Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Research Magnificent: H.G. Wells

Wells has been banging on about philosopher kings and samurai for most of his career, but when he attempts to put flesh on the bones- to imagine such a being- as he does here- what he gives us is a man without self knowledge- compulsive, awkward, priggish- who bungles round the world on a fact-finding mission that never bears fruit (the research magnificent of the title) alienating his wife, creating much incidental havoc and getting first his best friend killed and then himself. Maybe the idea is to test the Utopian ideal to destruction in the hope that it will come shining through. Or maybe Wells (too much of an artist to treat even his dearest ideas quite seriously) is taking the piss out of himself. Either way this is a perverse little book- and rather a good one. 
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