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The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
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The War of the Worlds (original 1898; edition 2005)

by H.G. Wells

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,756206261 (3.74)527
Member:MadSeason
Title:The War of the Worlds
Authors:H.G. Wells
Info:NYRB Classics (2005), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 250 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, Science Fiction

Work details

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (1898)

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1890s (15)
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» See also 527 mentions

English (190)  French (5)  Spanish (4)  Danish (4)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (206)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
My dad taught me to read with a bunch of broken-spined sci-fi books, one being The War of the Worlds. Potentially problematic when you get down to the nitty gritty subject matter but it worked for us and thrust me solidly into geekdom. Thanks, Dad.

Reading it for the first time all these years later, my five stars are a bit of a hodge podge of good memories and an impression of the unique and exciting material that was produced by Wells at a time when there wasn't really anything else like it. The five stars will remain and it's officially been added to my favorites list which, let's be honest, it always was. ( )
  lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
I suspect that my expectations of this classic science fiction novel might have been unduly stretched by recollections of listening to Jeff Wayne’s musical version from the late 1970s. Reading it now I found that the narrative from Wayne’s version seemed more imposing and eloquent than Wells’s rather pedestrian prose. That may just be a trick of the mind, though - I suppose that anything read out loud by Richard Burton would always have greater impact than words on a page.

The story is a compelling one – towards the end of the nineteenth century a number of cylinders are launched from Mars and land at various sites through Surrey and the Home Counties of England. A crowd gathers to witness this spectacle and, after a considerable delay while the capsules to cool down from their perilous journey through Earth’s atmosphere, the Martians gradually appear. It is immediately apparent that this is not friendly foray with a view to establishing peaceful and mutually beneficial trade. The Martians have a death ray and deploy it liberally, causing the survivors to flee, and start a mass exodus from London.

His prose may seem rather dry nowadays, but Wells knew how to tell a story. His characters seem very real and plausible, and he successfully blends the outlandish (i.e. an alien invasion) with the mundane aspects of life, adding verisimilitude to the story. ( )
1 vote Eyejaybee | May 11, 2016 |
its a classic story, interesting to read it after the album, and the film and film.... it was hard work in places, but i enjoyed it. ( )
  troyka | May 5, 2016 |
It has been a few years since i first read this and I was struck at how skillfully the story was told without ever mentioning a name - I think by doing this Wells made it far more relatable (you put yourself into the role of the protagonist and his brother). Also I can see now how strongly he was pushing evolution as a scientific theme - It is hard to imagine exactly how far we have come in our understanding of science in such a short time until you read something like this.
Wells predicted things that were unimaginable at the time: A conflict involving the whole world, chemical warfare (black gas), Flying machines, mechanical devices capable of almost animal movement (something we are still getting to) and the suggestion of interstellar flight.
The way Wells imagined some of these things were accomplished (even I, with my limited knowledge of science) know would not be possible - such as a cannon firing the martian rockets at earth and all of them landing in such small area - are easy to criticise but the fact is he extrapolated his story from the cutting edge of science in his day.
Two world wars have brought many of the not so nice things that he imagined to life and we didn't even need martians to do it. ( )
  SashaM | Apr 20, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  kristina_brooke | Apr 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (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 (366 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
Burnett, VirgilCover artistsecondary 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
Kidd, TomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, DomingoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, AndyNotessecondary 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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Epigraph
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)
Dedication
TO
MY BROTHER
FRANK WELLS
THIS RENDERING
OF HIS IDEA
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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Haiku summary
Mars attacks England.
Earth's defenses are no match,
But-- ah, ah, ACHOO!
(MJMunn)

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)

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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 48 descriptions

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Audible.com

29 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

NYRB Classics

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