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When the Sleeper Wakes (1899)

por H. G. Wells

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Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

In the dystopian vision of H. G. Wells' novel The Sleeper Awakes (1910), a man awakes to a London where all he knew has radically changed after his sleep of two hundred and three years. Due to the wonders of compound interest, he is now this later world's richest man. As a committed socialist and futurist, he now sees his dreams realized and revealed to him in all their abhorrent and frightful glory.

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Inglês (17)  Esperanto (1)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (19)
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This is the later version. It starts with a preface where Wells explains why he was unhappy with the original version and why he made the changes. That was interesting to read.
It is the story of a man who falls asleep for 200 years. When he awakes he finds out that he owns the world due to the management of his estate. He struggles to adapt to this new world and how to create a better world. ( )
  nx74defiant | Nov 21, 2023 |
Recenzoj
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„ Multaj el la antaŭdiraĵoj, faritaj jam antaŭ 30 jaroj, efektiviĝis; aliaj feliĉe ne. La traduko ĝenerale bona kaj komprenebla, tamen parte montras stilon malglatan ”
— 1929, Georges Stroele, Esperanto, paĝo 183
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„ Do, bona libro, tre agrable legebla kaj plena je elpensoj fortigaj. Ni salutu tiun genian, honestan aŭtoron, dankante lin pro lia sincera homliberiga laboro. En la traduko estas sufiĉe multaj lingvaj kaj presaj eraroj. Bela eldono agrabla por la okulo. ”
— Ĵief en Sennaciulo, 21-a de novembro 1929, paĝo 95
https://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=e3r&datum=19291121&ref=anno-...
  Erfgoedbib | May 7, 2023 |
Really fun ideas about the "future." But the story is really disjointed. ( )
  Sarahbrarian | Feb 3, 2022 |
This is a surprisingly early dystopian romance by Wells; a Victorian suffering from insomnia finally is able to fall asleep, and stays asleep for two hundred years. When he finally awakes, he finds that through a series of clever moves by his long-dead cousin, he had become in the meantime a useful repository for all sorts of investments that others wished to tie up for commercial reasons. So now, on paper at least, he owns the entire world.

Of course, this wealth has been managed by a band of trustees, who have done very nicely out of it, thank you very much. Graham - the Sleeper - finds that his awakening precipitates a workers' rebellion; but the leader, Ostrog, is no more likely to want to bestow power on the Sleeper than the previous trustees were to want to give it up. Graham finds his utopian socialist ideals colliding head-on with a ruthless leader.

In some senses, this is quite a remarkable book. The London of 2098 is a gleaming vision in glass, steel and chrome, at least on first sight; and its marvels of the future would not look out of place in a book or film of our own time. (Indeed, the Alexander Korda film of Wells' later book 'Things to Come' depicts a similar city.) Travel is via moving roadways (a device later picked up by other science fiction writers such as Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov). And, marvel of marvels, Mankind has Conquered the Air! The chapters dealing with the Aeroplanes very vividly describe the sensations of flight, which given that the original story was written in 1899 and so predates powered flight by some four years, is quite an achievement,

The Sleeper moves through the city, at different times as a fugitive, a celebrity, a figurehead and finally as a leader. He sees the necessity of the overthrow of the old order. Wells gives us an analysis of the economics of the future world which seems highly prophetic to us, outlining the rise of a middle class in control of all the finance, that wishes to secure power at the expense of the labouring classes, fuelled by a flight to the cities and the migration of work.

This would be a fascinating book, but for one thing. Wells' politics is mainly remembered now for its socialism, but in later life he also embraced eugenics. This book shows that he also, in his earlier life, equally embraced racism fairly readily. There ae two uses of the 'n' word; at first, I thought this might be a fairly casual lapse, typical for its period. Then, Wells puts racist attitudes in the mouth of Ostrog, which made me think that perhaps this was done to mark that character's transition to villain. But no. As debate continues, the Sleeper too puts racist views forward; policing in this world is privatised, and the companies that have parcelled up and monopolised Africa's industrial output have black police who are described in racial stereotypes, and the threat of whose deployment is used as a spur to action.

The Left's internationalism had a gradual development; in this book, Wells shows that he was not always at the forefront of new thinking. Although in other areas this book is remarkable for what it presages, in this one area it fails badly, and there are plenty of people who will want to avoid it on those grounds. After that, the book's failure to embrace feminism seems minor by comparison: there is only one named female character, and although she is identified as a leading figure in the workers' revolt, her role in the book is negligible. The Sleeper even turns away from any sort of romantic engagement with this woman because of his Duty to the Revolution.

So: a dry tale with some remarkable foresights and a glaring failure which will make it unacceptable to many. Sometimes our heroes have feet of clay. ( )
1 vote RobertDay | Aug 27, 2021 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3402306.html

I had read this as an undergraduate, but it was interesting to return to it in the light of Woody Allen and also Adam Roberts, whose work on Wells was nominated for the BSFA Award this year and two years ago. As with Sleeper, Wells' protagonist wakes after 200 years to find himself embroiled in a revolutionary conspiracy to overthrow the dictatorial system which has grown up in the meantime. In Wells' novel, Graham the Sleeper, discovers that due to complex inheritance procedures and careful investments by his trustees, the whole world is now being run as his property in his name. He teams up with the rebel Ostrog to take real power, and then discovers that Ostrog is as bad a dictator as the old regime; the book ends with Graham leading a dramatic air battle against Ostrog's forces.

It is lucidly written, and the Sleeper's fish-out-of-water experience of the future, and his gradual realisation (twice over) of the flaws of the system are well drawn. But there is precisely one named female character (and apparently Wells took out the romance sub-plot between 1899 and 1910; he also renamed the flying machines in the book for the 1910 text, since aeroplanes had been invented in the meantime). The ultimate demonstration of Ostrog's evil is that he suppresses revolt in Paris with security forces from Africa, and plans to do the same to England. Wells thought of himself (and was thought of by many) as the epitome of progressive thought in his day. To put it mildly, he had his blind spots as well. ( )
  nwhyte | Jun 9, 2020 |
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Wells, H. G.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Card, Orson ScottIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Parrinder, PatrickEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sawyer, AndyNotesautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Classic Literature. Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

In the dystopian vision of H. G. Wells' novel The Sleeper Awakes (1910), a man awakes to a London where all he knew has radically changed after his sleep of two hundred and three years. Due to the wonders of compound interest, he is now this later world's richest man. As a committed socialist and futurist, he now sees his dreams realized and revealed to him in all their abhorrent and frightful glory.

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