Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In the Days of the Comet by H.G. Wells

☆☆☆☆This review contains spoilers☆☆☆☆

When I discovered my love for reading, as a young teenager, I found myself skipping over paragraphs that I found boring. Over time, I realized the words I threw away contained crucial information to the story line, which subsequently stopped the habit, until now. I caught myself leaping over paragraphs to lessen my burden of the wrath contained within along with the boredom it produced.

On opening the pages, words viciously tumbled out, forcing an aspiration to seek safety from the onslaught. Seventy-five percent of the book dwells with the dreadful conditions preceding the comet, followed by the final words telling the story after the comet passes the earth, yet continues to cast dispersions concerning the past.
Dude, we get it and it was bad.

The leading character isn't a man that's easy to respect. He thinks too highly of himself, blames other people for his problems, has a disastrous slow boiling temper and makes terrible decisions while disrespecting essentially everyone, including his hard-working poor mother. Though, after the transformation, there emerges a tenderness for his mother, which creates a happiness that she richly deserves.

Willie's fury awakens a destructive force from within, which pushes him "to the dark side," creating a wish to destroy the woman responsible for breaking his heart.
He comprehends a true love existing between Nellie and himself, though he's rarely declared his love in person, as there's significant mileage separating the two.
His enhanced feelings find writing a torrent of letters outweigh his anticipation of the letters he receives (the British postal system became the basis for their entire relationship). As all pretentious and self-righteous people believe, he acknowledges there's more for him to teach than to learn.

There's more than one villain in the book, as Nellie deserves limited respect--running off with a rich man that will one day cast her aside when he's through with her. Strict conformity of class conscience permeates society well into the twentieth century.  A rich man who married a poor woman would be an outcast, since polite society would never receive him in their midst.
Women who made this decision, during that time period, left chaos and shame for her family to bear alone. Their selfish act would leave behind a decreased standing in the community, reflecting on younger siblings future prospects.

Willie buys a gun and hunts down the two lovers. At the moment he shoots, the effects of the comet create an unconscious state for the entire human race, or both would assuredly felt the sting of a bullet, if not for such perfect timing.

After the comet, all hatred ceased, as humans care for one another in extraordinary ways never imagined before. The wealthy destroy the class system, inviting the poor to live in the empty rooms of their mansions.
The thirst of knowledge  accelerates with a fervor, newly born in the heart of humanity. The destruction of tenements and other unsightly buildings brings forth the construction of extensive buildings, comparable to a communal persuasion, built with beauty and grace. Humanity strives for the happiness of the entire race, and not the select few.

While reading of the new love, I imagined the comet happening today, racists, gang members, mobsters, evil regimes and the greedy rich would vanish. Judging and hating others would cease, leaving only feelings of kindness, respect and love would prevail.
To think of the end of hunger, poverty, war, murder, rape exchanged for the beginning of  healthcare, food and lovely accommodations for the entire world--the visions of dreams becoming reality.
At what cost to us, would we lose that unique spark that makes us human, or become bored with all the love permeating the air we breathe?

Would horror movies or detective TV shows become artifacts from the past? The thought of a world tuning in every night to the Hallmark channel inspires the feeling of nausea, or conceivably TV and movies would become redundant, leaving the world forever.
What about rock music, car racing, hamburgers, fatty sweet desserts, roller coasters, Star Wars, wine, Las Vegas, partying, video games, lazy weekends, The Walking Dead, vacations, competitive sports, Starbucks.....I presume we'll never experience the true feelings of modern humanity, as it's very doubtful the events in the book will ever occur in our reality.

Though the book has serious flaws, I would still recommend it for the unique idea of a comet spreading love throughout the land. I guess the Beatles were right, "All You Need Is Love!"