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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
12,263227207 (3.74)604
  1. 161
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (clif_hiker)
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    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Patangel)
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    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (Morteana)
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    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (Medicinos)
    Medicinos: La place de l'Homme au sommet de la hiérarchie pensante est précaire.
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    The Hopkins Manuscript by R. C. Sherriff (chrisharpe)
  6. 21
    The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher (ecureuil)
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    Two Planets by Kurd Lasswitz (jannis)
  8. 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.
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    War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches by Kevin J. Anderson (Hedgepeth)
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    The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (chrisharpe)
Horror (7)
1890s (18)

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English (210)  French (5)  Spanish (5)  Danish (4)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All (227)
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)

While I've listened to the radio play, and watched the old black and white movie based on Mr. Wells' novel, this is the first time I've actually read it. I very much enjoyed it.

Victorian novels in general seem to strive for verisimilitude. This one does as well, and succeeds. It's very believable.

The movie and, especially, the radio plays also had a strong quality of verisimilitude. They're both set in the US, with slightly different specific actions, but the changes are there to suit the different mediums.

Like [book:Time Machine], War of the Worlds touches on some very large issues of both the nature of humanity, and where humanity could go. Much to my surprise, neither novel is too heavy handed about it. It really is a natural out-welling of the story. I can't tell if the philosophy or the plot came first.

Now I'm craving both the movie and the radio play :) ( )
  hopeevey | May 19, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this quick, classic novel. I knew the story already from the many adaptations in popular culture, but this book was interesting enough, and suspenseful enough, to keep me interested and turning pages. It is always fun to read the original story as well to compare it to the movies I have seen dealing with it. The Tom Cruise movie I enjoyed very much, and it did keep with the general themes and plots of the book. A good read I would recommend to any fans of science fiction. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
It's been a while since I've seen the Tom Cruise movie adaptation, which was good when reading the book. I enjoyed the story about Martians invading earth. Very descriptive and felt very anxious while our main character fled and escaped barely from the aliens. The thing I didn't like were the notes explaining to me where all the places where by London or near London. I really didn't need a geography lesson nor did I care. Besides that irritation, it is a good read. ( )
  booklover3258 | Jan 3, 2018 |
New introduction by Brian Aldiss
  stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
Our story starts off with a writer in England working just like anybody does. He goes to an observatory and watches Mars to prove a theory or hypothesis with another guy(who’s insignificant) seeing a weird green flash reporting it to the other guy. He then checks it for two or three days finding nothing and going home. The next day, the paper boy reported a strange cylinder located locally with our narrator then setting off to look at in person. He then finds it waiting a while leaving, then coming back with it opening martians emerging. They then try to show peace by making allies but end up getting melted by a heat ray our narrator just surviving it. Then the narrator after returning home leaves with his wife to Leatherhead putting her in the care of his cousin’s family returning back to his house and seeing a monstrosity while near his home that was a tripod with the martian in control on top. He also met a soldier during this time and they were with each other for the night waiting for the chance to escape. Later while hundreds of people were leaving more of the tripods came and one was destroyed by a cannon(not a traditional one but one of the modern day ones) with them retreating back to the pit at the beginning of the book. He then gives an account from his brother a little later after London was taken over about the stampede of all the people rushing away from the martian’s vehicles. It was absolute utter chaos and a mess with farmers having to fight people to not steal their crops. Though our narrator's brother went on a boat to escape the madness of the stampede and saw a battering ram type of ship take down three tripods but got destroyed with the captain rushing away as fast as he could on his ship. Our narrator then moved from place to place in search of food and met a curate being later trapped in an abandoned house with a martian encampment right outside of their house. To shorten up that time it was 13 days, the curate went insane, the curate got eaten by the martians, there was a drilling site where the martians took supplies making weird bars, and they also took their food supply. He then meets the soldier in the beginning which has dreams which the narrator things is great but then realizes it’s absurd and heads over to London. He then goes over to see London in ruins with a weird black powder then going towards the middle and seeing all the martians dead. It was because of bacteria and they were also testing flight in the area with our narrator going back home. He then starts mourning his wife but then she surprises him still being alive.

I gave it a four and a half stars because I thought the book was great but not perfect since the older english was confusing. I really enjoyed what the narrator said at the end which was something like this “We humans had earned our right for this planet.” since our species faced bacteria and I just found it cool. It also just had a nice feel to the defeat of the martians to me, not armies or gun batteries but just viruses. I also found it sort of strange how the narrator thought the soldiers plan to save humanity was great but then he was practically a lunatic. It was kind of sad that the curate died but the way he was acting would’ve made you wonder if he was a psychopath which is strange since he was cool at first but then he went savage.Overall it was a great story and if you're looking for something to read I’d recommend it for you or someone else. ( )
  LucasW.B3 | Nov 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 210 (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, EdwardIntroductionsecondary 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)

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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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