INTRODUCTION: H.G. Wells The Time Machine is one of those classic novels that is always on some list as a “Must read”. I read it as a child and really enjoyed it, but I decided to give it a refresh and see if it was really worthwhile in this modern age.
It’s the 1800’s and a man creates a time machine, so this novel is steampunk and sci-fi.
Prose isn’t as great as I remembered it. It has its moments but it really falls short, especially in comparison to other books of its time frame. I know it was a normal thing back then to not include faces in Gothic horror novels and while this isn’t gothic horror, he doesn’t really give us anything but a description that is barley sufficient for a police sketch artist.
The characters all fall flat. Wells couldn’t be bothered to even give them names, nor really develop them at all. They’re all just kind of there and the one Eloi that is mentioned in detail, also happens to be childlike by Wells’ own description.
DIALOGUE: Fantastic and about all that is really worthwhile about this book.
SUBTEXT: In today’s day and age, it is indubitably about the left (Eloi) vs the Right (Morlock) and is more relevant through a Trump American than it was when it was first published.
I was hoping this book would hold up in my adult years as I fondly remember it, but it just doesn’t hold up to snuff. It is boring, but thankfully it is such a short read that would could let your child enjoy it and they would at least pick up some good vocabulary. Besides not being that good, it boarder lines the pedophiliac in nature, which, given Lewis Carroll among others, wouldn’t of been outside the realm of normal. I mean, an adult man who intended to kidnap a female Eloi and bring her back to his time and has the demeanor of a child? Come the fuck on, it doesn’t get more pedophilic than that! I don’t think I am reading too much into that at all and sadly, it is something that is never discussed about this book. Even worse, she is more developed in terms of looks than anyone, which is ironic, given the near age of the child would make her extremely underdeveloped. Sure, you could be pollyannaish and think he just wanted to be a dad, but why steal the Eloi? Really fucked up shit that I am shocked no one picked up on, until now. I am shocked I missed that as a child, but regardless, the only thing this book really has going for it is the discussion about the two distinct races, which, in today’s day and age, which more relevant than ever, as it seems like Wells was quite prescient about the potential for two diverges on the races and one look at the divide of this country, left and right, it is hard to not see the Left as Eloi and the Right as Morlock. The majority of Trump supporters are classic blue collar labors, whom sole reason for Trump is that he somehow understands them and wants to bring back these shitty industries, like coal. They feel unheard by the Eloi or Elites as they call them and that is a sad thing, because not only do they lack a sense of irony when they toss such piffle out, but they’re mal-adaptable malcontents. Which, while I can sympathize with the malcontent part, the anti-intellectualism aspect is a horrible way to live. So in that regard, this book is fantastic, but the rest of it is just plain lousy that one has to wonder why the fuck it is a classic.
2 ½ out 5.