
E. G.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biographical Note
Further Reading
Note on the Text

--The First Men in the Moon

Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was quite delightfully queer.
Jim Smith
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts almost surreally twee and light. Becomes increasingly dark and weird. Felt as if the final stretch were tacked onto the original serialisation, but the ending made it worth it.
Melissa (ladybug)
A story where Mr. Bedford (a penniless Business man) meets a Scientist name of Dr. Cavor. Dr Cavor has invented a substance that can neutralize the effects of Gravity. Mr Bedford sees a chance to change his fortunes using this substance to travel to the Moon. While on the Moon, Mr Bedford and Dr Cavor find such strange sights as the Selenites, plants growing at alarming rates and other such awe inspiring things.

While this book was written by the Author of The War of the Worlds and The Island of
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 1960 film The Time Machine starring Rod Taylor is am adulteration of H.G. Wells' novel by the same name. The Eloi speak English and each and everyone of them appear to desire Rod Taylor; well, who doesn't? The whole enterprise appears to be a cautionary tale about Nuclear War and Free Love. I approached The First Men In The Moon with a wary eye about such cinematic mistreatments. I suspect Eric Roberts would star in this one.

It should be noted that I was puzzled by the title, about the verb
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Oh, for the good old days when men believed that the moon was inhabited by "Selenites" who lived in deep caves underground! H.G. Wells in his The First Men in the Moon takes two Englishmen, the eccentric inventor Cavor and the ne'er-do-well Bedford to the moon in a spherical spaceship using an antigravity substance called Cavorite.

Fortunately for these ill-prepared astronauts, the moon has plenty of oxygen, so they don't need a spacesuit with breathing apparatus. In no time at all, they get lost
Po Po
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Such a disappointment! I expected so much more from this. I was waiting for some philosophical discourse and musings on some enduring, unalterable and inalienable Truth,
as is usually the case in wells' works, but nope. Nothing of the kind in this book.

I'm giving it two stars instead of just one because this story was highly imaginative and VERY unpredictable (I liked that I couldn't foresee what would happen about 50 pages before it actually does).

I think my main issue with this particular stor
May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bit boring to be honest. So much of the science was just way off, which was sometimes amusing but mostly irritating. So much of it was description which my brain just switched off for.
Callum McLaughlin
This is one of Wells' lesser known novels, but I found it just as interesting and enjoyable an entry to his canon of work.

As always, I was left both impressed and appreciative of how much the fantastical elements of his stories are based in genuine science. He doesn't take the easy option of just telling us that his characters 'make a space shuttle', he tells us how they do it, but without ever bogging down the narrative.

Obviously in this particular case, the speculative scientific elements hav
This is not my favorite H. G. Wells novel. I really enjoyed The Island of Dr. Moreau last fall--it won the creepy contest sponsored by Softdrink & Heather in their annual Dueling Monsters challenge. And The Invisible Man garnered 4 stars this year. But The First Men in the Moon is one of Wells' lesser known novels--and I think deservedly so.

It is the story of two men who find a way to journey to the moon (back at the turn of the last century). There is the brilliant scientific theorist who comes
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very nice science fiction story by H.G. Wells. This book was written before the first airplane had flown and Wells writes about a journey to the moon. Jules Verne wrote about travelling to the moon 35 years before Wells. The characters in Verne's book are being shot to the moon a giant projectile, which reminds of the actual space shuttles (which wasn't about to start before a hundred years after Verne's publication!!).
Wells, on the other hand, takes a very different, not less creative a
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“My habits are regular. My time for intercourse – limited”

I had to giggle at that!

A silly scientist (Cavor) invents an anti-grav paint (Cavorite), coats a sphere with the stuff and with the help of Bedford (Victorian wag), who turns out to be a bit too handy with a crowbar, they float off into space and land on the Moon.

In Wells’ imagination the moon is psychedelic. After a bit of farcical leaping about in the moon’s gravity, they encounter a moon species, the Selenites, ant-like beings, at whic
Rob Thompson
The First Men in the Moon is a scientific romance by the English author H. G. Wells. First serialised in The Strand Magazine from December 1900 to August 1901 it was later published in hardcover. All in all it's a great swashbuckling adventure story. Of course, age has dated the science but it's still an entertaining blend of humour, danger and excitement. Bedford, our narrator, is an egotistical selfish cad: rather like Terry Thomas. His interplay with Cavor, a detached scientist, is always amu ...more
Rebecca Wilson
The First Men in the Moon has been one of the most exhilarating, uplifting novels I've read this year.

I've really been enjoying digging into Wells for the first time; until now I've found his sci-fi novels entertaining, imaginative and funny. This one however...this one is a humanist masterpiece. Does that sound boring? It's still fun and funny and inventive! At the same time, it tackles empathy, communication, technology, warfare, xenophobia, and human institutions. And with language as lush a
Hayley Stewart
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Full review can be found here

One of H. G. Wells lesser known books (in comparison to the likes of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, War of The Worlds) I still thought it was worth going into it with the feelings that reading his other books gave me.

Set in England, Wells introduces us to Bedford – a man who’s trying to find an easy way to earn money to pay off the debt collectors chasing him... and Professor Cavor, your run-of-the-mill eccentric scientist who has just hit upon an idea for an i
Miriam Cihodariu
As a disclaimer, I should state that this was my first and last audiobook experience and the fact that I am now convinced listening to audiobooks is not for me may have put a damper on my perception of the narrative itself. If I ever get to reading this book the proper way, my rating may very well go up by one star.

As always, the chief strength of Wells is his ability of weaving a very detailed world, from the initial descriptions of personas and what you can assume about them from their lifest
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wells is always good fun, but this is the least successful of his sci-fi novels that I have encountered, mainly because science did finally catch up with his imagination and prove so many of his suppositions about the moon to be wrong. The narrator chances upon a mad scientist, Cavor, who invents a sort of anti-magnetic element from which they build a ship to propel them to the moon. The atmosphere, geology and composition of the moon are all complete hokum, as are the insect-like inhabitants, t ...more
Two men make it to the moon and discover a hidden society of moon creatures beneath the surface.
Supposed to be one of Wells' best but most underrated books from the time when people hadn't set foot on the Moon, yet.
His stories always seem so simple to me when in fact they are rich in detail and complexity. I love how neatly he combines scientific facts with fiction and how lively the worlds are that he creates. Once again, like in most of his writings, he doesn't miss the chance to criticize hu
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The First Men in the Moon has two unusual features. Firstly the title is not a typographical error or misprint. Cavor and Bedford are not merely the first men on the moon, but the first men in the moon, and this second fact is more significant than the first.

It is curious that Wells chose to create a book in which lunar civilisation is subterranean, rather than surface-dwelling, but it does make a kind of sense. Wells’ depiction of life on the moon has been rendered obsolete by what we now know
“What is this spirit in man that urges him forever to depart from happiness and security, to toil, to place himself in danger, even to risk a reasonable certainty of death? It dawned upon me up there in the moon as a thing I ought always to have known, that man is not made simply to go about being safe and comfortable and well fed and amused. Against his interest, against his happiness he is constantly being driven to do unreasonable things. Some force not himself impels him and go he must.”

Paul Haspel
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: moon, science-fiction
The first thing to notice regarding this 1901 science-fiction novel by H.G. Wells is the great author’s peculiar choice of prepositions. “The First Men in the Moon” – not on, but in. This phraseology, of course, goes against the way we of the modern world would ordinarily talk about a trip to the moon. We customarily say that, when Apollo 11 landed at Tranquility Base on 20 July 1969, and Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin took their historic first steps onto the lunar surface, they became t ...more
Jammin Jenny
I loved this story by H.G. Wells. He tells the story of a group of travelers who take a spaceship to the moon. When they get to the moon, they encounter a giant sphere which allows them to breath. They hear a steady beating of something inside the moon, like a giant clock. They see creatures that live within the moons surface. Some of the men are driven mad, some run away, but one stays and becomes the "ambassador" from earth. He speaks to the leader of the moon, the Grand Lunar, and tries to ex ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please adjust page count 3 14 Apr 25, 2018 12:31AM  
SF Masterworks Group: The First Men In The Moon 1 15 Apr 26, 2013 08:23AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Island of Dr Moreau
  • The Invisible Man : H G Wells
  • A Grown-up Guide to Oceans Audible Original
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 1
  • El anacronópete
  • From the Earth to the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #4)
  • Round the Moon (Extraordinary Voyages, #7)
  • The Land That Time Forgot Collection (Caspak #1-3)
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau Annotated
  • كانت لك
  • The Mummy!: A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century
  • Tarzan and the Ant Men (Tarzan, #10)
  • Cities in Flight (Cities in Flight, #1-4)
  • Arabian Nights: Volume 2
  • In the Name of the Father: The Story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four
  • Ibid
  • سيبيريا - مونولوج
  • The Beast of Buckingham Palace
See similar books…
Herbert George 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 scholarship in 1884, ...more

Related Articles

    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
56 likes · 13 comments
“What is this spirit in man that urges him forever to depart from happiness and security, to toil, to place himself in danger, even to risk a reasonable certainty of death? It dawned upon me up there in the moon as a thing I ought always to have known, that man is not made simply to go about being safe and comfortable and well fed and amused. Against his interest, against his happiness he is constantly being driven to do unreasonable things. Some force not himself impels him and go he must.” 11 likes
“One can't always be magnificent, but simplicity is always a possible alternative.” 10 likes
More quotes…