Do you ever reread a book and find yourself being transported back to the time and place that you read it before?
That's kind of what's happening in my writing of these blog posts.
For Week 37 (a book set in the future) I read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which was the book I was reading when I began my training for the role that I'm doing now, nearly a year later. I'd completely forgotten about it until I cracked open my book journal and remembered sitting in the canteen at work, reading this in my breaks.
Originally published in 1898, The Time Machine is the tale of a scientist who manages to create a time machine which enables him to travel into the future. However, when he travels to the year 802,701 he discovers that the human race has become divided into the Eloi and the Morlocks.
I really enjoyed this book. The overwhelming thing I took away from my attempt to read more of the classics is that they're still really relevant today and make for a good read. This one was a lot shorter than I was expecting but I loved the style of it with the Time Traveller returning from his visit and then narrating the events he has seen. It's interesting to realise that this is how the Victorians viewed the future. I could imagine this as a plausible future for the Earth too.
We never learn the name of the Time Traveller and it did kind of frustrate me. I always want to know more about the worlds and people I read about. I wanted to know more about the guy, where he went and what else he got up to. The book ends with him disappearing off on another journey so we never find out where he ended up. But obviously, the book wouldn't work if we knew everything, so I don't really mind being a little bit frustrated.
I felt that the descriptions of the scenery were quite cinematic. I could picture everything really easily. Prior to this the only experience I'd had with The Time Machine were references to it in TV programmes and other books, and the film from the mid-2000s with Guy Pearce and Samantha Mumba (what happened to her, anyway?).
The film was very loosely based on the book, in the sense that it shared the same title and was about a man who travelled into the future where there were the Eloi and Morlocks, so watching it really gave nothing away about what to expect in the book. It's definitely a book I can see myself revisiting in the future.
I followed The Time Machine up with Week 38's book: A book set in high school. For this I selected The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
This is a coming of age story which follows a boy named Charlie who is trying to make sense of his world. He's the teenager on the outskirts, he doesn't quite fit in so he writes to someone about his daily experiences and feelings. As the school year progresses he makes friends with step-brother and sister, Sam and Patrick, who help to bring him out of his shell, however we also learn that Charlie has been repressing a disturbing memory.
I was first introduced to this book way back during a 'Book Tree' and fell in love with it. Even now, a year later, I've still not seen the film, but with the prospect of it coming out on DVD I felt a reread was in order. When I found it in a charity shop, I knew it was meant to be.
I really like the way that this book is written. Charlie is a fascinating character and he has such a unique way of looking at the world around him. There are certain things that he comes out with which I can kind of relate to, particularly when he talks about participating.
I'll admit, I did spend some of this book trying to diagnose him. Is he suffering from PTSD? There are certain parts which strongly remind me of the narrator of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and there are some ASD traits there in Charlie. At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. Charlie is his own person.
At the time I read it, in my book journal, I wrote 'I'm really keen to see the film now to see how closely it follows the book.' Well, I've still not done that yet. Most of our DVDs come from charity shops and I've not seen it yet. Sooner or later we'll pick up a copy of it and I'll let you know what I think once we do.
Of course, as I so often say when I get to the end of a book, I can't help but wonder what happens next for Charlie when the book ends. I just want to know that everything turns out okay for him.