HG Wells and what?! A new Dan Brown novel?! (January, 2013)

Greetings, my fellow readers!


As you can see, I’ve recently stumbled across some interesting news that quite frankly I’m shocked I didn’t hear about earlier.


Apparently, Dan Brown is releasing a new book on May 14th entitled Inferno. It’s another Professor Langdon book, and is influenced heavily by the original Dante’s Inferno which is a classic text and worth reading. It’ll be nice to see more of Langdon and I look forward to the event with much anticipation!



Next on my list is HG Wells. If you’ve been reading my other posts you’ll know that as a result of a renovation I managed to misplace the rest of my Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, so I grabbed the first book I could find to while away the next two weeks and that happened to be a Reader’s Digest HG Wells compendium.


Inside this compendium were three novels:

  • The Time Machine
  • The War of the Worlds
  • The Island of Doctor Moreau

It was quite interesting reading some of Wells’ work because up until now I’d only ever seen the movie adaptations of The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, and in true book conversion fashion they didn’t even come close to the original text. All three pieces have had time and effort put into them, and it’s easy to see that Wells genuinely enjoyed what he was writing about.


The Time Machine had some important differences to the film, which made the work come across in an altogether different manner. One of the most obvious ones was the Eloi. Instead of being average-sized, they’re all the size of about a ten year-old child. Their clothing is also slightly different but that’s only aesthetic. I always imagined the Morlocks to be purple as well, but apparently they’re white. 


Wells has an interesting way of spelling out his intentions for the piece through the character’s realisations, in this way letting the reader become involved in the piece as if they were a character themselves. The language is refined and precise, and reflects the time period (1890s-1900) to a tee. Also – and most importantly – for a work of fantasy-science fiction, is the fact that Wells’ futuristic projections follow a logical line of thought. I find that with some works the essence of this logic can be skewed vastly, and sometimes not even match the level of scientific development current in the piece’s set time frame. This creates errors in the work which can’t be ignored, and the reader can easily lose faith in the plot.





The War of the Worlds…again, so many differences to the movie! In fact the differences made it a significantly better read. Rather than just the Martians in the tripods, there were also various pieces of machinery and we learn that the telescopic projection that investigates the house is not from the martian, but from one of these smaller machines. Wells goes into an extraordinary amount of detail when describing the Martians and their technology, and through this the reader is able to generate a remarkably clear picture of how they look. This technique was favoured heavily in the days before good photography and the abilities of computer graphics, and allowed the reader to use their imaginations rather than rely on pre-determined ideas.  It was action-packed, full of suspense, and would satisfy any modern-day sci-fi/action/adventure reader’s needs. 




The Island of Doctor Moreau. I’ll start off by saying that I was warned by my father about how gross it was. He was partially right. I would suggest though, before reading this book, that you promise to ignore your moral compass when reading this and try to see things from every angle. The piece itself was a surprise; often you don’t find books that are written about such touchy things as genetic manipulation and plastic surgery of a kind, but I feel that this one was done with the necessary care and attention. It read almost like a hypothetical question asking you what you would do in a similar situation, and I even felt a pang of sympathy for Moreau – albeit tainted with disgust – after discovering what he was trying to do and why he left London. A very good read, dealing with moral issues and throwing a bit of action in there to spice things up.



Overall, reading Wells’ works was a colourful, entertaining and even educational journey, and I know for sure that if I find anything else of his I’ll probably be crowing about it with the highest praise. 


That’s it from me for now, so all the best and never stop reading!




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