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Review: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time MachineThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another imaginative sci-fi classic from H.G. Wells. A time traveler visits the year 802,701 AD to discover that humanity has conquered nature and achieved social and economic perfection. Pests and disease have been eradicated, and the planet is a peaceful garden. However, all is not well for humanity.

The human race has split into the capitalist haves (Eloi) and the laboring have nots (Morlocks). The Eloi are descendants of humans that have atrophied due to their lack of physical work. These surface dwellers only play, swim, and eat fruit; they don’t produce or trade goods. Their utter ignorance and laziness irritates me.

The time traveler’s journey teaches him that hardship and freedom are the driving forces behind humanity’s intelligence and ingenuity. He concludes that “we are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.”

I liked Wells’ description of how the trees, buildings, and Earth’s changing surface looked to the time traveler as time passed rapidly. I also liked the ancient museum showcasing humanity’s discoveries and inventions. Before returning home, the time traveler witnesses the cold desolation of Earth at its end in 30 million AD.

I enjoyed H.G. WellsThe War of the Worlds, so I wasn’t surprised that I liked this one. I listened to the free Librivox audiobook.

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