Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The First Men In The Moon - H. G. Wells


Mr Bedford's life isn't going as he planned and, after losing the majority of his money in ill-advised investments and ventures, he moves to the quiet village of Lympne so he can work on writing a play in peace. His productivity is short lived and Bedford soon meets an eccentric inventor called Mr Carvor. The two become fast friends and Bedford is quickly caught up in Cavor's research to create a substance that negates the pull of gravity!

Cavorite, as it is called, is not only possible, but can be produced! The two form a plan to use the substance on a ship and set their sights on exploring the most isolated place mankind is able to reach - the Moon. Expecting the satellite to be barren and desolate, the two are unprepared for what they find there. The Moon is teeming with life and is controlled utterly by the Selenites! Their race is strange and polymorphic; inventive and efficient. The Selenites are as amazed at finding Bedford and Cavor as the pair are at finding an alien race, and are loath to let them travel the Moon's surface freely . . .

The Good
The First Men in the Moon was on of my favourite stories when I was growing up and rereading the book was very nostalgic! It was as imaginative and gripping as I remembered and I found the book extremely difficult to put down! It's a fast read, being full of twists, turns and unlikely events that made it very hard to predict.

Wells has also managed to capture a very sincere look at British gentility and I thought the book read almost like a period piece for the early 1900's. British culture and politeness was in full swing and I really enjoyed reading about how the characters employed this in their thought processes and as justifications for their actions.

The descriptions of the Moon itself is also extremely interesting and fun to read about, being completely novel. Wells' concept of a completely hollow world is something that not many authors have explored so thoroughly and he has really gone all out in explaining how such a world can function and support life.

The Bad
I have very little to fault with The First Men in the Moon, and found it to be aptly paced and gripping!

My Thoughts
Many people consider the The First Men in the Moon as classic work of science fiction and I'm inclined to agree. It's extremely imaginative, enjoyable to read and will stay with you for a long time after you've finished it and put it to one side. What's also good about the book is it's age and it's now in the public domain. This means that there are dozens of free (or extremely cheap) versions of the novel available on retailers like Amazon so there's absolutely no excuse to neglect reading it!

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