The Time Machine

By H. G. Wells

A scientist creates a time-machine and travels far into the future


This has been my first fiction book after a long pause, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. As a university student I remember reading Arthur Clarke’s novels and dreaming of the future, what it would be like. And The Time Machine brought me back those memories again. I also loved the almost long-lost feeling of not wanting to stop reading because it was so interesting.

The book raises some interesting questions like where does capitalism and a never-ending desire to buy more goods and live an ever more comfortable life leads us. One option, as the author says, could be that we eventually stop at any progress and just start enjoying life all day every day. There won’t be any problems getting food, clothes, or other necessities, there won’t be any work needed. Think of people as pets, or livestock, which are enjoying the grass and shelter. In the absence of external risk factors we stop evolving, and it seems that dreaming too, which reminded me Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile.

While of absolutely no importance, but I quite enjoyed the way the story is told: it is told not by the main character referred to as simply time traveller, but instead by a friend of his who came to listen to this amazing story. This reminded me of The Great Gatsby where the main character being Gatsby himself, but the story is told by a supporting character.

How I discovered it?

I listened to an episode of In Our Time podcast which discussed The Time Machine.

How it changed me

I cannot really say that it changed me (yet), but it made me crave for more fiction books. I want to dream, I want to come back to my inner child and think of unthinkable, about the new worlds, new technology. I want to read exciting stories.

My top quotes

Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no need of change.

We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.

Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough - as most wrong theories are!

This reminded of how people frequently misuse Occam’s razor and choose the simplest explanations as the ultimate truth.

The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness.