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The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

The War of the Worlds (1898)

by H. G. Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,814185294 (3.74)474
  1. 151
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (clif_hiker)
  2. 91
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Patangel)
  3. 51
    The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (sturlington)
  4. 20
    The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher (ecureuil)
  5. 20
    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (Medicinos)
    Medicinos: La place de l'Homme au sommet de la hiérarchie pensante est précaire.
  6. 10
    The Hopkins Manuscript by R. C. Sherriff (chrisharpe)
  7. 21
    Far Rainbow/The Second Invasion from Mars by Arkady Strugatsky (leigonj)
    leigonj: 'The Second Invasion from Mars' describes the Martians' renewed efforts to conquer by other means. Clever. Styles and stories are very different however.
  8. 00
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (sturlington)
  9. 00
    Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card (sturlington)
  10. 00
    Two Planets by Kurd Lasswitz (jannis)
  11. 35
    The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle (chrisharpe)

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» See also 474 mentions

English (170)  Danish (4)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
I love H.G. Wells. I read his works when I was young, but I was to young to appreciate it. It was hard for me to conceive then of the panic that would have occurred in 1938.

This is a brief little book that begins with a radio broadcast of Earth being invaded by Martians. The survivors are few and far between. It is an entertaining read that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys short stories and sci-fi suspension of reality for a short time. ( )
  jlsimon7 | Mar 1, 2015 |
It's amazing what a profound impact H. G. Wells had on the Science Fiction genre. So much of what we read today is inspired by what was created/popularized by this one man, and The War of the Worlds is the quintessential alien sci-fi novel.

Published in 1898 and set in England, it tells of the horrifying and destructive invasion of Earth by a hyper-advanced Martian fighting force. This is the 3rd book I've read by Wells (so far) and it is by far the best. Though it has all the monologue and contemplative verbosity you'd expect from something written in the time period, it is surprisingly readable, and is probably the most absorbing story I've read published before the 20th century. ( )
  Ape | Feb 26, 2015 |
The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells ***

I left it a few weeks before I reviewed WOTW to see if I would change my mind about this book. I haven't.

I think most people by now know the story of Martian's landing in London and creating havoc and death. The novel is written in the first person by an unnamed narrator (something I usually enjoy). We follow his journey from when the aliens first land all the way through to their eventual demise.

The book is approaching 120 years old, so I anticipated that it may be more than a little dated, but this hasn't bothered me with other classics from the same era. For some reason, and I can't put my finger on it, War of the Worlds just really failed to engage with me. Very rare do I find reading a book a chore but this was one of those occasions. I fully understand the foresight shown by Wells and the way he used and described scientific information must have been really revolutionary for the time, and because of this I can see why it is still revered today. But for me it didn't work. I found the plot extremely monotonous and at times just wishing the narrator would get zapped by the heat ray. On more than one occasion I felt like I was reading an AA route planner as we constantly get told the place names he is travelling through (which would probably help if I knew my way around London, but I don't). The house scenario really detracted from the flow of the plot and just seemed a slog through, that twist for me was a little unbelievable (even more so than being invaded by Martians) and although it allowed Wells a chance to include a little segment of horror, the whole concept of the curate and narrator being imprisoned for 2 weeks was a step too far for me.

I know many people are screaming at me right now, telling me to look deeper into the novel, examine how the appearance of the Martians has the potential to reflect humanities own future or how Britain at the time was an empire crushing many parts of the globe and War of the worlds could be seen as a vision or warning of our own fate. I have to agree that all these themes (and many more) are there for the reader, but I have to be fully absorbed in the plot to want to dig that little bit deeper. In reality my enjoyment would only warrant a one star rating, but that wouldn't be fair. The book did have it's moments of brilliance and I would be the first one to put my hand in the air and admit that it is more down to my personal taste rather than the novel, you only have to see the hundreds of 5 star reviews for this. I wish I had liked it, I really do, I tried my best, but 3 stars is the most I can offer.

Has it put me off reading further H G Wells novel? Not really, possibly just lowered my expectations. Maybe the next one I choose will be one where I haven't heard the story before so hopefully the writing and events will be totally fresh. ( )
  Bridgey | Feb 23, 2015 |
Martians attack!

If you somehow have remained ignorant of the details of this classic story, be aware that there are major spoilers in this review.

I have only recently started reading the works of H. G. Wells, and I'm sorry I waited so long. We tend to assume that books written over 100 years ago will be difficult reads, filled with convoluted sentences, arcane words and obtuse themes. But Wells is actually a simple, straightforward and highly evocative writer. I thought The Time Machine was moody and poetic. Surprisingly, The War of the Worlds was scary, suspenseful and humbling.

The basic story should be familiar to most from the famous radio and movie adaptations. Martians unexpectedly arrive on Earth in cylindrical spaceships and quickly construct huge, three-legged war machines that immediately lay waste to the country around them. Wells' descriptions of the tripods looming of the smoke, hunting the comparatively tiny humans with heat rays and poisonous gas, are chilling. Wells describes the panic that overtakes London so precisely that the reader feels like one of the fleeing mob. In one of the more horrifying scenes, the unnamed narrator -- hiding in the basement of a destroyed house -- watches the Martians just outside as they drain and ingest the blood of their captives. Modern horror has to work hard to be this scary.

In the face of overwhelmingly superior technology, man is reduced to a helpless, panicked animal. People are compared to ants scurrying in the road or to rabbits run to ground. Just a few days after the Martians land, civilization is effectively over. This is no feel-good Independence Day-type story. People don't rise up to save the day. The most frightening aspect of this novel is that it lays bare how truly powerless we are.

Of course, the Martians are defeated by an even tinier foe: bacteria against which they have developed no immunology. While this development is something of a deus ex machina, the ending is still perfectly plausible. But will humankind learn from this experience? That remains to be seen.

Reading the science fiction classics (2011). ( )
  sturlington | Feb 18, 2015 |
Joplin Library Book Club selection for May 2010 ( )
  anitatally | Feb 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
Mr. Wells's dramatic power is of the strongest, and through "The War of the Worlds" deals with death, destruction, and ruin, he has known how to manage a terrible topic in a clever and ingenuous way.

» Add other authors (337 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Francis R. GemmeIntroductionmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Asimov, IsaacAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrett, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Card, Orson ScottIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delgado, TeresaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredrik, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frost, Adam H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gemme, Francis R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goble, WarwickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunn, JamesAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Θωμόπουλος… Γιάννης Γ.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, AndyNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, AlexanderNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, AlexanderNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The War of the Worlds & A Dream of Armageddon & The Land Ironclads. Heron Collected Works of Wells by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine / The War of the Worlds / The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells

The War of the Worlds / The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Collector's Book of Science Fiction by H. G. Wells by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine; The Island of Dr. Moreau; The Invisible Man; The First Men in the Moon; The Food of the Gods; In the Days of the Comet; The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

The war of the worlds, The time machine, and selected short stories by H. G. Wells

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But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited? ... Are we or they Lords of the World? ... And how are all things made for man?-- KEPLER (quoted in The Anatomy of Melancholy)
First words
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
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Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Please do not combine with any abridgements, adaptations, annotated editions, etc.
ISBN 1402552459 is an unabridged audio version of the novel
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Book description
Night after night, the bright lights can be seen dropping from the sky.
Traveling thousands of miles through space, the Martians are landing on Earth!
The strange, ugly creatures have three spindly legs and large metallic bodies. They have already destroyed London.
Who or what can stop them from taking over the entire world?
Audio CD
Haiku summary
Mars attacks England.
Earth's defenses are no match,
But-- ah, ah, ACHOO!

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375759239, Paperback)

This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's..."

Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth's comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England's military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it's clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled. --Craig E. Engler

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:52 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

H.G. Wells' late nineteenth-century novel in which an intellectually superior race from Mars invades Earth with plans to take over the planet.

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24 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441038, 0451530659, 0141045418, 0141199040

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