The First Men in the Moon, published in 1901, is the gripping tale of man's first journey to the moon, undertaken by one Mr. Bedford, a bankrupt businessman; and the eccentric scientist Mr. Cavor. Here they discover a sophisticated civilization, dominated by an insectlike race they call the Selenites.
It is exciting, funny, profound and tragic by turns: a beautifully written scientific romance, in fact. It is read by Greg Wagland.
Public Domain (P)2015 Magpie Audio
"This novel may be one of the lesser works by the socially conscious Wells, but that doesn't take away from the impact of this audio production. Much of the credit for that goes to the full-bodied British voice of narrator Greg Wagland...This audiobook illustrates how even an old novel can be given new life on audio." (AudioFile, 2015, full review at: http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/104716/)
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Bedford the somewhat unscrupulous businessman (and would-be playwright) joins forces with his neighbor, an eccentric scientist named Cavor, who is developing a metal that can repel gravity. In a sphere they build, they end up on the moon.
Wells wrote many strange tales, and this is one of the stranger. What they find is that an ant-like race lives under the moon's surface, in a massive nest of tunnels that goes hundreds of miles down. They are captured, they try to communicate, they try to escape. In the process, Bedford proves that he's mainly interested in Number One; Cavor, with his endlessly inquiring mind, bridges the gap and begins exchanging information with the "Selenites" - or, less formally, the "Moonies" - until they learn that one of the major industries on earth is the manufacture of weapons of war: and that gold, one of the commoner metals on the moon, is prized on earth above life itself.
It's a short, fast, entertaining tale, with a surprising amount of humor. But the structure is a bit odd and the end surprisingly open-ended.
Greg Wagland is an excellent narrator of HG Wells (and maybe other authors as well!) - I'm definitely going to look for some of his other work here.
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