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Men Like Gods

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  717 ratings  ·  56 reviews
1923. English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian, famous for his works of science fiction, Wells's best-known books are The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The War Of The Worlds. Wells's utopian tale of a land of men and women where they are bright and happy, healthy and long-lived and their appearance is likened explicitly to Greek deities. See other tit ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1923)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  717 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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D.L. Morrese
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This novel, set in 1921 and published in 1923 is in a subgenre you don’t see much now -- utopian science fiction. Yes, I did say ‘utopian.’ You may be more familiar with this subgenre’s ugly brother, dystopian science fiction. The latter has more shock value so it gets more attention, but I prefer the older, wiser sibling.

The essential difference between utopian and dystopian fiction that I see is their different perceptions of humanity. Although both begin with the premise that the human race h
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
The problem with utopian litterature is that even though Wells do his best to write a stories it turns out as a series of lectures on how awsome everything is.
For some reason, this book is particularly difficult to locate. But it's definitely worth the effort. It's a marvelous treatment of the Utopian world. Now, I love Wells, and if you're on this page, I imagine you do also. Advice: Get the book! It will make you happier! All of your dreams will come true! Well, at least the first two will happen. ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it
This 1923 H.G. Wells novel is as much a tract in defense of socialist ideals as it is a work of science fiction. This is not his only work in which socialism is posited as a path to utopia, but if Wells seems overly zealous, unabashed, and, from our perspective, naive, we should probably cut him some slack. Even ignoring Wells' humanistic motives, when this novel was written, the cautionary example of the Soviets was still inconclusive; the "good guys" had won The War; and the ascendency of a Hi ...more
Khitab Khan
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It has been a while since I have read something this enlightening. The book should be required reading for everyone on this planet.

I can understand how someone can be put off my the socialist rhetoric of the book but one must delve deeper into the mans thought process. Socialist movement did not work because there are finite resources. Once the conundrum of abundant clean renewable energy is resolved, resources will not be a problem and hence competition for the sake of resource hording/gatheri
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it

In a sense, _Men Like Gods_ can be viewed almost as a sequel to _In the Days of the Comet_. While the narrative isn't a continuation, Wells returns to the themes laid out in the earlier novel, using the device of modern men being flung across dimensions to a more advanced utopian world as a way to reveal and rebut various challenges to the vision of society he aims for. While he still failed to convince me, this time he certainly managed to hold my interest.

In this new presentation, Wells shuns
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: H G Wells fans, sci-fi fans
Took me a long time to finish this one! Kind of went like this: interesting to start, boring, interesting, boring, interesting to end.
Finished: 2020-10-08


TL;DR: If you're not up for a polemic against early 20th century western sociopolitical norms them stop right now!

TL: I picked this book because of a comment on Reddit promising a break from the constant relating of dystopian futures in science fiction. Here, it promised, was a Utopian future. Rejoice and enjoy! What it didn't mention was that the majority of the book is about a non-human Utopia into which humans irrupt (it's a word, I learnt it from this book!) and su
Jun 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Albert Barnstaple is driving off on holiday when he and several other road users find themselves thrown through a dimensional rift and into a parallel world. They discover that this world is a Utopia millennia ahead of Earth in development, but the Earthlings cause great disruption as they bring with them religion, disease and war.

This book has more in common with the scientific romances of the 19th Century than it does with the hard sci-fi of the 20th, which leaves it feeling strangely out of p
Alfred Baudisch
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have read, watched and played (video games) dozens of Dystopian fictions. As far as I remember, this was my first Utopian fiction and I can say I am amazed and wishing more, for the world that I want to live is now Utopia.

PS: the Kindle version that I read is in a very archaic English, which made the reading and story even more delightful.

A glimpse of how Utopia was achieved:
"Every Utopian child is taught to the full measure of its possibilities and directed to the work that is indicated by it
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read HG Wells, I am left in amazement. In this book, first published about a century ago, Wells reconised that the quantum was the path through which we could travel into parallel dimensions, and set a novel to explore just that. In this book, a group of travellers are transported to an alternative universe, which he calls - just for the fun of it - Utopia.

This literary device allows Wells to explore the society and economy of Utopia. In this he outlines his view of a well functioni
Samantha L'Esperance
Took me a while to finish this one. Typical prose for Wells, so that takes it down a star (not my cup of tea). However, all these ideas of technology he finds in Utopia are SO ahead of their time. Wireless technology, electric lawn tools, ect.

The story itself was enthralling fantasy for the first few chapters, and it turned sci-fi with the introduction of the Utopians and their society. It got a little lecturey at times, and while I enjoyed the philosophy on socialism, the sprinkles of racism b
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent ideas that are far ahead of the time of writing the book, but the style of writing is lacking. Now I understand what Henry James meant when he said that he would have liked to rewrite some of Wells's novels.
By proclaiming the ideas to be excellent, I do not mean that I agree with all of them. They are novel ideas, but I find some of them quite difficult to accept, and some others very repulsing (the author's attitude towards the natural environment was revolting, for example).
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book was more a tour of the utopian world than it was a story. I found it interesting as a social critique, but didn't really feel as though I was reading a novel. Large portions of the book slide into a writing style that felt like I was reading an essay. There is little to no plot and no real character development. For purposes of being able to have an excellent platform with which to discuss social issues upon, I would recommend reading this book. Otherwise, I'd say pass on it. ...more
Nadezhda Vadko
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For those who likes or want to read about Utopia, it is a very good choice. I like to read fiction but this book I was reading not because of fiction ideas. I would love to have it in school and be able to discuss it back that days. Can definitely recommend - this Utopia story.
Charlie Hobbs
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very similar stamp as A Modern Utopia but still worth the read for any HG fans. I'd like to see his works in chronological order and see his political evolution morphing and shaping his narratives throughout. Still in awe of this man's talent. Another great read. ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was interesting but ended rather abruptly.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Not a bad book, per se, I just have a hard time with Wells. The story is brilliant, but his writing style makes it hard to stay involved in.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Great book that inspires us to believe in a even better future
Kirill Khalitov
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very impressive vision of pure and idyll world where I want live!
It's a starting point to not less meaningful work in this genre by Ivan Efremov.
Petra Hyklova
Everything is awesome and beautiful. You expect some kind of final punchline, some error in the perfect ways... and it never comes.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Already feels like one of my top books of 2021. So many beautiful passages.
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although set as a novel, Men Like Gods is a discourse on human society (as constituted in the aftermath of WWI) in contrast with that of a hypothetical Utopia of a parallel universe. Much of the first half of the book is conducted almost as a Platonic dialogue on issues in political science and sociology. To me, it seems to tread a neutral ground between optimism and pessimism. Perhaps his hopes for humanity were tempered by the recent Great War and Russian Revolution. But, historical context as ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. Who knew...? A light grew stronger within me now.
Rupert Owen
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fine novel presenting a mirrored view of humanity through the reflection of an ideal world. In this book Wells pits his earthly characters as infectious agents in an advanced civilisation that has itself progressed beyond what they refer to as 'The Age of Confusion", this age of confusion is a reference to earthly politics, social moors, sex, religion, education, industrialisation, and capitalism, to name a few of the more discussed references in the novel. In my opinion this world presented b ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book. Towards the end of his career, Wells write this book, in which he outlined his vision of Utopia. You follow an Englishman as he and 8 other Europeans are accidentally sucked into an alternate dimension in which the inhabitants are humans who are roughly 3,000 years ahead of our times. Wells uses the protagonist, Barnstaple, to project his dream of a future in which people have moved beyond what he considered the senseless preoccupations of our day: economic and military competi ...more
The passionate attachments between men and women are contacts rather than ties: habit and sentiment no longer get in their deadly work, here men are like gods indeed, very cerebral gods.Herbert George Wells (1866–1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction ...more
Dave T
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm always a sucker for a utopian book, and I felt this one was a pretty good one but didn't really stand out from the crowd.

On the plus point the writing was very often humourus, the main character (Mr. Barnstaple) was incredibly likeable and the utopia was illustrated with such colour and detail, I felt too much focus on the politics of the 1920's (time it was wrote) kept me tuning out of a other wise wonderful storyline.

Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was iffy about this at the beginning but I ended up really appreciating the story of a man thrust into a Utopian future. Ultimately, I think it was about the despair Wells felt at the end of WWI when whatever hopes he had for the future were disappointed. And yet, it is filled with his optimism and determination that education and science could create a perfect society. Goofy and profound, in its way.
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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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