Friday, November 9, 2012

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Okay. Honestly? I didn't like it. And I don't feel guilty about it one tiny bit.

I probably wouldn't even have finished it, despite the fact that it's short enough to be a novella, except I had to for a class. It served mainly as a reminder that I do not like science fiction.

I didn't like the time traveler--self-serving, self-righteous, superior, overly restless, condescending, violent, and know-it-all. I'm not sure that's really the impression Wells wanted his readers to have of the time traveler, but I couldn't see much good in him. The Eloi were basically good because they were sort of like him and he thought they were beautiful (even though they were pitiful and stupid, according to him). The Morlocks were obviously evil, because...uhhhh...because they were ugly. And because they raised other species for food. (Oh, wait. Where have I heard of that before?)

Anyway, there were a lot of things to dislike about this book--far more than I've mentioned--but I should really admit that the main reason I disliked it was that it's sci-fi which just isn't my cup of tea.

Despite the fact that I didn't really enjoy this book, there were some interesting things about it:

  • It was one of the first ever science fiction books. So I had the marvelous opportunity to go right down to the roots of a genre I dislike. 
  • The time traveler's opinions of the Eloi and the Morlocks could very well be a representation of the way the British viewed natives of their colonies, which is an interesting way to look at the story. 
  • Even though the main character is supremely annoying, sometimes supremely annoying characters can be interesting. And...that's all I have to say about that. 
  • For me personally, it was interesting to get a look at the many differences in modern writing as opposed to Victorian writing, which I've been studying for quite some time in my class. 
Well, that's the short life of that bullet list. (I'm becoming rather attached to bullet lists...why is that?) Anyway, with all due respect to Mr. Wells, this book is simply not the sort I like to read. But if you like sci-fi, you might be interested to read one of the books that started it all.


  1. Wow, sorry I'm writing a million comments. I hated this book as well. I found it completely lifeless, devoid of all human feeling. I have a hard time enjoying any book that is all plot and no character development and relationships. This is one instance where the movie is far superior to the book I think!

    1. No need to be sorry; I love comments! And I totally agree. I think the author was more concerned with his agenda than with good writing, which definitely isn't what I look for in a book.

    2. Haha, :) that's not what I look for either!