The Time Machine Review

July 13, 2012

Now we move on to The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

A random confession — the entire time I was reading this book I kept picturing the time machine and Morlocks from Big Bang Theory, which was mildly distracting, especially in the beginning when I hadn’t gotten anywhere near that part of the book yet.

I honestly don’t even know how to begin reviewing something that is so much a part of classic science-fiction literature (or really just the Western Canon in general)… It was amazing, and I’m kind of embarrassed that it took me this long to read it.

I guess I’m not a huge sci-fi fan when it comes to literature, so that could be part of the reason. In any case, I picked upThe Time Machine from the library intending to read it for a Goodreads group read, but was then caught up in the insanity of packing and losing power and packing some more that I never actually participated in the discussions. I did, amongst all that chaos, finish the book though (no power = no TV, therefore more reading).  The Time Traveller’s assumptions about the inevitable evolution of humanity and society were very interesting. I had to wonder how much was based on his hopes and political views and how much on observation. Obviously, his conclusions changed as he had more time to wander and observe, but it presented an interesting picture of Wells’s views and politics of the present day.

I really enjoyed the detailed description that the Time Traveller provides his listeners (and therefore readers), but for whatever reason I had some difficulty actually picturing the landscape and the people in particular. Usually I am able to draw up a version in my mind, even with very little description of the surroundings, but in this case I found the opposite to be true. Every time I mentally oriented myself, another description threw me off balance. As far as I can tell though, I’m the only one who has had this particular problem, so perhaps I’m just gifted that way.

I think that The Time Machine is definitely up for re-reading if I ever get my New York Public Library card. It is apparently quite the ordeal. I need multiple forms of ID/proof of residence. I don’t understand why it is so difficult to get a plastic card that gives me access to free books. They give them to children! Why am I, as a non-native New Yorker, less trustworthy than a small child? The bureaucracy here is a nightmare.


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