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The Passionate Friends

H. G. Wells

Book Overview: 

The Passionate Friends is a love story. It also is a story about dreams, despair, jealousy, sex, the struggle against social convention, the future of civilization, and much much more. It is written by a father to his son, "not indeed to the child you are now, but to the man you are going to be." He writes it so that one day, perhaps when he is dead, his grown son can read it and rediscover him as a friend and equal. In the process, he tries to make sense of a lifetime's experiences and distill some kind of wisdom from them. It is quite simply a beautiful book, both inspiring and heartbreaking.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .the misty bloom upon the turf, and the ragged, filmy carpet of gossamer on either hand, of the warm wetness of every little blade and blossom and of the little scraps and seeds of grass upon my soaking and discolored boots. Our footsteps were dark green upon the dew-grey grass. And I feel the same hungry freshness again at the thought of those stolen meetings. Presently came the sunrise, blinding, warming, dew-dispelling arrows of gold smiting through the tree stems, a flood of light foaming over the bracken and gilding the under sides of the branches. Everything is different and distinctive in those opening hours; everything has a different value from what it has by day. All the little things upon the ground, fallen branches, tussocks, wood-piles, have a peculiar intensity and importance, seem magnified, because of the length of their shadows in the slanting rays, and all the great trees seem lifted above the light and merged with the sky. And at last, a cool grey outlin. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is definitely one of Wells' best. The book is a love letter and apology to the non-conventional woman from a man who was unable to go beyond society's notions of love and relationship to come together with her on equal terms. As he said he wanted to possess her and failed to understand that she

Przepiękna, bolesna, (nie)aktualna - wolność kobiety.

Odnalazłam w tej książce niezrozumiałe życie zamknięte w prostych słowach.

❝Życie jest pełniejsze niż jakakolwiek książka. Całą tę historię można przeczytać w kilka godzin, ale przemyślenie jej treści zajęło mi ponad czterdzieści lat.❞

Very rarely do I stop a book in the middle, but this one was breaking my heart. Maybe if times were better, I could bear the heartache in this book. It’s quite a painful read, terribly sad.

3.5

Ło matko, co za ramota.
Pan Wells chciał dobrze, ale za nic nie rozumiał kobiet. Pisze o potrzebie emancypacji kobiet, ale nie potrafi się w nie wczuć, spojrzeć na problem z innej perspektywy niż perspektywa białego mężczyzny.
Wells potrafił wymyślić machinę czasu, niewidzialnego człowieka i inwazję

Not an author known for his flair for stories of explosive human emotion, Wells struggles to ignite this novel of complicated amour without resorting to lachrymal melodrama. Composed around the same time as Ann Veronica and The New Machiavelli, this 1913 novel explores similar New Woman (i.e. proto-

I have been reading a lot of Wells back to back recently. This book was a real gem. It was so nice to have a break from Wells’ views on Socialism and trying to incorporate that into a story line.

Here we have two people, Mary and Stephen, childhood friends, potential romance, Chance and love lost. Th

Absolutely stunning. Moving, thought-provoking, mind-blowing. Beautiful.

I've noticed a pattern in some of Wells' lesser works: pages and pages of pontification on socialism and other issues of the day. This is fine-the best types of art engage with the world around it. The problem is, especially in Wells' case, it doesn't exactly make for compelling stories.

The Passion

Love sucks. But how gloriously, how magnificently, how tragically! Nevetheless... love will mostly bring pain and torment, so keep it in your pants. I think that's the theme of this book- I haven't read it in a while, but I remember adoring the angst, so I shall probably re-read it.

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