Big is beautiful but dangerous too
20 February, 2014
One of the best writers of fiction in the 60s and 70’s, H G Wells’s another great work of fiction which later was converted into a Hollywood movie, under the same title, released in 1976. The movie was a big success then.
Storyline: Somewhere in England, Professor Redwood and Mr Bensington were two hard core scientists, who always believed in creating something new and useful to the mankind. After thorough research, they discover a formula, that created a substance, which when fed to animals or plants increase their metabolism multifold and they grow in immaculate size, in no time. The food named “Herakleophorbia” (named after Hercules) also nicknamed as Boom Food by the locals, was first tried on chickens in a test farm of Bensington. Accidentally, the food spills and is eaten by the other inhabitants of the farm, including rats, wasps, ants, cockroaches etc. All of them grow including the plants that get exposed to Herakleophorbia, to massive sizes and start attacking and killing the people of the locality. This triggers great public rage. The scientists, who invented this food, were banished for their dangerous invention. Meanwhile, some patrons of the food, including Prof Redwood, feed their infant children with Boom Food, in anticipation of creation of a new generation of powerful offspring that can do wonders with their size. But, these children grow up to gigantic sizes and become a major problem to the normal population, as they start invading the privacies and properties of others. Over prolonged intolerance, the local government, took a firm stand to expel these giants from the country through force, but the Giants rebel. The story ends with Prof Redwood being called back from his exile and sent to deliver the peace treaty and message to the Giant children, by the local politician, asking them to stop their war against the normal population and orders to leave the country forever. The son of Prof Redwood, now a leader of the adolescent Giant group, politely refuses the order citing the reason that they have the right to live, as they wish, in the same country where they were born and would not succumb to such threats from the pygmy population. All of them get ready to fight the local police/army and die, if they lose the war, but not to leave their birth place.
Positives: A lovely classic from the author and salutes to his great imagination in those days of science fiction. The book reveals some great truths of life, survival, existence and growth. The author believes that growth should be the never ending process of the world and must be used to create more and more wonders to benefit the human population. An introduction to Max Nordau’s law, who believed in ‘Abnormal is Normal’.
Negatives: The scientific formula behind the Boom Food and how it led to such enormous growth was not clearly explained, for the modern reader. Can be treated as a bed time story to the children with some basic morals about life and its sustenance.
My rating is 3.5 out of 5
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