Title: The Food of the Gods
Author: H.G. Wells
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Classics, Science fiction
Dates read: 27th November – 5th December 2019
Publisher: Cantebury Classics
5th sentence, 74th page: The Vicar seems to have stared at each severally, and to have prodded most of them with his stick once or twice.
What happens when science tampers with nature? A riveting, cautionary tale with disastrous results reveals the chilling answer.
Hoping to create a new growth agent for food with beneficial uses to mankind, two scientists find that the spread of the material is uncontrollable. Giant chickens, rats, and insects run amok, and children given the food stuffs experience incredible growth–and serious illnesses. Over the years, people who have eaten these specially treated foods find themselves unable to fit into a society where ignorance and hypocrisy rule. These “giants,” with their extraordinary mental powers, find themselves shut away from an older, more traditional society. Intolerance and hatred increase as the line of distinction between ordinary people and giants is drawn across communities and families.
One of H. G. Wells’ lesser-known works, The Food of the Gods has been retold many times in many forms since it was first published in 1904. The gripping, newly relevant tale combines fast-paced entertainment with social commentary as it considers the ethics involved in genetic engineering.
I didn’t actually get all the way through this. I ended up just taking out my bookmark with only a quarter left to go. It wasn’t bad, it was just so much less awesome than the other five H.G. Wells books that I’ve read in the past two months. There was just something about it that didn’t really pull me in. And, honestly, made this quite a forgettable story.
Having said all that, I am planning on rereading this again when I have a little more time. This is the crazy point of the year, and I’m racing to try and finish all of my yearly reading challenges… so I’m probably not putting the same amount of attention into the reading of some of these classics. I didn’t hate this enough to think that I wouldn’t ever want to pick it up again. I just won’t be rushing to either. Unlike The Invisible Man and the other five Wells novels that I’ve recently read.
The thing that I did really love about this story was the idea of “don’t mess with nature”. That scientists have to think about what they’re doing first and foremost. And just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.