Thursday, 20 March 2014

Time Travel

TITLE: The Time Machine
AUTHOR: H.G. Wells
RATING:  (3/5)


I don't read much science fiction, but whenever I read a sci-fi book I always tell myself that I'm going to start picking up more of the genre. I love dystopia so I assume it's a sort of step up from that. I just finished reading the last book in the Maze Runner Series and I was surprised about how science-fiction-like that turned out to be! I'm going to be writing a review of that soon.

I recently read The Time Machine by HG Wells for something called Classics Club started by ScottReadsBooks. The premise is that we read a classic each month and come together and talk about it, so I'm going to be writing a quick review of The Time Machine for this. If you want to take part in it then I'll put links and stuff at the bottom of this post.

The Time Machine is a really great read. It's one of those books that when you open it and start reading it, you realise that there's more packed into it than you first thought. But it doesn't take anything away from the read, in fact it makes it a lot more exciting. In this book, a man simply called the 'Time Traveller' ends up way, way into the future with a race called the Eloi and the Morlocks. Through-out the book we begin to understand how they both descended from humans, and how the social structure and hierarchies have been formed based on the evolution of each creature. So it's scientific, but it also touches on social aspects which I think was important for this novel to work.

The structure of this novel was interesting. It's told by an unnamed narrator who is hearing the story of the Time Traveller's journey in a large speech, meaning it reads almost like memoir. I think it really works in this way because it feels like Wells is directly talking to us. Therefore the things that happen shock us more, we have better reactions to them, and it develops a better sense of atmosphere. Plus, it avoids the confusion of which character is where and in what time era which could have easily happened here.

I'm really happy to say that HG Wells is an absolutely brilliant writer. The only other novel of his I've read is War of the Worlds which scared me so much I shudder to think and talk about it, so it was nice to actually read something of his which I could appreciate and enjoy without feeling like I was going to weep from fear. Wells is able to keep up a good pace with plenty of problems and questions, as well as developing and engaging and descriptive writing style which I look for in a lot of writing. I think he's quite underrated when people think about brilliant classic authors, in my opinion he is one of the best - he can create atmosphere effortlessly.

The plot, however, seemed to dwindle at times. Because there was a language barrier between the Time Traveller and the Eloi there was very little speech through-out the story, meaning it was literally just paragraph after paragraph which became quite heavy after an hour or so of reading. I don't know whether this was just me though, I'd previously read a load of fast-paced books which might have made this seem slower, but because it's such a short book I don't think it means it was necessarily bad.

So overall, it was a really great book and I'm happy I was able to get a better feel for Wells' writing. I'm going to be writing a review of the Maze Runner soon too, in celebration of the newly released trailer which is amazing!

Thanks for reading,
Rachel x

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