It just dawned on me that in my haste to begin blogging about the musical that I haven’t properly explained what the H.G. Wells’s ‘The Time Machine’ novel is about. Being so utterly absorbed and immersed in this project that I sometimes forget there are those who may not have even heard of H.G. Wells, let alone read his books. I am, however aware that I might give too much of the plot away and spoil the novel (and musical) for those who aren’t familiar with the story. On the other hand, I want to cast the hook and grab your attention—it’s a fine path to tread. Anyway let me correct my little oversight.
The photograph above shows my own, well-read, dilapidated copy of The Time Machine, which is falling apart at the seams. It’s been read dozens of times and the worn pages are littered with notes, highlighted and crossed out text made by me in the process of condensing and adpating the story for the narration on the album. This particular edition of the book was printed by Penguin Classics and on the back cover you’ll find the following excellent synopsis of the story:
“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a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace.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 decended 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. 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.”
Now that does sound like a compelling read, doesn’t it? It just goes to show that you can never judge a book by it’s cover. However, although the Penguin Classic editions of Well’s books might not have the most imaginiative or memorable pictures on their covers, they have put work in to providing aome additional, well-researched biographical, introductory and historical material, which is perfect for an anorak such as me. Anyway at least we should be on the same page now as far as Wells’s The Time Machine is concerned now.