A Slip under the Microscope by H. G. Wells

A Slip Under the Microscope
H. G. Wells
Penguin 2015
£0.80 (UK)

Book review | A Slip under the Microscope by H. G. Wells | 3 stars



Disturbing, prescient stories of human conscience and conflicting desires by the pioneer of science fiction.


This lovely little black classic from Penguin contains two short stories by H. G. Wells. I quite enjoyed the first one and would give it 4 stars if rated separately. The second story was a bit long winded, though also an interesting comment on human conscience, which I would give 3 stars. Thinking about it, I feel like both stories together warrant 3 stars.

The first story The Door in the Wall was strange, yet intriguing. When you read it, it’s a bit difficult to find out what’s going on at first, however, as I continued I decided to interpret some of the aspects as metaphors, which works really well for the story. A literal interpretation in this case would be very odd, though I have seen that people called it a fantasy story, which I feel really makes you miss out on a lot.

The story deals with regret and choices (hard choices) that one has to make in life. To me, it was also about happiness that was lost; growing up it sometimes seems like you can never retain that child-like happiness again, no matter what you do.

The second story A Slip under the Microscope was more straightforward, as well as longwinded. The build up to the actual conflicts in conscience was terribly long and intertwined with a bit of a useless love story.

The actual message, that owning up to your mistakes doesn’t make you any less wrong, is a harsh, if not necessary one. All too often, it’s believed that owning up to something you did wrong, repairs that wrong. Just confessing makes it all better. This story shows that that’s not always the case. That’s my interpretation of the story anyway. I suppose there are plenty more lessons that can be learned from this one.


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