The Food of the Gods Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Food of the Gods

While one of H.G. Wells' lesser-known works, The Food of the Gods has been retold in many forms in Science Fiction novels and films for the past century. It is the cautionary tale of scientists tampering with nature with the disastrous result of giant animals at large. Mr. Bensington and Mr. Redwood create a new food material, Herakleophorbia, later called Boomfood, they hope will have beneficial uses to mankind. They set up the Experimental Farm, managed by a Mr. Skinner and test the powdered material on newly hatched chicks, which in turn grow to 6 times their normal size, killing cats and threatening children. Unfortunately, the dispersion of the food is uncontrollable at times and in rapid succession there are giant wasps, rats and earwigs running amok. The first two plagues cause several human fatalities including the demise of Mr. Skinner. After those creatures are brought under control and Boomfood has been given to children, runoff material from the manufacture of the food leads to the outbreak of giant eels, beetle larvae, flies, red spiders, and cockroaches, not to mention colossal plants.
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Eventually, Mr. Bensington is no longer a part of the narrative and the story shifts to the human impact caused by the feeding to human offspring including the sons of Mr. Redwood and Mr. Cossar. The story moves on to follow the lives of the children affected by their incredible growth and the societal outcomes. Overeating beyond minimal amounts necessary cause lesions, cancers, and tumors. If the consumer tries to stop eating Boomfood before reaching physical maturity the eater will become anemic and die. Therefore one cannot eat a little and grow just a little larger, one must consume a constant and steady diet until full grown to gigantic proportions.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of The Food of the Gods

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 40% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Adversaries are…    -   giant monsters Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Slowly poisoned Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book GIANT monster(s)    -   Yes


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   an average amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Food of the Gods

H.G. Wells Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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