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The Door in the Wall

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,812 ratings  ·  180 reviews

'And so, in a trice, he came into the garden that has haunted all his life.'

H.G. Wells was a pioneer of science fiction, its first and greatest influence. Here his boundless invention creates three very stories: a poignant parable of a mysterious door, a thrilling account of be-tentacled sea creatures and the darkly comic chronicle of an academic rivalry taken too far

Kindle Edition, 71 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Penguin (first published 1906)
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Catherine Habbie
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was reminiscent of E.M Forster's The Celestial Omnibus and yet a masterpiece in itself.
H.G. Wells wrote the Time Machine in 1895 and had his moment of glory. But what a coincidence, that these two identically-themed stories were published in 1911.
The 1900's seem to be years of soul-searching, when people were afraid to acknowledge that they even read P.B.Shelley cause of his views. The story talks of the 'other world' that is open only to the pure-hearted, who dare to step out of the r
This book was written with clear talent. The story is unraveled in a very entertaining way, but when we finally get the whole tale it turns out to be pretty blah.

One star for story, five stars for style, for an average of three.

So what?
Perry Whitford
A man of worldly affairs recently deceased had told his friend a most extraordinary tale just before his death. All his life he had seen glimpses of, and once as a young child entered into, a strange green door.

The door opened into a lush garden, 'into peace, into delight, into a beauty beyond dreaming, a kindness no man on earth can know', inhabited by playful children, friendly animals and a lady with a magical picture book.

Straight forward, sweetly told short story from Wells about the disenc
(Original review date: 3 May 2014)

I bought this collection on a whim a couple of years ago, and it languished on my shelf, unread. I had tried reading Wells before, back in college, War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, and was fairly unimpressed. His language was stuffy and old-fashioned, I thought, and his allegories tortured. So even though I like short stories as a form, I really wasn't expecting much when I picked this up.

I love being wrong in that way. It's one of my favorite things ab
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, short-story
H.G. Wells is known as the father of Modern Science Fiction and is best known for his science fiction fantasies like The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man.. it's only recently I realised that some of his short fiction, although less known, are equally great.

The Door in the Wall will probably be considered as one of his fantastic tales, I personally feel there's more to it.

The story is a vague recollection by a man in his forties, a successful British politician, of an exper
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
A mountaineer gets lost in a strange valley in The Andes and finds himself surrounded by a race of sightless people, another is transported to Fairyland - and a third spends his life searching for a lost world behind a door in a white wall in London.

Three mysterious stories of different Utopias by the master of the genre, HG Wells brought together in a single play by Kelvin Segger. A mix of adventure, comedy and suspense.

Stars Paul Webster as Nunez, Christian Rodska as Red
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story reads like a modern fable. I was reminded of the best themes of Rod Serling scripts for the Twilight Zone in that the sought after rewards of modern society are suddenly and cosmically weighed against the eternal joys of life that we somehow, caught up in our ambition and pride, dismiss and postpone.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I give 5 ⭐ rating to an h.g wells book , the audiobook was amazing , the story was magical .
Monica Sotelo
It is difficult, as a reader, not to feel influenced by the doubts and mistrust that Redmond openly expresses about the story and the protagonist at the beginning and at the end of the story. Since Redmond is the narrator, we have nothing but to trust on his words. The story is an allegory about the conflict of humankind with themselves and society while repressing their dreams or natural feelings in order to fulfill the expectations of the society. The presence of the door during different peri ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, shorts
3 short stories: The Door In The Wall, The Sea Raiders and The Moth. All are mysterious and suspenseful and in a handy edition for a train ride when you don't want to carry a big book with you. ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story, 4-stars
The Door in the Wall, originally published in 1906 in The Daily Chronicle. Is this a rage against the revolution; The Industrial Revolution? Maybe. The protagonist, an unhappy politician, recounts a recurring theme in his life, a magical door that makes itself known to him randomly. It harkens back to a simpler, more idyllic existence symbolized by a garden and friends.
While the story is simple, Wells keeps the narrative flowing smoothly to the climax. Audio version narrated by the always good
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love it how someone can write stories short but so deep in its meaning. It's an adorable talent.

This story is about second chance, third, fourth, and several more chances that are wasted away to escape from this dull world and to enter into an utopian world, a heavenly garden. Wasted because the person is busy tied up in his present world, the world which he actually does not enjoy living in, and that he has, ever since his first visit to the garden, been dreaming of going back to it. But aga
Upon finishing the story, I was left wondering what it really meant -for there's always a between-the-lines reading of Wells's fantasies- and couldn't make my mind about it. Was it childhood v. adulthood? The countless possibilities of the fantasy realm v. the dullness and shortages of the real world? Imagination prevails over reason? Carpe Diem and f*** it? This is Wells's version of "Et in Arcadia ego" and it kinda works. If anything, I would've liked a more immersive description of the garden ...more
Austin Aslan
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this story, and wrote a lengthy review of it here. But Goodreads lost the text when I tried to submit. I don't have the heart to rewrite the whole thing. But I highly recommend this story. The voice and tone are both a bit dated, but otherwise this strikes me as an allegory about death that easily stands the test of time and transcends any particular "religious" view about that 'borne' from which no traveller returns... For the era in which it was written, this religiously-neutral (most ...more
CV Rick
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A collection of stories by one of the founders and masters of the genre. It's these 8 stories that give a creative and whimsical glimpse into what Science Fiction was like half a century ago.

The title story is my favorite - The Door in the Wall. It's a metaphor for missed choices and how following your dreams should be a mission, not a wish. I thought about this lesson for a long time after reading. It made me more vigilant about looking for those doors I normally pass.
Mpur Chan
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read The Door In The Wall, a short story written by H.G Wells. The narrating style is the story within a story. I think this short story has so many symbolic meaning. So many metaphor. The door itself could be the entrance between reality and fantasy. It is also related to Wallace’s lonely life. In reality, Wallace is bullied. The world behind the door is his way to escape reality. I really like this story, especially the ending.

read more:
Brian Harmon
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just read this collection of short stories by HG Wells. His imagination and ability to evoke images in the mind, never cease to amaze me. The stories have many different tones, some rather dark, but all very engrossing. it's a quick read, but does not lack in depth. I heartily recommend!! ...more
A young boys goes through a door in the wall, and discovered paradise. Thoughout his life, the memory of this garden has haunted him and he strives to find it one last time. I liked this because it was a bit dark.
John Yelverton
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a pretty interesting story about a little boy who enters a paradise (Heaven?), and then struggles whether or not to return or remain in this world. The philosophical contemplation concerning dreaming for a better world in the next life is enough to warrant taking time to read this story. ...more
Jun 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enchanted gardens with spotted panthers - that'll do me. A short story, very short indeed but good and thought-provoking. ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant story of a young boy who wanders through a door into paradise only to be cast out again, and spends the rest of his life looking for the door in the wall. Does he find it?
I only read "The door in the wall" story. ...more
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s very Poe-ish. Very different voice from the Wells of Dr Moreau/Invisible Man/Time Machine/etc. Dreamy and dreadful (as in “full of dread”) with heavy ironic Christian imagery.
My boyfriend often teases me about how I like really little books, and I always protest that I like books of varying lengths/sizes, but there is something appealing about a little book that's easy to slip into a purse. The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells is a Penguin Mini Modern Classic, and it's little indeed: I read it in the course of a late afternoon/evening, mostly on the subway. It consists of three short stories: "The Door in the Wall" (from 1911), "The Sea-Raiders" (from 1897), and "The M ...more
Children finding entries to fantasy worlds are always an adventure for the reader. Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, Chronicles of Narnia, Wizard of Oz, and many others.

It’s only natural the memories of his time behind The Green Door would always stay on his mind. Even as an adult he still found the woman reading a fairytale book, panthers playing with a ball, and the beautiful garden appealing.

As a child these things are whimsical. As an adult they’re an escape. The grass is
Jungmin Kang
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still need time to think about what this story means and what I should learn from it. Lionel Wallace was haunted by the green door throughout his life, a door that offered peace, purity, and most importantly presented him with a dilemma, only appearing when he was in the process of advancing his career or upholding societal responsibility. The end of the story ends with a death, but also a question. Is it a death, a darkness? Did he see it like we do? I don't think he did, and that is why he w ...more
Lynsey Walker
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is just for the Door in the Wall itself, not the collection of stories, but alas I can't find just that on GoodReads.

After another disappointing book (why do they come in packs? Seriously am I the only person who seems to pick up bad book after bad book?) it was back onto the well trodden and well read ground of the Youtube audio book. Today's offering being some HG Wells, as War of the Worlds is one of the finest books ever written and this girl has a thing for wordy, Gothic, Victor
Kathleen Lightfoot
“By our daylight standard he walked out of security into darkness, danger, and death. But did he see like that?”

I put off writing my review for this story for over a week, simply because I didn’t know what to say about it.

Honestly, I still don’t. It’s a strange, short little tale, and to say anything about it in any detail would be to completely spoil the story. So, I’m not going to.

Suffice to say that I enjoyed this. I listened to an audiobook version, narrated by B.J. Harrison. He’s a narrato
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The door in the wall is a short volume collection three short stories by H.G. Wells. These are "The door in the wall", "The Sea Raiders", and "The Moth".

Of the stories in this volume, I enjoyed "The door in the wall" the most. I loved the sense of lost opertunity, the question if it was real, the commentary on the way the preasure of adulthood and life and achievement robs us of the simple pleasure of existing.

"The Sea Raiders" is a more typical story from the sea monster genre - featuing a ma
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, audio-book
This was such an interesting tale! It reminded me, in style, a bit of Frankenstein. The words were beautiful, and the idea of someone traveling to a holding place beyond this life that is peaceful for humans and animals, where someone has complete joy and access to a book that has in it a record of one's life is very intriguing. The world sounded to me like an inbetween state (after death, not quite entered into the presence of the Father).

I thought the book was a bit repetitive in the middle.
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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

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“When afterwards I tried to tell my aunt, she punished me again for my wicked persistence. Then, as I said, everyone was forbidden to listen to me, to hear a word about it. Even my fairy-tale books were taken away from me for a time - because I was too 'imaginative'. Eh! Yes, they did that! My father belonged to the old school.... And my story was driven back upon myself. I whispered it to my pillow - my pillow that was often damp and salt to my whispering lips with childish tears. And I added always to my official and less fervent prayers this one heartfelt request: 'Please God I may dream of the garden. O! take me back to my garden.” 11 likes
“By our daylight standard he walked out of security into darkness, danger, and death.
But did he see like that?”
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