This is a very short book (91 pages) which I read in one sitting, and which is perfect for a lazy afternoon (which was when I read it).
The book tells the story of a man, who is always referred to simply as The Time Traveler, who invents a time machine, which takes him to the year 802,701. There, he finds that the human race has evolved into two species’ – the Eloi and the Morlocks. On the face of it, the Eloi seem to live a wonderful existence, filled with pleasure. However, the time traveler discovers that, as they want for nothing, and therefore have nothing to strive for, the Eloi have also seemingly lost the ability for intelligent thought. (Without goals, there is no need for strategy and forethought). However, there is a darker reality lurking underneath the surface (both literally and figuratively), in the Morlocks – a species who only come out in the darkness, and who inspire fear in the Eloi. To say more would be to give away too much of the plot, although it is at this point that the story really began to take root. Suffice to say that I ended up feeling more sympathy with the Morlocks than the Eloi; I have no idea if that is what the author originally intended.
It’s hard to describe how I felt about this book. It is of course a classic, and with good reason. Yet, I found it very difficult to engage with any of the characters. However, I did enjoy it and would definitely recommend it to others. It is one that I have kept, and will almost certainly reread at some point in the future, as I think it could well be a book that becomes more enjoyable with each reading.