Little Different Each Time Around
This isn’t the first time I’ve read the Time Machine by H.G Wells, but it is a much different experience this time around. There is a series of books I had as a kid where they took literary classics (London, Melville, Wells, Doyle, and a bunch of others) and I can’t remember the exact series name but the premise was to simplify the story lines to make them more accessibl to beginning readers. Another run in with these classics came in the form of the show Wishbone, which I believe was shown on PBS. If anyone has a chance to check this out there are full episodes on Youtube, they are hilariously cheesy. Since then, I have read full versions of a lot of those stories I read as a kid, but it seems that each time there is something else to be picked up. For example, while in earlier readings I might have known about the sphynx and the riddle, but I clearly didn’t make the connection between the riddle of the labor problem.
This book made me reflect on how easy it is to take some of these stories at face value. Reading some of these works, such as Time Machine, and not thinking about them critically really makes the audience miss the points that the authors are trying to make. While Wishbone is great, and cheesy, sometimes the simplification of these classics probably would have authors such as Wells rolling in their graves. To be fair, if Wishbone had discussed labor relations and evolution, PBS might have lost just a bit of that 3-7 year old viewing audience.