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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.

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12,677232296 (3.75)623
1890s (19)

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» See also 623 mentions

English (215)  French (5)  Spanish (5)  Danish (4)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (232)
Showing 1-5 of 215 (next | show all)
This is a tale well known thanks to the radio play from the 1930s and the Tom Cruise film. An interesting story of what would happen if the Martians invaded and how the human race would cope. The reactions by ordinary people strike me as being very 'of the day' - genteel and little hint of looting and violence. The spirit of the human race to survive was evident though. The end of the invasion was rather underwhelming and the final pages felt like a footnote rather than a finish of a story. Still an interesting read. ( )
  peelap | Feb 3, 2019 |
This is a classical SF novel, which created the whole genre of alien invasion among other things. Unlike maybe 99% of alien invasion stories it is not about ingenious earthmen who can at the eleventh hour turn the tables and win and this uniqueness isn’t really appreciated by many. It wasn’t appreciated by me, when I read it for the first time some when around ten years of age.
When I read it in translation in this early age I was more interested in Heat-rays and fighting tripods than in many other issues raised by the book. Now I appreciate a lot of ideas that I haven’t seen earlier. For example the fact that neither the narrator nor other important characters never presented by name as individuals. Or that for a largest part of “my brother’s story” plotline we don’t actually see Martians but observe the panic and quick loss of veneer of civilization as people join mass exodus from London. This is similar to later cinematic trick, where the watcher doesn’t actually see monsters while his fear increases.
The language is a little outdated, but quite readable; paragraphs with descriptions are longer than what we can see today but it was common then.
An interesting fact: the author mentions God several times, but in Russian translation all these mentions are omitted. Recommended to anyone interested in the history of SF and fiction in general.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
I liked this quite a bit. Familiar with the story, of course, thanks to various other dramatizations, so it was nice to finally read this. The second half is quite eerie. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Arresting cover design, illustration 'a scene from George Pal's Paramount Technicolor production War of the Worlds, designed by Al Nozaki'...Green Martian invaders on garish yellow and red background. ( )
  jon1lambert | Oct 29, 2018 |
This book was revolutionary at its time, but it has not aged well. Wells was the first to imagine destruction and panic on a massive scale and by an alien force. He was on top of contemporary science and the book is peppered with theories about Mars and Darwinism. His imagination of a superior race and technology is captivating and way ahead of its time, as is the envisioning of panic and devastation in the attack. However, the writing is clunky and often difficult to follow, the human interactions are depicted flatly and unconvincingly. People are stupid and self-serving and act like cattle. I was intrigued by the ending, however. Overall, good to read for historic perspective, but quite unrewarding on its own merit. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 215 (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 (143 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Asimov, IsaacAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrett, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burnett, VirgilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Card, Orson ScottIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clarke, Arthur C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crüwell, G. A.Translatorsecondary 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, EdwardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gunn, JamesAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Θωμόπουλος… Γιάννης Γ.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, TomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, AndyNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmölders, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, AlexanderNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:09 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

An English astronomer, in company with an artilleryman, a country curate, and others, struggle to survive the invasion of Earth by Martians in 1894.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441038, 0451530659, 0141199040

NYRB Classics

An edition of this book was published by NYRB Classics.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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