The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells—About The Destination, Not The Journey

Since the upcoming Sparrow book will feature time travel, I thought I would prepare myself by reading a time travel classic.

I’ve always been a fan of H.G. Wells, but to be honest, most of my experience has been with movie adaptations. I figured it was time to read one of his classic books, The Time Machine.

It was a short read, so I’m giving you a short review! Check it out!

The Synopsis

The majority of this story is told by the unnamed Time Traveler, who, after inventing a time machine, invites several of his unnamed associates over for a lengthy storytime.

The Time Traveller has just returned from a trip to the future, approximately 800 millenia into the future. At this point in time, mankind as we know it has disappeared, and sentient life has evolved into two separate races: the Eloi and the Morlocks.


The Eloi, who appear to have evolved from a comfortable upper class, live in peace and naivete on the surface, while the working class appears to have evolved into a violent underground race of cannibals, the Morlocks.

The Time Traveller explores this strange new culture, and ends up having his time machine confiscated. Before he can retrieve it, he must try to understand this strange new binary culture.

The Analysis

Whereas a reader might expect some discussion about time travel, or about physics, from such a renowned sci-fi author, this book has little of that.

Rather, it's an interesting glimpse backwards in time, just as the main character goes forward in time. Readers in the 21st century can look back and see what was important in the minds of our earliest sci-fi creators; not the particulars of time travel, but the fascination of the future, the evolution of mankind and society.

It’s a not-so-subtle commentary on class distinctions from a generation that viewed the class split in an entirely different way. For this reason, I think the story fits perfectly into our criteria for science fiction.

The Recommendation: 4 / 5 Stars.

This is a short review, for a short sci-fi novella.

The Time Machine is a great story, but lacks relevance in today’s society, as well as lacking other elements of a great story, such as character development and plot pacing. The descriptiveness is great, and the tension is real, and overall the book captures the imagination.

Have you read The Time Machine or any other H.G. Wells books? Which ones do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe for future book reviews and updates about RetConMan, the upcoming Sparrow time travel story!

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