This isn't the H.G. Wells you think you know and it is a genius commentary of advertising and the boom/bust that it brings into our lives even today. Take what is basically water, call it Tono-Bungay and market the heck out of it as the medicine that will cure practically anything. You have a hit, a fad, the next big thing, but slowly that empire that you build on nothing starts to crumble. You start buying your own advertising slogans, everything you touch turns to gold and getting full of yourself. The bottom falls out and what is left?