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The First Men in the Moon

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  11,597 ratings  ·  530 reviews
Magnum Easy Eye larger type pb edition.
Paperback, 284 pages
Published by Magnum Easy Eye Books/Lancer Books (first published 1901)
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3.69  · 
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 ·  11,597 ratings  ·  530 reviews

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Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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 The science is outdated and fantastical, but it has all the wonder and intrigue of science fiction.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
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
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

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 fist 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 la
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
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 c
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
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
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
Martin Hill
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a great fan of H. G. Wells since I was a teenager. While I've read many of his lesser-known works, I never got around to reading one of his best-known novels—until now.

The First Men in the Moon was written in 1901, and along with The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, is one of the books that immediately come to mind when you think of Wells.

If your only knowledge of this book is the 1964 movie, this novel will surprise you. This is no romantic comedy, though there are humorous m
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
I bought this almost a year ago and only just added it to Goodreads. Good job, Becki. Now I'm paranoid about other books I might have forgotten to add...
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.
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
Stephen Curran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Mortimore
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Time Machine and this was just as good! Takes a little bit of a suspension of disbelief - ideas about gravity and life on the moon are quite zany to say the least.

The book was held together by the strong main characters. Mr Bedford - an ambitious but reckless man who has 'come an ugly cropper in business enterprises'. Mr Cavor - an eccentric scientist who is entirely idealistic and unpractical. They're almost caricature, but there's a tension between them which is very satisfying. T
Jeff Johnston
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
It may well be that Wells suppositions of the moon and its inhabitant's did not come to pass, but his imaginative concepts made for an enjoyable read.
Ben Goodridge
My copy of "The First Men in the Moon" is an untrustworthy edition - a dimestore paperback some sixty years old with pages so yellow as to be illegible, and a cover barely on the right side of brittle. Worried that this yard-sale relic would disintegrate in my oafish mitts as soon as I picked it up, I sought the text on Project Gutenberg. Easier on my aging eyes, anyway.

Turns out the Project Gutenberg text, whatever the source, is a bit different from the aging paperback. American editions of tu
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read for the Science Fiction Masterworks Book Club and the SF Masterworks Reading List.

This classic science fiction novel by H.G. Wells has not seemed to have aged well. Of course we have been to the moon, and found no evidence of life of any kind. But there's a lot in it well worth examining anyway, even for a modern audience.

For one thing, Wells cleverly examines the full implications of an alien mind, "creatures who are as smart as a man, but who don't think like a man." The two primary chara
Paul Weiss
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Social commentary and great adventure!

Mr Bedford, a recently bankrupt Victorian gentleman has retired to the English countryside to recover his spirit and write a play. He meets Dr Cavor, an eccentric, quaintly comical scientific genius researching the preparation of a compound he calls "Cavorite" that will be opaque to all radiation including gravity. When a laboratory error results in the wildly successful early completion of the Cavorite project, Bedord and Cavor use it to create a sphere tha
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"The First Men in the Moon" by H.G. Wells is the story of two men, Mr. Bedford (a businessman and the narrator) and Mr. Cavor (a scientist), who discover a new material (cavorite) that "cuts" or nullify the force of gravity. With this new discovery, they build a ship so they can travel and explore the moon. After a series of events, they finally reach the moon and they start exploring the satellite. The first experience is one of joy because they discover how weightless they are thanks to the lo ...more
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the science within the book is clearly wrong by today's standards, The First Men in the Moon was a really entertaining read. There's excitement and wonder at the scientific possibilities, and some fast-paced plot that never feels dull. There was also some fun characterisation between Bedford (a capitalist opportunist) and Cavor (a scientist absorbed by the theory of his research). This gets particularly interesting to me, when (view spoiler) ...more
Roger Burk
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early science fiction, a trip to the Moon as imagined in 1901. The means is a new material that blocks the effects of gravity: louvers of this stuff around the spacecraft can be arranged edge-on or face-on to any attracting body. (The fact that a perpetual motion machine could be made by putting the axle of a drive wheel in the edge of the gravity shadow is not mentioned.) The Moon is honeycombed with tunnels and caverns (accounting for its genuine low density compared to the Earth); the Selenit ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please adjust page count 3 14 Apr 25, 2018 12:31AM  
SF Masterworks Group: The First Men In The Moon 1 13 Apr 26, 2013 08:23AM  

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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 scho ...more
“One can't always be magnificent, but simplicity is always a possible alternative.” 8 likes
“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.” 8 likes
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