Honestly? Not my favorite. I really had high hopes for The Time Machine, but if it had been much longer (it’s very short – only about 100 pages) I’m not sure I would have pushed through. It isn’t that it is difficult to read, it just really didn’t grab my attention. For one, I am not a huge fan of the narrator style that H.G. Wells used. Even though the true narrator is listening to the time traveller’s story, the time traveller talks for nearly the entire novel and it is easy to forget that he is not narrating.
This style is similar (if not the same, I forget) as the one used in Heart of Darkness which was definitely not my favorite read of 2017. I suppose I find it fairly boring when there is little character interaction and that is definitely the case in The Time Machine. The Eloi and the wretched Morlocks are the species of the future, neither of which speak the English we know today. Due to this, the interactions we see throughout the novel are very rudimentary.
My second complaint is that I really didn’t feel intellectually challenged by the end of the story. A book about the future (especially a future as far out as is featured in this novel – A.D. 802,701) has so much potential to make the reader really question the current state of affairs and where our country/planet is going, but I really didn’t find myself feeling enlightened or thoughtful by the end. Sure, there were definitely some things to reflect on by the end, but I guess I just had my hopes up for more.
On the bright side, it was easy to read which was fairly unexpected given it was published in 1895. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was published only four years later in 1899 and was far more difficult. Some people may enjoy feeling challenged by the reading level, but as mentioned above, I would much rather be challenged in what the book is trying to convey than what a particular word means.
I guess books written pre 1900 are just not to my liking. We can blame it on me being an ignorant millennial that needs more thrill and excitement out of novels than books pre 1900 can provide. If books are going to compete with my kickass technology, I need a little more pizzazz.
(I’m mostly kidding for anyone that doesn’t get online sarcasm…)
I may read H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man next considering it came in a kindle bundle with The Time Machine even though it wasn’t originally on my list (not to be confused with Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison) but we’ll see…