The Time Machine

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Penguin Publishing Group, Dec 15, 1976
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Wells touches gently on time travel as a notion, but mostly The Time Machine is about the terminal future he sees for mankind: His nameless time traveler ventures to the world that will be 802,701 A.D., And there he finds mankind divided among the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi are a gentle, winsome, idle race, who do not labor; the Morlocks, in contrast, are a barbaric race -- who use the Eloi for food. It's a grim vision, and a gripping one. There's a reason that The Time Machine has become a classic.

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About the author (1976)

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady's maid. Although "Bertie" left school at fourteen to become a draper's apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893. In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher's salary. His other "scientific romances"--The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908)--won him distinction as the father of science fiction.

Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase "the war that will end war" to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: "Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me."

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