The Wheels Of Chance

The Wheels Of Chance

By H. G. Wells

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This is the annotated edition including the rare biographical essay by Edwin E. Slosson called "H. G. Wells - A Major Prophet Of His Time". Mr. Wells's Wheels of Chance is assuredly one of the best books he has written. It is as delightful a jeu d'esprit as we have seen for many a day. Mr. Wells has a vein of the richest and most delicate humor, which enlivens every page. The hero is an original conception—original, because he comes from so very familiar a type that he is, indeed, the last hero a novelist would ordinarily select. He is a clerk in a dry goods establishment, absolutely commonplace in body, mind, and soul. For this very reason his adventures on his cycling tour in southern England make delightful reading—his deeds, words, and thoughts are so completely within the limits of our common humanity. Every reader who wheels will vote this book a triumph of psychology. The struggles at mounting, the unexpected violence of dismounting, the mastery of the simultaneous use of the handkerchief and continuous progress, the perils that envelop raising one's hat to a passer, the accurate localization of fatigue sensations—all of these are faithfully presented by the author. A charming Quixotic romance is interwoven with the natural adventures of the tour, and the "shameful episode of the young lady in grey" will remain bright in the reader's memory long after the book is laid aside. Unqualified praise is simply what The Wheels of Chance deserves; and underneath the sparkle of wit and fancy, one sees easily that Mr. Wells is not only a literary expert but a man of genuinely refined taste and a big heart.

H. G. Wells