It has Walter Zimmerman and Jim Roberts as Narrators and takes us off to the Victorian Era and the fantastic invention of the The Time Machine. First published in 1895 this sci-fi epic directly or indirectly inspired many many more works of Sci-fi and created the universally used name to refer to such a vehicle that can time travel.
Our hero of the piece is an English ‘scientist and gentleman inventor’ who resides in Richmond, Surrey, not too far from me as it goes…oddly though we never get to know his name, he is simply known as the time traveller.
We join him one Thursday (these debate are always held on Thursdays!) when he and his weekly dinner guests are debating that time is simply another dimension, a fourth dimension and that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person. His colleagues tend to think he has lost the plot but agrees to take a time trip and report back the following week,
So the Time Traveller zips forward to 802,701 A.D descrbing what he sees as years flash forward, sun moon and stars streak across the sky, this description was fascinating considering the time of writing this, HG Wells must’ve had some imagination.
Anyway he pulls over getting 802,701 AD and is thrown from the machine and meets the Eloi, a disappointing society of childlike adults. Unable to really communicate with them leads him to believe they are a peaceful communist society.
However upon the return to his time machine or lack of he soon works out that it has been taken away and in a building that apparently resembles a Sphinx.
He soon finds that The Morlocks, these ‘ape-like troglodytes’ who thrive underground, living in the darkness surface only at night seemingly to hunt the Eloi with whom he has a solid attachment to one of their number (weena).
Our Time Travelling scientist comes upon a new theory and speculates that the human race has evolved into two species. Here the Eloi represent the ‘leisured classes’ and The Morlock the ‘working classes’ reflecting attitudes of the Victorian Era.
He finds himself having break into the sphinx to get his time machine and using fire to stave off The Morlocks he manages to get his time machine and travels further ahead to roughly 30 million years from his own time.
There he sees a dying Earth with huge red crab-like creatures on blood-red beaches and continues on until all dies out.
Finally it is all too much and he returns to his laboratory and tell his strange tale but his fellow scientists believe he has been working too hard but producing as evidence two strange flowers Weena had put in his pocket.
The story closes as our Time Traveller sets off again with a good supply of matches for the future and possibly weena…but what happened to him no one will ever know.
This really is a seminal sci-fi yarn and the audio book didn’t quite live up to it.