The Time Machine

Narrated by: John Banks
Length: 3 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (685 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture - now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. But they have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity - the sinister Morlocks. And when the scientist's time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels, if he is ever to return to his own era.

About the Narrator: John Banks is one of the UK's most prolific audiobook narrators, working for the likes of Big Finish, Audible, Random House and Games Workshop. He is a true multi-voice, creating everything from monsters to marauding aliens. He is also an accomplished stage and TV actor.

About the Author: Herbert George Wells was a novelist, teacher, historian and journalist, who has become known as the "father of science fiction." His works have been adapted countless times, and provided the basis for many literary and theatrical productions.

©2017 Fantom Films (P)2017 Spokenworld Audio & Ladbroke Audio Ltd/Fantom Publishing

What listeners say about The Time Machine

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John Banks

If you want the full story, read by a master of verbal pronunciation, with the ability to pull you into the plot, this is the version for you!

9 people found this helpful

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Weake(r) reader, but he does very well.

The slow gradual suspense that carefully builds, it demands an instant climax, but instead, the inner thoughts of the traveler unravel how the human psyche might actually respond. The end doesn't leave you wondering 'what if?' but, 'what would I do?'.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful

This is a elegant story of which has a logical pattern to it. Although short, the story is full of relevant issues that can be discussed in this day and age.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

The year this book was written

The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 and written as a frame narrative. The work is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle or device to travel purposely and selectively forward or backward through time.

1 person found this helpful

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It's a classic for a reason.

While some concepts are dated, it is well written and descriptive beyond most books today. Wells paints a story in your mind better than most authors today have a capacity to do. The narrator kept did well with the emotion and inflections. Very enjoyable listen.

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great listen

He really kept up the energy, and told the story very interactively. cant belive how much the movie destroyed this stort

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Top 10

A wonderful book, in the same class as Gulliver’s Travels. It is one of the books I would like to take with me to Purgatory. - Sir Winston S. Churchill

4 people found this helpful

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An amazing story for the mind and soul.

I've always enjoyed this story, and have found myself coming back to it many times since I read it in middle school. The narrator was nice to listen to, and I will search for more works done by him.

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H.G. Wells was a time traveller!

This was a fantastic reading of this timeless tale (no pun intended)! I've always loved this book, I've been a fan of classic sci-fi and time travel since I was a kid, and it all started here. Not only does "The Time Machine" still hold up, I'm absolutely convinced that H.G. Wells was a real time traveller! He was ahead of his time in so many ways, but it seems, now more than ever, that his metaphors about classicism, unbridled capitalism, and the decline of intellectualism are more prophetic than ever before...

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A classic. But decent

First, narration, EXCELLENT. I listened to this in half a day. It was great. I listened at 1.2-1.5 speed. The beginning of the story is really good. The narrative is very clear and descriptive without being annoying and over detailed. I will say this was my first H.G. Wells books. But I thought the latter 50% was just too wild. In the sense that he was just describing random objects like crazy in this new future world, and that these rock/creatures and the dark sky were all to see and experience. The middle was decent when discussing the upper world and the lower world but the plot was stagnant. It didn’t culminate really with any revelations, just that they were different and tried to capture him. I wasn’t able to draw really any moral conclusions or take in any higher meaning or even really enjoy the entertainment. It was a bunch of randomness. Despite this, it was written clearly. Just the substance was odd. But of course so I have heard, that is all H.G. Wells, very odd and abstract worlds. Perhaps I will come to appreciate that has I read and listen to more of Well. Cheers!

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  • Lon
  • 10-21-19

great

recommend the following...

listening to book

then listening to the BBC "in our time" podcast about the book.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009bmf

then listen again to the book

that will help you get a good understanding of the social and political background to the book and HG Wells himself which I was never aware of and greatly enhanced my enjoyment

1 person found this helpful

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  • Traffic
  • 09-14-20

Fantastic Story Read Brilliantly by John Banks

The Time Machine was the first ever audio book I listened to back when I was a kid, many moons ago (not this particular rendition of course). I can’t remember who narrated it but it was on audio cassette. I have always loved this story by HG Wells.

John Banks reads this book superbly. His voice is pleasant to listen too, and he makes the story come alive. I will certainly be listening to John Banks read some more HG Wells novels.

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  • Mr. A. P. Buckley
  • 09-11-20

Classic amongst classics

Classic amongst classics
Very interesting, entertaining and well presented
I'll be revisiting this one, no doubt.

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  • WhatCathyReadNext
  • 07-11-20

Modern classic of science fiction

The Time Machine is a story I realised I knew mainly from the 1960 film version starring Rod Taylor. I was interested, therefore, to see how much of the original book made it through the adaptation process. The answer is a surprising amount.

Although in the book the lead character is never named but instead referred to throughout as ‘the Time Traveller’, in both versions he gives an account of his experiences to a group of (mostly disbelieving) friends gathered for a weekly dinner. He describes how, far from the utopia hoped for, in the time period to which he travelled humankind has evolved into two distinct races: the degenerate, underground-dwelling Morlocks; and the indolent, rather childlike, surface-dwelling Eloi.

In the film there is no discussion about how the change in society might have come about but in the book the Time Traveller gives a lot of thought to the cause of such a marked stratification of society. His initial theory positions the Eloi as the superior, aristocratic race given they live a life of leisure, engaging in no work to feed or clothe themselves. The Morlocks on the other hand are the workers toiling beneath the surface. This probably reflects Wells’s own socialist views and life experiences. It was common at the end of the 19th century for workers to live ‘below stairs’ or work in basements and the idea of the ‘haves’ exploiting the ‘have nots’ easily transfer to the book.

However, the Time Traveller becomes perplexed and a little frustrated by the passivity and lack of curiosity of the Eloi. In his view, humanity cannot make progress or innovate without struggle. In addition, the Eloi seem to have little care for one another or any fear of danger – until nightfall, that is. The reason for the latter gradually becomes apparent and eventually the awful truth of the relationship between the two races is revealed.

In the book, the Eloi are described as short, pale, and elfin-like whereas in the film they are blonde and beautiful. The Weena of the book, the only member of the Eloi who engages with the Time Traveller, is definitely not the glamorous character played by Yvette Mimieux in the film. In fact, the Time Traveller’s relationship with the childlike Weena in the book felt a little uncomfortable. The Morlocks in the book are albino and spider-like and I found the scenes in which they appear much scarier than I remember from watching the film.

Events towards the end of The Time Machine mean it is left to the reader to imagine what direction – past or future – the Time Traveller’s adventures will take him and when, or if, he might return to his own time. In the film, it seems fairly obvious.

There are aspects of The Time Machine that now seem distinctly prophetic. For example, the Time Traveller notes the temperature in the future is much higher than in his own century. When he ventures even further ahead in time, what he sees is a vision of a dying Sun and apocalyptic climate change. (The film version sees the Time Traveller witnessing events in the much more immediate future.)

It’s amazing to think how many of the concepts associated with time travel in modern fiction and film are owed to The Time Machine, a book written in 1895. It’s a testament to the fertile imagination of H.G. Wells.

The audiobook version I listened to was narrated by John Banks who did a good job throughout but especially in communicating the Time Traveller’s sense of fear in some of the more dramatic scenes.

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  • Mrs I J Harper
  • 09-30-19

A Forgotten Classic

Forgot the much overrated Bard...HGW is a master of the artful story. A short book full of intriguing and intricate sub-layers.

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  • Peter J Haigh
  • 06-21-19

The time machine

really enjoyed this book good story hard to put down will read more of H G Wells storys

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  • Elsa Griggs
  • 03-21-19

I hoped this story would remind me of guy pierce but it did not it was far more fanciful.

The basic story is well written almost credible in parts.
Later when time travelling becomes less so.

Near the end loses its way.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-27-17

interesting thoughts

I decided to listen to this book as its a classic and I wanted to broaden my reading interests.
the book was ok, I didn't realise how short it was but considering when it was written, found it pleasant enough.
i found the idea that HG Wells wanted to write about a time that is so far into the future that its even wonder if our world will still exist then, or if it will have died out long since.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Toby williams
  • 07-16-19

Well narrated but story not my cup of tea

interesting towards the end but struggled with the singular narrative throughout and lack of dialogue. well narrated.