A provocative novel by H.G. Wells. In the midst of a world war, the tail of a comet brushes the atmosphere of earth, causing everyone to lose consciousness for a few hours. When the world awakens, everyone has an expanded understanding of the meaning of things. The war is quickly ended; a new utopia is created; even crime is reduced to near zero. What caused the transformation--or was there one?At this point in my reading the text is a coming-of-age story focused on a strident youth who is rebelling against an apparently corrupt world. One passage spoke to the relative wisdom of age. I found it both humorous and sad:
In that time of muddle and obscurity people were overtaken by needs and toil and hot passions before they had a chance to even a year or so of clear thinking; they settled down to an intense and strenuous application to some partial be immediate and hardened into narrow ways. Few women remained capable of a new idea after five and twenty, few men after thirty-one or two. Discontent with the thing that existed was regarded as immoral, it was certainly an annoyance, and the protest against it, the only effort against the universal tendency in all human institutions to thicken and clog, to work loosely and badly, to rust and weaken towards catastrophes, came from the young--the crude unmerciful young. (page 33 of Berkley Highland Edition)How many times have we felt this same sentiment in our lives, and what of the reality that followed the heated passion of conviction?