I recently read the Time Machine by H.G. Wells, narrated by Alan Munro. In my kick to broaden my horizons, I thought reading a few of the classics might be beneficial. Therefore, I downloaded a few of them and set out on my journey of discovery. The first book on my list was The Time Machine, in audio the book runs about four hours making it a perfect starting point.
Quick review – A man tells his friends about the fourth dimension, travels forward into time and has an adventure, and then he returns. The entire story is a narration of the events after he returns a week later. Although plot and pacing were not spectacular, I did enjoy Wells implementation of imagery. The first half of the book was rather dull and I wondered why anyone would have enjoyed such drivel and boredom. However, once the time traveler starts to connect with the people 8 million years from now an entirely different story takes place. I loved Weena, the female Eloi (The name for the people 8 million years in the future), that befriends the time traveler and I was devastated when her part in the story ended. Overall, I’m glad that I read the book and did not give up when I thought it sucked because now I can see why it became a classic read.
My disappointment came from the two movie adaptations. Absolutely 100% terrible.
The first movie, made in the 60’s was downright laughable. The special effects and stage make up were laughable and of course a sign of the times. What I hated was the adaptation from book to screen. In the movie Weena is a tall blonde idiotic woman and becomes a love interest, where she is more a childlike friend. The Eloi are weird drones without any kind of emotion or dimension. All the amazing parts of the book were covered but it lacked magic.
The 2010 version, had much better special effects, but lost most of the ingenuity of the originally story. Again, there is a love interest where I just didn’t find one in the book and again the Eloi people lacked imagination and dimension. Although this version of the film did have an underlying theme of why the time traveler seeks another time and place, but that theme is not included in the book.
Bottom line – good book – bad movies. Books win it again!