Who wrote this book and when?
H.G. Wells penned this novel to be published in 1895.
Has there been a movie made of it?
Two so far – one in 1960 and one terrible version in 2001.
Who are the main characters?
The Narrator – who is one of the Time Traveler’s friends
The Time Traveller – pretty self explanatory, right?
Weena – one of the Eloi, she is saved by the Time Traveller
The Morlocks – the underground race of the future
The Eloi – the above ground race of the future
The Time Traveller’s friends – those he narrates the story to (the Medical Man, Psychologist, Editor, Journalist, the Silent Man, etc)
What’s it about?
This story is told in a roundabout narration. As the Time Traveller is telling his tale to the narrator, the narrator is dictating it to us. He first shows his friends a miniature working replica of his time machine which he sends into the future. They do not believe him, so he shows him his real, unfinished machine. They still refuse to believe him, but indulge him.
The following week, all of the Time Traveler’s friends are invited back for dinner at his request. They arrive to find the Time Traveller missing but dinner all prepared for them. They sit down to eat and inevitably begin speculation on his whereabouts which inevitably leads to them mocking his time traveling ideas. At this point, the Time Traveller himself enters. His clothes are tattered, his face is haggard, and his demeanor is defeated. Despite his friends’ surprise and interrogations, the Time Traveller demands food before telling his story. So the guests continue their meal, but the mood is more anticipatory and subdued at the same time.
The Time Traveller finally sits down and begins his story – asking his comrades not to interrupt him with questions until after he is finished and has had time to rest. The tale he tells them involves the childlike Eloi and the horrific Morlocks and is thorougly unbelievable and plausible at the same time.
Why is this story a classic?
H.G. Wells is the master of science fiction and technological fantasy stories. His no nonsense way of describing his notion of the future makes it believable. He also was the first author to write about time travel in any way, shape, or form – thus starting a mini genre all on his own.
Why should I read this book?
It’s a classic, it’s not hard, and it’s entertaining despite the fact it was written over 100 years ago.
Has it won any awards?
No, but it should have.
“I grieved to think how brief the dream of the human intellect had been. It had committed suicide.” – p 80
Don’t watch the Guy Pierce version of this movie. It stinks.
To be honest, I was a little disappointed with this book after watching the 1960’s version of the movie. *hangs head* I think if I had read the book first I would have enjoyed it more. But it didn’t happen that way. The Morlocks were more terrifying to me while reading the book – probably because they were left up to my imagination – and I felt more sympathy towards Weena. I just missed having him visit other times than just the very very very far in the future.