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The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds

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Gathered together in one hardcover volume: three timeless novels from the founding father of science fiction. The first great novel to imagine time travel, The Time Machine (1895) follows its scientist narrator on an incredible journey that takes him finally to Earth’s last moments—and perhaps his own. The scientist who discovers how to transform himself in The Invisible Ma Gathered together in one hardcover volume: three timeless novels from the founding father of science fiction. The first great novel to imagine time travel, The Time Machine (1895) follows its scientist narrator on an incredible journey that takes him finally to Earth’s last moments—and perhaps his own. The scientist who discovers how to transform himself in The Invisible Man (1897) will also discover, too late, that he has become unmoored from society and from his own sanity. The War of the Worlds (1898)—the seminal masterpiece of alien invasion adapted by Orson Welles for his notorious 1938 radio drama, and subsequently by several filmmakers—imagines a fierce race of Martians who devastate Earth and feed on their human victims while their voracious vegetation, the red weed, spreads over the ruined planet. Here are three classic science fiction novels that, more than a century after their original publication, show no sign of losing their grip on readers’ imaginations.


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Gathered together in one hardcover volume: three timeless novels from the founding father of science fiction. The first great novel to imagine time travel, The Time Machine (1895) follows its scientist narrator on an incredible journey that takes him finally to Earth’s last moments—and perhaps his own. The scientist who discovers how to transform himself in The Invisible Ma Gathered together in one hardcover volume: three timeless novels from the founding father of science fiction. The first great novel to imagine time travel, The Time Machine (1895) follows its scientist narrator on an incredible journey that takes him finally to Earth’s last moments—and perhaps his own. The scientist who discovers how to transform himself in The Invisible Man (1897) will also discover, too late, that he has become unmoored from society and from his own sanity. The War of the Worlds (1898)—the seminal masterpiece of alien invasion adapted by Orson Welles for his notorious 1938 radio drama, and subsequently by several filmmakers—imagines a fierce race of Martians who devastate Earth and feed on their human victims while their voracious vegetation, the red weed, spreads over the ruined planet. Here are three classic science fiction novels that, more than a century after their original publication, show no sign of losing their grip on readers’ imaginations.

30 review for The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Wetenkamp

    I am wrestling with how to review omnibus editions of books. I want my list of books I've read in Goodreads to be the actual editions of the books I read, but this makes it difficult when it's an omnibus. Anyway, at least for now, this review is only for The Time Machine. This is a fantastic story on its own, and even more impressive when considering its place in time. Wells' present day characters are very human and relatable; something I don't always get from authors from the past. The set up b I am wrestling with how to review omnibus editions of books. I want my list of books I've read in Goodreads to be the actual editions of the books I read, but this makes it difficult when it's an omnibus. Anyway, at least for now, this review is only for The Time Machine. This is a fantastic story on its own, and even more impressive when considering its place in time. Wells' present day characters are very human and relatable; something I don't always get from authors from the past. The set up before the main story begins is great and strikes me as an example of his proficiency as an author. The main story is told well, and there are plenty of mysteries that kept me turning the pages. His ideas of what the future could hold, while a little far fetched (but who am I to say what is probable, and anyway, I think "far fetched" literally means thinking far into the future where no man can actually know!), are interesting and not without warrant. The story went on a little longer than I thought it should have. Don't get me wrong, it was a short book, but at a certain point I pretty much knew what to expect and felt like I was just getting through some pages to get to the conclusion. The proof of his adventure is perfectly balanced on the edge of empirical vs anecdotal evidence so as to leave you wondering. Two more things without spoiling anything - actually I already spoiled #1 so whatever: 1) I am happy about the direction in time that was chosen for the story. Prior to reading, I really had no idea how the coin flip would turn out, 2) I am flabbergasted by the enormity of the distance which was travelled in that direction (for the main story). This may be due to another time travel story I read in my Book of Fantasy in which I believe a mere 100 years are travelled.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    War of the Worlds - 5 Invisible Man - 3 The Time Machine - 4

  3. 4 out of 5

    Saskia (Smitie)

    De Tijdmachine: ** Het minste van de 3 verhalen wat mij betreft. Het idee van tijdreizen is wel tof, maar de tijdreiziger is een irritant personage en de verre toekomst is verre van interessant. De onzichtbare man: ***** Mijn favoriete verhaal van de 3. De onzichtbare man doet er alles aan om weer zichtbaar te worden, maar gaat tot steeds verdere extremen om zijn doel te bereiken. Er zit humor en spannende momenten in. De oorlog der werelden: **** De hele aanval van de aliens is goed beschreven en je De Tijdmachine: ** Het minste van de 3 verhalen wat mij betreft. Het idee van tijdreizen is wel tof, maar de tijdreiziger is een irritant personage en de verre toekomst is verre van interessant. De onzichtbare man: ***** Mijn favoriete verhaal van de 3. De onzichtbare man doet er alles aan om weer zichtbaar te worden, maar gaat tot steeds verdere extremen om zijn doel te bereiken. Er zit humor en spannende momenten in. De oorlog der werelden: **** De hele aanval van de aliens is goed beschreven en je voelt de machteloosheid van de mensen tegenover de grote marsmachines. Het einde was wel een beetje gehaast.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ken Ryu

    H.G. Wells is considered a pioneer of sci-fi. These three short novels comprise three of his first books. Wells is a master of suspense. His dark themes and ominous stories are reminiscent of Poe. Unlike Verne, where the characters are meeting with one after another fantastical situations, Wells' books are less action-based. There is more introspection as the characters enter supernatural scenarios. The stories share more elements of monster stories than what today's reader thinks of as sci-fi. H.G. Wells is considered a pioneer of sci-fi. These three short novels comprise three of his first books. Wells is a master of suspense. His dark themes and ominous stories are reminiscent of Poe. Unlike Verne, where the characters are meeting with one after another fantastical situations, Wells' books are less action-based. There is more introspection as the characters enter supernatural scenarios. The stories share more elements of monster stories than what today's reader thinks of as sci-fi. For example, "The Invisible Man" has more in common with "Frankenstein" than "Dune" or "The Martian Chronicles". Wells grew up in England during the peak of British Imperialism. In many of his stories he alludes to the atrocities committed by the British on the indigenous people of their colonial holdings. In "The War of the Worlds", Englishmen get a taste of their own medicine as the superior Martians wreak destruction, death and domination over the earthlings. "The Time Machine" is a classic stranger in a strange land story. Again, British Imperialism is an underlying theme as the time traveler befriends the friendly Eloi and battles the dark and cannibalistic Morlocks. "The Invisible Man", like Shelley's Frankenstein, is a cautionary tale for humans using science to alter nature. The main character Griffin misjudges the problems of his invisibility discovery. He not only becomes physically monstrous, he also loses his mind and enters into monomaniacal fantasies. Wells was concerned with the rapid industrialization and technology advancements of his time. He did not trust that human judgement could fully appreciate the dangers of modernization. He could visualize these unintended disasters all to clearly. Wells predicted fleets of airships raining bombs and destruction from above years before the airplane was ever used for such a purpose. Would Wells be amazed at today's technologically advanced world, or would he be even more concerned with potential catastrophic possibilities such as nuclear holocaust or cyber-warfare? Based on his tendency towards pessimism, it is likely he would be fearful of rouge AI machines and genetic engineering mutations. Wells knows how to write a frightening and entertaining distopic story. All sci-fi stories have aging problems. Predictions and scientific theories end up far off course. Wells books do not escape these problems. As much of the suspense is built on the psychological thoughts of the characters, the reader can suspend their disbelief of the faulty supernatural phenomena and still enjoy these novels.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jadrien Douglas

    I liked The Invisible Man far more than The Time Machine

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    The Grandfather of sci fi, his books are as compelling now as they must have been when first released. Some of the language is slightly archaic but still makes for as thrilling read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Panks

    G

  8. 4 out of 5

    Teri

    I read this mainly for "The Time Machine," but it was my least favorite of the three books. "The Invisible Man" was fascinating and I still find myself thinking about it a couple of weeks later. "The War of the Worlds" had an interesting take on aliens. I'm glad I finally got around to these early examples of sci-fi. Very fun to read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    The Time Machine was intriguing because of the sociology aspects of it. The Invisible Man is a troubling tale that I had nightmares about and The War of the World's made me thankful for all the bacteria and diseases we have.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Varad

    I didn't like The Invisible Man as much I liked War of the Worlds and The Time Machine because the story is even more elementary than it is in those books, and because the conceit at its heart isn't as interesting. As is usual with Wells, the story he tells is a cautionary tale. Its message: the gifts of science cannot overcome the frailties of men's moral and physical characters. There is a section about two thirds of the way through the book where the antihero of the story, Griffin, the Invisib I didn't like The Invisible Man as much I liked War of the Worlds and The Time Machine because the story is even more elementary than it is in those books, and because the conceit at its heart isn't as interesting. As is usual with Wells, the story he tells is a cautionary tale. Its message: the gifts of science cannot overcome the frailties of men's moral and physical characters. There is a section about two thirds of the way through the book where the antihero of the story, Griffin, the Invisible Man, tells a former schoolmate just how paltry the benefits he has gained from his new power have turned out to be. His invisibility means he must go about naked. But this renders him vulnerable to the environment: if it rains he must take shelter lest his outline be seen and he be discovered. If it is cold, he freezes. His feet are bare, so they take considerable abuse. Mud clings to him and dogs still notice his scent, which has gone nowhere. And he still leaves footprints in mud or if anything has stuck to his soles. As with the time traveler in The Time Machine forgetting to bring any equipment with him, such as a camera, the Invisible Man has been caught unawares by his own shortsightedness. "Foolish as it seems to me now, I had not reckoned that, transparent or not, I was still amenable to the weather and all its consequences" (191). Science is only what those who wield it make of it. If they are good, it is good. But if they are immoral, so will it be. Griffin is maniacal. The account of his pursuit of invisibility he gives to his schoolmate, Dr. Kemp, makes this clear. He is profoundly arrogant, perhaps a bit neurotic. Like anyone who would steal fire from the gods, the gods will punish him. His hubris meets its nemesis, and he begins to go mad as the gods work to destroy him. Unable to reverse his invisibility, he slowly becomes unhinged. In the end he dreams only of using his power to usher in a reign of terror over the English countryside. But even here the best he can do is some petty thefts and mean-spirited pranks. He is only one man, and his invisibility has drawbacks which make a reign of terror little more than obnoxious, albeit frightening, bullying. Griffin's victims aren't much better. If he's a bully, they're buffoons and bumpkins. They defeat him in the end, but mostly through force of numbers and Griffin's wrath getting the better of him. He is probably insane by the end of the novel, though a person who devotes his life to discovering the secret of invisibility is probably some way down the path of insanity already. The book, despite my criticisms, is entertaining. The early part, where Griffin barges into a village hotel and sets himself as the guest from hell, are well done. Wells does a fine job portraying Griffin's impetuosity and imperiousness and the villagers' reactions to this new and foreboding object of fascination. Griffin is, for Wells, a reasonably well developed character. He has clear motives and a distinct personality. It just doesn't add up to much. It's a nice story. But no more. Wells' "scientific romances" have always been more important for what they are than how they are. What they are, are landmarks of literature. This one, though, is a little less imposing than its brethren. Posted 3 April 2015

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reese

    In H.g. Wells novel, War Of The Worlds, it gives you so many different types of content to read about. Aliens and spaceships are something that most people are not used to reading about. Not many people know about extraterrestrial life and even though this is fiction it is still wrote in a way that makes it seem as though it could be real. Within the first few chapters you start to realize that an alien invasion is happening and you’re not expecting how they start out. H.G. Wells was for the mo In H.g. Wells novel, War Of The Worlds, it gives you so many different types of content to read about. Aliens and spaceships are something that most people are not used to reading about. Not many people know about extraterrestrial life and even though this is fiction it is still wrote in a way that makes it seem as though it could be real. Within the first few chapters you start to realize that an alien invasion is happening and you’re not expecting how they start out. H.G. Wells was for the most part a science fiction author. In this novel, in my opinion, he gives his idea of what the possible future could hold for humanity. At the time when this novel was released people did not know or really even think about aliens but Wells knew that maybe there was a chance for an alien invasion at anytime. I find the talk of aliens and extraterrestrial life interesting. Just thinking about different life forms possibly somewhere else in our galaxy is absolutely crazy to me. One thing that I immediately thought about while reading this book is, if something like this were to actually happen in today's society, how would people react to it? Would we immediately go to war with the aliens, or would we try and communicate with them and learn more about them? This aspect of the book gives the reader’s something to think about while reading this novel. Another feature of this book I liked, was the alien spaceships and the weapons and arsenal that they were equipped with. At first the humans did not know how to deal with their weapons but eventually they knew how to deal with it. Which raises a couple questions. If aliens were to invade the world today, would we know how to deal with their weapons? Would we even know how to defend or disable the weapons? An aspect of this book that I did not like though. Is that in almost any book where there is a tragedy, there is always a “happy” ending or an ending that leaves you feeling like the outcome was good. In this book however it did not end like that. You never get a sense that the humans really won but more just got rid of the aliens for a while. H.G. Wells War Of The Worlds may be science fiction but it definitely raises some questions about extraterrestrial life that are worth thinking about.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Arya

    From this novel, I read its 1ST story, The Time Machine, who, in the book, is only referred to as the Time Traveler. I'm not sure if his actual name was ever mentioned. It was the only 1 of H.G. Wells's edition that I could find with this story in it. The story is about a noble man (the Time Traveler), rather a scientist, who lives in what's now a year of the past. On a cold winter's night, he sits by the hearth in his house, having an intelligent conversation with some old acquaintances, trying From this novel, I read its 1ST story, The Time Machine, who, in the book, is only referred to as the Time Traveler. I'm not sure if his actual name was ever mentioned. It was the only 1 of H.G. Wells's edition that I could find with this story in it. The story is about a noble man (the Time Traveler), rather a scientist, who lives in what's now a year of the past. On a cold winter's night, he sits by the hearth in his house, having an intelligent conversation with some old acquaintances, trying to answer the unanswerable. Can a cube exist, if it has all 3 dimensions but it lasts for no time at all? Later, the Time Traveler claims to have accomplished the greatest success since the invention of the wheel. Time travel (to visit the past, the present, & the future). Now who saw that coming? However, the time traveler's friends (the Psychologist, the Medical Man, the Editor, & etc) all laugh at him, even after he shows them his working model of a time machine. His maid, Mrs. Watchett doesn't seem too keen on the idea, either. The only person who truly believes him is his dearest friend, Mr. Filby (perhaps his only friend of the time who actually possesses a real name aside from his maid). Soon, the Time Traveler disappeared for a week only to return with the most ridiculous anecdote ever told of his travels. Tales of visiting the distant future & observing the pitiful fate of all mankind. Divided into 2 groups; the Morlocks & the Eloi. For all he knows, it could've just been a mere dream. His only proof; a bunch of withered white flowers (supposedly well evolved & adapted), which he claims was given to him by Weena. An enchanting woman (an Eloi) of the future. Will you believe in the Time Travelers words? I've rated this classic novel 5 stars. The author put a great deal of imagination into portraying mankind's sad dystopian future. Also, I enjoyed his application of ideas from real science in plot. You'd think that traveling through time actually was possible. But the story should also be taken as an omen for us to make better of our future in the present by not repeating the mistakes from our past. Remember, the future is now!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Unfortunately, I find myself tiring of H.G. Wells and thus my reading pace is slowed. This combined with that I will be leaving the state in which this library book is from means that I will not be able to finish the third and final book within this collection: The War of the Worlds. Hence why this book is in the "did-not-finish" shelf. First I will address The Time Machine and then I will discuss The Invisible Man. The Time Machine follows the narration of the Time Traveler to his guests, whic Unfortunately, I find myself tiring of H.G. Wells and thus my reading pace is slowed. This combined with that I will be leaving the state in which this library book is from means that I will not be able to finish the third and final book within this collection: The War of the Worlds. Hence why this book is in the "did-not-finish" shelf. First I will address The Time Machine and then I will discuss The Invisible Man. The Time Machine follows the narration of the Time Traveler to his guests, which is about -- you guessed it-- his time travels. The short novel (approximately 86 pages) begins quite slowly with the Time Traveler expressing his excitement over his time machine to his unbelieving guests. About 15 pages later the plot plods heads into the meat of the story: the Time Traveler's adventure. This too, can be slow to read and somewhat dense in description. But, the novel becomes engaging once the scene is set (i.e. once the Eloi have been developed and the mysterious Morlocks introduced). The Invisible Man is even more so slow in its pace. At 236 pages, this becomes tiresome rather fast. However, if you can reach page 130, you can and should finish it. This is because the first 130 pages center around the general public learning about how the Invisible Man is, in fact, invisible! Fancy that. ;) While I understand that this would take a while for the general public in the novel to accept, as a reader, waiting this long is agonizing because nothing of importance happens in those 130 pages. But once a reader crosses this 130 page threshold, the novel finally begins to become engaging. Both books are best suited for only science fiction fans-- while groundbreaking as the arguably first science fiction novels, they also carry the common characteristics of their time by being slow-paced, long-winded, and overly descriptive compared to what we expect as modern readers.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    I had never read "The War of the Worlds" before, which given my love of sci-fi and apocalyptic literature was an oversight. Embarrassingly I didn't really know the time period of HG Wells - it's almost as if the Martians landed in the first season of Downton Abbey. I really enjoyed reading it and comparing it to the movie versions. The other two tales, I'm glad to have read, but Margaret Drabble's introduction is correct when she talks about how implausible they are from a scientific point of vi I had never read "The War of the Worlds" before, which given my love of sci-fi and apocalyptic literature was an oversight. Embarrassingly I didn't really know the time period of HG Wells - it's almost as if the Martians landed in the first season of Downton Abbey. I really enjoyed reading it and comparing it to the movie versions. The other two tales, I'm glad to have read, but Margaret Drabble's introduction is correct when she talks about how implausible they are from a scientific point of view. The really scary part of The Invisible Man is the implication for the depravity of human nature - given the ability, it will ultimately be used for evil rather than "good"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Galt

    Amazing collection of the three best known stories by H.G. Wells, a recognized pioneer of the science fiction genre. It is mind blowing to think he wrote these stories before the turn of the 1900's, a time before airplanes, modern warfare, and space travel.

  16. 4 out of 5

    SaraKat

    Includes The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man. It has a lovely introduction by Isaac Asimov who discusses the first science fiction and how it shaped the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Bolard

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  19. 5 out of 5

    M.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grant W Currier

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andre Graham

  22. 4 out of 5

    Allison Chu

  23. 4 out of 5

    JWhitelaw

  24. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Thomas

  25. 5 out of 5

    A

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bryce Cai

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Connor

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emily Croft

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Hutchinson

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