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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (342,538 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: H. G. Wells Narrator: Ben Kingsley Publisher: Raffin Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Classics Read by Celebrities Series Release Date: July 2017 ISBN: 9781538481448
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The Time Traveler steps into his machine to embark upon an astonishing journey beyond the frontiers of time, space, and the human imagination. When he emerges, he finds himself in the year 802,700, observing a utopian age in which creatures coexist in peace and harmony. He plans to study this society and return to his own time to implement its secrets—until he discovers that his machine, his only means of transport back to his own life, has been stolen!

This remarkable piece of science fiction, published in 1895, won immediate recognition for H. G. Wells and has been called a masterpiece of the genre.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashishg | 2/20/2014

    " Story of time travel and imagination of future world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Toner | 2/17/2014

    " The original and definitive time travel story. Welles avoids the historical fantasy approach in previous less SF time travel stories and goes for a sweeping future history leading to the ultimate demise of humanity and the planet that bore us. A real classic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gsvg | 2/13/2014

    " A great commentary on the inevitable fruitlessness of todays social order. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lance Howell | 2/12/2014

    " Can't believe this was written in the 1800s and I just couldn't put it down. Amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cirlincione | 2/7/2014

    " Easy to follow and a story that made me excited to continue where I left off each time I picked it up ! Fantastic :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis Munday | 2/7/2014

    " Holy smokes, whatta book! A good book, that is. Quite. Quite good. Reeeaaally liked this one. Good job. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnny | 2/6/2014

    " 4 stars for story content. 5 stars overall because of the epilogue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Splenda | 2/6/2014

    " Wells is truly the master of science fiction. He takes us to a strange and mystifying world that alludes to the baseness of human nature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Corey | 2/2/2014

    " So, somehow, I managed to live my whole life without reading The Time Machine, or, indeed, any other work by H.G. Wells. It was never required in school, and the movie versions I watched never interested me. But it was free on my Kindle, and looking for a book that wouldn't require too much emotional or temporal investment (aren't you ever in those sorts of moods?) I finally decided to read it. And boy, am I glad I did. No, it's not my favorite book ever. I'll probably never read it again. But it was definitely enjoyable, an adventure in the old-fashioned literary sense of the word. I was surprised by how thoroughly creeped-out I was by Wells' description of the Morlocks, which, I confess, gave me the absolute willies. If you haven't read this book, you might as well. It takes almost no time, is an easy read, and is entertaining. You'll never get caught up by character descriptions or fall in love with someone's personality, but I rather suspect this was Wells' goal. If he'd wanted you to get excited by a character, he probably would've actually named some of them, beyond two servants and one of the Eloi. Anyway, give it a read. What have you got to lose? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 2/2/2014

    " Even though it was written over 100 years ago, The Time Machine is amazingly relevant, though-provoking, and even exciting. Unlike the classics with pages of useless rambling, this book is short enough to maintain brevity and is filled with enough plot to hold my attention from page 1. Wells's rumination on the fate of humanity was captivating enough that I didn't fall asleep (it was actually quite clever - the way he worked his theorizing into the plot without making it boring). The idea and mechanics of the actual machine are still futuristic by today's standards, making Wells and absolute genius. And for those people who just have trouble with old books because of the out-dated language, you should know that The Time Machine is incredibly still quite readable and definitely worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allie | 2/1/2014

    " This type of scientific fantasy is not my favorite genre, but Wells's story is a creative, thought-provoking, quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kolan | 1/27/2014

    " read when i was 11 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil | 1/26/2014

    " I'm really not one for sci-fi books but I enjoyed this one. It was a pretty fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elias Kokkinis | 1/22/2014

    " Well, that was a very nice read. It is a rather short book with a compact story. A lot different than I expected, with excellent descriptions and a particularly beautiful language, with not much action but a lot of surreal situations. The atmosphere was great and the narration technique was really nice. Most of the time I really felt I was beside the fireplace with a glass of whisky in my hand listening to the Time Traveller telling his amazing story. Although I did expect some more action and the sci-fi element was a bit poor, it was a really good and entertaining read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miranda Lin | 1/20/2014

    " I felt astonished while I was reading this book. It's one of those stories that really does transport you back in time :) great! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lyall | 1/18/2014

    " I lied the book because i like the idea of time travel but i thought the book was more about traveling between dimensions or different planets or universes than time travel but i still liked it and i would recommend it to other people who are interested in that sort of stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Mccoy | 1/16/2014

    " Loved it. Probably could have been longer, but it was a fun and easy read. Looking to compare it to the movie I watched 10 years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Swati | 1/15/2014

    " Loved it. Beautiful read cover to cover. Short crisp n very futuristic. He wrote it more than 117 years ago!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Don | 1/10/2014

    " I don't think I've ever read HG Wells before, although we all know the stories. Kinda. This one is pretty dark. Stewie and Brian owe him royalties. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/8/2014

    " I really enjoyed this one. I am generally a fan of Wells, so it was a given to me that I'd enjoy arguably his best known work. I found the beginning a little drab and boring, but once the Time Traveler uncovered things about the future (the Eloi and the Morlocks), I was hooked. I enjoyed the social commentary and found that it was great that such comments were still applicable to our modern society, even 115 years after this book was written. My only complaint is that the book should have been longer -- I really enjoyed the last 30 pages, including the struggle with the Morlocks and the futures the Time Traveler experiences after leaving the Eloi and the Morlocks. I wish it those pages could have been longer and more exploration could have been described. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al | 1/4/2014

    " H.G. Wells's classic novel The Time Machine, first published in 1895, is one part fairy tale, one part love story, one part science fiction, and one part utopia. Readers can enjoy the story on multiple levels and take away something unique to themselves upon finishing the novel. With every turn of the page, we become as little children being read a good night story; for in effect, we are being read to rather than reading ourselves. The story is told through an unnamed narrator, a young member of an informal group of men who meet occasionally at the Time Traveler's house for dinner, drinks, cigars, and conversation. It is no accident that the narrator who tells us the story is the least skeptical, indeed the most credulous of the group, in response to the Time Traveler's claim to have built a Time Machine. We need an optimistic and trusting narrator, for he represents the audacity of hope, the possibility of human endeavor leading to improvement and progress, at a time when the specter of social Darwinism and scientific fatalism had fallen over the western world. The narrator is the one who exclaims, in response to the prospect of traveling into the future, "To discover a society erected on a strictly communistic basis." As humorous and naïve as such a statement sounds to us today, communism was a synonym for utopia in the late nineteenth century. And so we are supposed to identify with the narrator, to suspend our disbelief in the absurd hypothesis of time as the fourth dimension and the fantastical invention of a time machine. During the time when we submit to the power of the story and allow ourselves to be swept away by the fantasy, time machine does exist and time travel is possible. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keli | 12/28/2013

    " If this hadn't been assigned for class I probably wouldn't have bothered reading passed the first twenty-odd pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil | 12/28/2013

    " I'm really not one for sci-fi books but I enjoyed this one. It was a pretty fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 12/25/2013

    " A bit... slower than I prefer in books. But other than that a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnny | 12/21/2013

    " 4 stars for story content. 5 stars overall because of the epilogue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Wood | 12/21/2013

    " A fascinating vision of the future... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanessa | 12/21/2013

    " Quite enjoyed it but it was a bit short. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Purificasion | 12/20/2013

    " Easy read, the 'Good Scientist' rules! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phillip | 12/20/2013

    " I had never read this before and enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stacy Bender | 12/12/2013

    " Good book with a haunting ending "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stuart | 12/7/2013

    " An enduring classic of SF literature, with a truly apocalyptic view of the end of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Price | 11/30/2013

    " Good engaging book about time travel. I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 11/28/2013

    " I have re read this book and watched the best rendition of the original 1960 movie several times. I am still totally befuddled how in 1895 this man could have anticipated so much detail of his or our future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosalita Weber | 11/25/2013

    " I'd rate it 4.5 but there's no option for that, so 5 stars it is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Purificasion | 11/11/2013

    " Easy read, the 'Good Scientist' rules! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Johanna Cormier | 11/1/2013

    " Easy enough reading. Only took me a week while alternating with another book. I actually was not that impressed with the writing and story. Still, glad to have read it so I can say I have. (I read the Project Gutenberg eBook.) (My review from 2011) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 10/19/2013

    " Interesting short read. I prefer the movie than the book but it was still enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Murph Hutson | 10/17/2013

    " Excellent look at what could happen to society. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kausar Azam | 10/13/2013

    " I was going to give it a simple 3 stars if it wasn't for the last few chapters of the book. Those last few ones truly make it a 5 star book for me. The story may seem a little 'old-fashioned' to some but what can I say? lol That's actually what my taste inclines towards hahah. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 9/29/2013

    " among my favorite by HG Wells "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 8/20/2013

    " Very typical writing style for this period. Excellent idea, and the mother of all time-travel books. Well done because the time-travel is a plot device instead of the focus. In SAT question terms, the transporter is to Star Trek as the time machine is to _The Time Machine_. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Thomas | 8/10/2013

    " Classic literature .... Love it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carmen | 8/9/2013

    " It's a classic and-can you guess?- I had to read it for school. If you're a fan of sci-fi and the thought of time traveling this is the book for you! It's not that it was poorly written, I just wasn't interested in all of the details he gave. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Merrill | 7/28/2013

    " I'm sure I must have read this book before, but I decided to read it in preparation for reading K.W. Jeter's Morlock Night. I have to admit, I remembered very little of the book, so it's good I read it before reading Morlock Night. I quite enjoyed it this time around, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerry Beavers | 7/15/2013

    " Required reading in a college course. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joshua Evans | 6/25/2013

    " Not my usual thing, it's great for a short read and if you are into fantasy but I feel it is very overrated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 6/23/2013

    " Easy read, entertaining, though not too detailed of a plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt Randall | 6/18/2013

    " This book is an absolute classic. I really enjoyed the imagination and imagery throughout the entire story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nai Wang | 5/26/2013

    " A classic. Simple by today's standards but an excellent quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ms.candy | 5/25/2013

    " Stil in the second chapter but I'm already in love with it :3 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Sinnott | 5/21/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Truly deserving of its status as a classic. I highly recommend reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samual Holt | 4/21/2013

    " Great novella well worth my time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabella | 3/27/2013

    " This book sounds like something I would read because it sounds a lot more interesting than any other book. And I love other books but this one sounds a lot more interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole Bliss | 3/24/2013

    " Pretty good for a free e-book. Interesting perspective on what our world will look like thousands of years into the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Veronica Florence | 3/15/2013

    " This was really short!!! 98 pages on my nook. And i as always was completely wrong with my first impression. A very interesting take on the future and views on class structure. I really liked it :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roger | 1/31/2013

    " A dated classic. This is really a short story. While it was somewhat enjoyable to read, it was not a thrilling book by any means. Today it is more of a study in contrast between late 19 Century British society, it's thoughts, and world view and our own. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 10/12/2012

    " It was a good quick read if a quick read is what you're looking for. I would have liked it to be more in depth though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Swati | 8/27/2012

    " Loved it. Beautiful read cover to cover. Short crisp n very futuristic. He wrote it more than 117 years ago!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 June | 8/12/2012

    " H.G. Wells was a man ahead of his time with this little gem of a novella about Time Travel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saksham | 8/6/2012

    " A bit touchy towards the end as was said in the epilogue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Priscilla | 5/14/2012

    " The beginning was fascinating, with its discussion on the nature of time, and I enjoyed this book more than other Wells novels. However, the story itself was rather horrific. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Thouvenel | 4/9/2012

    " I love futurism. Even when it scares the crap out of me. Romantic Era writers knew how to tell a story and did the literate world a huge favor with speculative fiction. We always want to know "what's next?" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Kasal | 12/21/2011

    " Required reading back in High School. Always loved this story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ishwar M | 12/3/2011

    " An amazing classic. A must read for all Sci-Fi fans. HG Wells' best "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Maddock | 11/30/2011

    " This was a much more nuanced work than I expected. The time travel mechanism was well developed and the social commentary not prescriptive. Also, Wells is doing something with names (and lack thereof) in the frame story that I didn't fully work out. Worth a re-read or two. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Maddock | 10/10/2011

    " This was a much more nuanced work than I expected. The time travel mechanism was well developed and the social commentary not prescriptive. Also, Wells is doing something with names (and lack thereof) in the frame story that I didn't fully work out. Worth a re-read or two. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Costes | 10/5/2011

    " Very interesting short read. An exciting story that not only plays with the idea of time travel but offers a commentary on the industrial revolution and its implications for humanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 9/27/2011

    " I really enjoyed this one and find it amazing that it was published in 1895. Definitely a classic piece of science fiction, and a quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 9/12/2011

    " I liked the construct of the Eloi and the Morelocks as a futuristic view of what becomes of humanity ... I was also struck by the level of imperialistic condescension on the part of the Time Traveler main character -- whose perceptions of the future were guided by the arrogance of the present. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 7/20/2011

    " I picked up a nice 1931 Random House copy with some great art deco illustrations by W.A. Dwiggins, the book of course, is a classic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marie | 7/8/2011

    " The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is a story about a man that builds a time machine and travels to 802,701 A.D.. While there discovers two species in his search for his time machine that someone moved. It was an o.k. read but not really my type of story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 5/21/2011

    " An interesting read though perhaps Wells' vision of the future is somewhat dated as our society moves farther away from the manufacturing of the Industrial age and more to the service and computers of the Information Age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremiah | 5/20/2011

    " Enjoyed this one alot, going to have the watch the movie too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 5/17/2011

    " Love the constant allegory of the destruction that mankind brought about on itself, and the terrible wrath that it played out on us through the ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/16/2011

    " The most unique view into mankind's history I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elaine Maddox | 5/14/2011

    " I am reading it, I am enjoying it, this is my first HG Wells read. The language is antiquated, it might bother some, but it is interesting enough that I have downloaded War of the Worlds to also read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 G.l. | 5/8/2011

    " Where would Sci-Fi be without this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sidharth | 5/6/2011

    " I read and honestly I was not able to visualise all that he wrote whatever i was able to for that I am happy that i read this one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LuckyCharmer | 5/4/2011

    " Good, but a little too wordy... still good though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/2/2011

    " Finally got around to this one, and very glad I did. Prompted immediate acquisition of additional works by Wells, I so thoroughly enjoyed it. Fast read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ella Brooke | 5/2/2011

    " I liked the anthropological tone of the narrator describing the future races. It's definitely a product of the 1800's and was very similar to the ethnologies of the time. "

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About the Author

H. G. Wells (1866–1946), born in Bromley, Kent, England, was apprenticed to a drygoodsman and a druggist before he made his way to the Royal College of Science where he studied biology. Known as the father of science fiction, he was also a prolific writer in other genres, including contemporary novels, history, and social commentary. As a spokesman for progress and peace, his middle period novels (1900–1920) were more realistic and covered lower-middle-class life, suffrage, and the emergence of feminist ideals that pushed against the limits set by male-dominated society.

About the Narrator

Ben Kingsley is a distinguished veteran of stage and screen. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his starring role in Ghandi, and has starred in other memorable films, such as Bugsy, Sneakers, and Schindler’s List.