Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth

H.G. Wells' third novel (first published in 1904) examines the ethics of scientific research.

The food - designated Herakleophorbia IV by its creators Bensington and Redwood - heightens and strengthens the growth curve in living organisms. Besington and Redwood begin to conduct their research on hens. A married couple is hired to feed the hens regularly and monitor the results. Tragically (predictably) the couple are not suited for this sort of research, and their complete disregard for neatness and cleanliness results in the spread of the food. Soon the farm and neighboring towns are under siege by all manner beasts.

While the B-Movie nature of the first section, thrills; the remainder of the story focuses on the consequences of the experiments, specifically the embrace or rejection of evolution through the manipulation of science.

Without giving anything away, the conclusion ranks among the best of his work. Much like when I read The Time Machine, I simultaneously experienced excitement, fear and bewilderment.

Though not as highly regarded as his other science fiction classics, I very much enjoyed this book.

Recommendation: Read it!

Next: Love and Mr. Lewisham


MF said...

Only Wells i've ever read are, predictably, The Time Machine and War Of The Worlds.

What'd be the one to read after those?

Boothe (All Things) said...

Those titles are definitely the must reads of his work.

Though not as epic, I might recommend The Invisible Man, The Food of the Gods, and The Island of Dr. Moreau.

MF said...

Right, i'll give The Food Of The Gods a go as i already know the outcomes of both The Invisible Man and The Island Of Dr Moreau via the movie adaptions.