The Time Machine and The Invisible Man (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

The Time Machine and The Invisible Man (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, April 2


The Time Machine and The Invisible Man, by H. G. Wells, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
  •     New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  •     Biographies of the authors
  •     Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  •     Footnotes and endnotes
  •     Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  •     Comments by other famous authors
  •     Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  •     Bibliographies for further reading
  •     Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

The Time Machine, H. G. Wells’s first novel, is a tale of Darwinian evolution taken to its extreme. Its hero, a young scientist, travels 800,000 years into the future and discovers a dying earth populated by two strange humanoid species: the brutal Morlocks and the gentle but nearly helpless Eloi.

The Invisible Man mixes chilling terror, suspense, and acute psychological understanding into a tale of an equally adventurous scientist who discovers the formula for invisibility—a secret that drives him mad.

Immensely popular during his lifetime, H. G. Wells, along with Jules Verne, is credited with inventing science fiction. This new volume offers two of Wells’s best-loved and most critically acclaimed “scientific romances.” In each, the author grounds his fantastical imagination in scientific fact and conjecture while lacing his narrative with vibrant action, not merely to tell a “ripping yarn,” but to offer a biting critique on the world around him. “The strength of Mr. Wells,” wrote Arnold Bennett, “lies in the fact that he is not only a scientist, but a most talented student of character, especially quaint character. He will not only ingeniously describe for you a scientific miracle, but he will set down that miracle in the midst of a country village, sketching with excellent humour the inn-landlady, the blacksmith, the chemist’s apprentice, the doctor, and all the other persons whom the miracle affects.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593080327
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 08/01/2003
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 120,280
Product dimensions: 4.13(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) published his first novel, The Time Machine, to critical and popular acclaim in 1895. Socially progressive and visionary in intellect, he became one of the most prolific writers of his generation. Through books like The Invisible Man and War of the Worlds, he explored a wide variety of social, philosophical, and political ideas through the medium of what we now call science fiction.

Date of Birth:

September 21, 1866

Date of Death:

August 13, 1946

Place of Birth:

Bromley, Kent, England

Place of Death:

London, England


Normal School of Science, London, England

Read an Excerpt

From Alfred Mac Adam’s Introduction to The Time Machine and The Invisible Man

The Time Machine (1895) and The Invisible Man (1897) are now more than a century old. Yet they endure as literary texts, radio plays, and movies, because they appeal directly to two of our deepest desires: immortality and omnipotence. The time machine would allow us to escape death and gain knowledge of the fate of the earth, while invisibility would enable us to go and come as we please, under the noses of friends and enemies. At the same time, both fictions show us the dangers of fulfilled wishes: The Time Traveller discovers the future of humanity is not bright but hideously dark, while the Invisible Man drowns in the madness brought about by his own experimentation.

Of course, what Herbert George Wells (1866–1946) wanted to express in these fantasies and what generations of readers have made of them are two radically different things. Erroneously labeled “science fiction,” and tricked out in their film versions with all kinds of fanciful devices with flashing lights and ominous buzzers Wells never mentions, they are really tales that enact the author’s theories and speculations about human society, human nature, and natural history in allegorical fashion. That is, the “science” in Wells’s fictions is nothing more than stage machinery. But, ironically, it is the machinery that has come to dominate our collective imagination.

There is nothing unique in this. Think of Gulliver’s Travels (whose long-forgotten original title is Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World), a book that Wells read as a boy and reread throughout his life. In 1726 Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) satirized English political parties, religious quarrels, theories of world government, and science, but his work was so grounded in eighteenth-century British culture that today’s readers need extensive preparation to fathom it. The story of Lemuel Gulliver’s visits to lands populated by giants or intelligent horses has, however, become a staple of children’s literature. The same applies to Robinson Crusoe (1719), by Daniel Defoe (1660–1731). Only scholars see the relationship between Crusoe’s shipwreck and Defoe’s ideas on the fate of the middle classes during the Restoration, when Charles II returned to England in 1660. Defoe’s message and all his political intentions have been lost, but his story endures as a wonderful demonstration of self-reliance. In the literature of the United States, we have the example of Herman Melville (1819–1891) and his Moby-Dick (1851): Most readers learn about the ambiguous struggle between good and evil embedded in the work long after they’ve read a novel about nineteenth-century whaling and the strange characters engaged in that dangerous work.

Much the same has taken place with Wells’s Time Machine and The Invisible Man. Wells cloaked his ideas about the future of society and the role of science in the world so well that readers simply do not see those issues and instead read his short novels as examples of a kind of fiction based on the simplest of propositions: “What if it were possible to travel through time by means of a machine?” or “What if it were possible to make oneself invisible?” In a world—one we share with Wells despite the fact that more than a hundred years separates the moment he published these two works from our own age—when scientists seem to make discoveries every day, it requires no great leap of imagination, no “willing suspension of disbelief,” to accept the basic premise of each text.

This is what differentiates Wells from Jules Verne (1828–1905), author of Voyage to the Center of the Earth (1864) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Wells, in a 1934 preface to a collection of his early fictions comments on why they are not comparable to Verne’s writings:

These tales have been compared with the work of Jules Verne and there was a disposition on the part of literary journalists at one time to call me the English Jules Verne. As a matter of fact there is no literary resemblance whatever between the anticipatory inventions of the great Frenchman and these fantasies. His work dealt almost always with actual possibilities of invention and discovery, and he made some remarkable forecasts. . . . But these stories of mine . . . do not pretend to deal with possible things; they are exercises of the imagination in a quite different field. They belong to a class of writing which includes the Golden Ass of Apuleius, the True Histories of Lucian, Peter Schlemil, and the story of Frankenstein. . . . They are all fantasies; they do not aim to project a serious possibility; they aim indeed only at the same amount of conviction as one gets in a good gripping dream (The Complete Science Fiction Treasury of H. G. Wells).

Wells links himself to a tradition, but at the same time he misleads the reader. It is true, as he says in the same preface, that “The invention is nothing in itself,” by which he means that the applied science of Verne is of no interest in his kind of tale. It is also the reason why rediscoveries of Verne, especially films, are always set in the past: His projections became fact very quickly. By the same token, this explains why Wells’s inventions and their ramifications will always be modern.

Customer Reviews

Time Machine and The Invisible Man (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 235 reviews.
Ludwig1770 More than 1 year ago
The Invisible Man is a great classic book... HG Wells is a master at creating suspense and leaving you wanting more. This is the 3rd book i read from him and he still has yet to disappoint ! Recommend you read this soon !!
BookThiefGT More than 1 year ago
I am continued to be blown away by H.G. Wells. Everyone one of his stories brings something new to the science fiction genre and never lets down his true fans' expectations. The time machine seemed more thought out, but I cant put my foot on which story I enjoyed more. Anyways, If you are looking for a book to keep you glued to the couch for a couple of hours, then I recommend this.
Stewart_the_Wise More than 1 year ago
I recently bought two B&N Classics editions. The other was Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray." Both books have the same problems, but it seems worse in the Wells edition.

Both begin with an introduction that I feel should not be read first if you've never read these books. If B&N truly wants to include these opinions, they should be in the back of the book.

More irritating is the constant need to define words. In the first chapter of Time Machine, I believe 6 words were given a * with clarification in the footnotes.

Dorian Gray had this, too, but it was mostly to clear up antiquated local knowledge points. That is useful.

What is not useful is breaking up the reading flow to offer a definition of a normal - not even obscure - English word. For example, in Chapter 1, the term "sleight of hand" was defined in this manner. Odds are, if you're reading this book, you already know that term.

I wanted these books in my house, and the price looked great, but next time I'll buy a more pure edition. The constant notations in this edition are the literary equivalent of pop-ups on a website.
ImKosher More than 1 year ago
This is the foundation and origin of science fiction as we know it. Easy read. You will enjoy this book.
GordonF More than 1 year ago
The Time Machine is a great, if short, story giving a glimpse into human nature, society, and an author's vision going so far into the future it's awe inspiring. The Invisible Man is a horror story at the core, and excellent display of desire and loss of control.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a long time ago, in grade school. I purchased this copy, because I wanted to read it immediately preceding Stephen Baxter's Time Ships, which is said to be the sequel to Well's Time Machine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
H.G. Wells is one of those writers where I find that I am more interested in him than I am in his writing. Does that make me hopeless? I liked the Time Machine and the Invisible Man, but I don't love them. They are interesting as early speculative fiction and certainly interesting in the social perspective that they uncover. But interesting is not the same as moving for me, somehow. Of the two novels, I liked the Time Machine the best. Justly famous both for being an ancestor of modern speculative fiction and for its social message about classes, it is a strong piece of writing. The Morlocks, the Eloi, the decaying world-- Wells paints a compelling picture, and I understand and appreciate the work. The Invisible Man seemed much less developed to me. I like the way that the main character's invisibility both led to and stemmed from his questioning of moral certainty. Unfortunately the idea seemed much more developed than the story itself-- as though Wells had been bored with carrying things through. I think that the next Wells that I pick up would be his Experiment in Autobiography. I suspect that given how much more I like his ideas than his fiction skills I may be better off with non-fiction and letters. Both these short novels are still must-reads by virtue of their influence and historical significance. Recommended for readers of all ages. In fact, they might have gone down better with me when I was younger.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Time Machine was one of H.G. Wells' greatest books. I liked this book because his theories are convincing, like that we could travel through time, as our minds do, and this book shows that when life becomes perfect life will still be imperfect. This story tells us about the fall of man as intelligence degrades, and cannibalism comes forth. Although the ending is sad, I recommend this book to anyone who understands H.G Wells' style of writing
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 'Time Machine' is a wonderful little novel. Its plot is very straightforward, interesting, and well-written, but more than that the ideas that it arouses are very special. I love books about the nature of time, and this is a good starting place to search for its meaning.
mapconsultant on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Are we making too much about these very simple stories? Wells uses humor and is clearly a very fine writter, But these stories may appeal more to the young adult or teen. But thought provoking? A Classic? I wonder.
adamallen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What needs to be said? These are core readings for anyone who loves to read. Wells is a genius who was before his time.
norabelle414 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two short(ish) stories make for a nicely sized novel, with similar themes in both stories. A quick and easy, but thought-provoking, read.
cataryna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Time Machine is the classic novella that birthed one the world¿s most famous science fiction authors, H.G. Wells. It tells the story of ¿The Time Traveler¿ and the adventures he has using the time machine he invented. The novella begins with the Time Traveler briefly explaining space and time and how traveling between the two is possible to a small group of friends during an apparent weekly gathering. The following week, the group gathers again and The Time Traveler explains his adventures while using the Time Machine. He describes watching the time pass quickly before his eyes as he sits in his machine and what he sees when he stops in the year 802,701. He describes what he believes to be a Utopian society of human-like creatures called Eloi. The Eloi are peaceful people, living their lives harmoniously together with all their needs somehow mysteriously met. They are complete vegetarians and The Time Traveler notes that there appears to be no animals whatsoever. They have no known leadership and seem to have no worries and no fear. However, he is deceived by his initial impression. The Eloi do fear one thing; darkness. The Time Traveler discovers why when he spots a creature completely unlike the Eloi; a white human-like creature called a Morlock. The Time Traveler chases one of these Morlocks into what he believes to be a well of some kind. He soon discovers that the Morlocks are subterranean creatures and that they have taken his time machine. A brief battle ensues when The Time Traveler attempts to retrieve his machine and he is saved by using the machine. He goes several hundreds of thousands more years into the future and sees what can only be the eventual destruction of the earth by the sun.In my opinion, the key parts of this book are The Time Travelers commiserations on the Eloi and the Morlocks. He thinks that at some point the human species split, some living above ground know as the Eloi and others living below ground, the Morlocks. He hypothesizes that over the generations, the well-to-do committed the poorer classes to the subterranean depths as laborers. I found this part particularly poignant given the current trend in America of the gradual diminishment of the middle class. Could it be that the book tells what the future truly holds for the human race? Anything is possible. However, I hope that we do not diminish in our humanity to the level of the things the Morlock¿s did in order to survive.The Time Machine is a great short read and definitely deserves it¿s place in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.The Invisible Man is another classic H.G. Wells novella. It tells the story of Griffin, a scientist who doses himself with a serum he created that causes invisibility. Griffin discovers that being invisible has its benefits, but it also has downfalls. Griffin eventually goes mad and believes that with his new power of invisibility he can rule the town of Port Burdock. It is unclear whether Griffin was the typical ¿mad scientist¿ before taking the serum or whether it is a result of the serum. My wager would be the former.I did not find The Invisible Man as good as The Time Traveler but it still deserves it¿s place on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list.
perlle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Most children think of invisibility as a super power, so this book¿s protagonist being both invisible and hobbled was an ingenious idea. Invisibility is only a superpower if one can become visible again at will. Then the parallels to subjective invisibility are also easy to come to¿It was also interesting that Wells "protagonist" has no redeeming qualities. If Wells had a point to make I can¿t help but wonder how he was accomplishing it with an angry, crazy main character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago