The Collected Novels of H.G. Wells: 25 Books in One Volume (Unexpurgated Edition) is a treasure trove of the author's works, famous and otherwise.
Included are the classics that I've read before – The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The First Men in the Moon, In the Days of the Comet, and The Invisible Man – all of which I had the opportunity to read again. And, as a bonus, I was able to read an additional 19 stories that I didn't know even existed.
Stories such as:
The Wonderful Visit (1895): A fallen angel arrives in an English village, tries to cope with being disliked, and becomes more and more human. It's an amusing comparison of Heaven and Earth, poking fun of the prejudiced vision and stubborn misconceptions humans have of Heaven and its inhabitants. It's also a condemnation of human cruelty against those below their "station" and social status. (Delightful, insightful)
The Secret Places of the Heart (1922): Supposedly H.G. Wells' tribute (a love letter, one might say) to his romantic relationship with early birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger. Sometimes, when the world seems to be closing in around you, bringing on a spate of mental fatigue, spending time "away from it all" is just the ticket. (Too high an intellectual level of dialogue for me; I got bored and skipped through it)
The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll (1895): He's just draper's apprentice, but he has a pleasure – that new rage, cycling. A ride along the south coast on holiday sees him forever (or so it seems) crossing paths with a young lady in grey as he tries (unsuccessfully at times) to avoid falling off his two-wheeler. And therein lies an adventure, and a change of life. (Wandering, tedious, slow-developing)
The War in the Air (1908): A few years after the Wright brothers' first flight, world powers are in a high state of tension. Germany tries to seize control of the air. The USA finds itself fighting an air war on two fronts – on the east with Germany, and with Japan on the west. The story is very prophetic, considering the adversaries America faced three decades later in World War II. (Slow-developing, irrelevant for at least three long chapters)
Wells' actual writing is very much in the style and rhetoric of the day. He gets his point across, the principles are there. However, the phrasing is tedious and wordy, with a vocabulary of distinctly old English character. It might help if the reader experienced reading his stories on an iPad, as I did, with a built-in word-touch dictionary.
The works are as originally published, presented in chronological order of publication. The best part? The Kindle edition only cost $1.99 to download onto my iPad.
Halcyon Press, Ltd., Kindle edition ($1.99 list)