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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 2012)

by H. G. Wells

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11,342215245 (3.74)577
Member:bherner
Title:The War of the Worlds
Authors:H. G. Wells
Info:Tribeca Books (2012), Paperback, 138 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, classics

Work details

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

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    Far Rainbow/The Second Invasion from Mars by Arkady Strugatsky (leigonj)
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1890s (17)
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Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
Interplanetary war breaks out in Woking, Surrey England. Newsreaders even less sure where that is than countries in the Middle East.

The War of the Worlds is about Martians invading Earth using advanced technology, like 21 metre tall tripod machines, heat rays, and toxic smogs. One man is able to recount his experience of living through the invasion from the first landing to the start of the rebuilding of southern England.

It is hard to comment on such a classic novel. The War of the Worlds has gone on to influence culture in many ways. The obvious influences are in books and movies, most notably the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels and the entire alien invasion genre. But it also had an impact on science, such Freeman Dyson's search for extraterrestrial life and Robert Goddard's rocket development. Not many books can claim that (seriously, check the Wiki article out for a brief overview https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_of_the_Worlds). Makes it very hard to comment...

While I enjoyed this book I came away from it underwhelmed. Much of the novel is interesting, not least of which is the understated setting - because now you would be considered mad to set an alien invasion story anywhere without a prominent monument that can be destroyed. The characters the narrator meets are also interesting, particularly the artilleryman who has big dreams about leading the resistance movement. But this is all told in a memoir style that lacks immediacy, tension, and excitement. Southern England has just been invaded by aliens with death rays, yet the narrator could just as well be relating the time he watched a cricket match in Surrey.

Worth reading as a classic, especially if you forgive the narrative style. ( )
1 vote TysonAdams | Jun 20, 2017 |
The classic science-fiction novel, The War of the Worlds originally appeared in serialized form in 1897. This is one of the first stories about a conflict between Earth and Alien visitors. The story is presented as a factual account related by a couple of unnamed characters that are brothers. One brother lives in Surrey, near where the first container from Mars lands, while the other is a doctor working in London.

I have to admit that there were parts that I found quite amusing. In typical Victorian manner, the Martians, although armed with far superior weapons were first dismissed as a novelty and most Britishers could not accept that the Martians were able to disrupt the running of English trains.

But the storyline told here is far from amusing. The Martians have launched a series of rockets which open to disgorge these alien creatures. They immediately engage in spreading death and mayhem. Many of the devices that the author invents here for the first time have gone on to become staples of science-fiction – death rays, mechanical robots, and chemical warfare all are used here to build the action and create mass hysteria. Another often used device in science fiction is what eventually brings the Martians down.

Well there was plenty of action and excitement in this story, it unfolds in rather stiff prose which causes the story to feel every bit of it’s age. This groundbreaking novel today is probably better known for its famous adaptions in films, television, and notably the Orson Welles radio play that caused quite a stir in October of 1940. This was my first experience with H. G. Wells and I admire the originality and drama that comes across in War of the Worlds. I look forward to reading more of his works. ( )
6 vote DeltaQueen50 | May 12, 2017 |
Mine is the exclusive edition for Bulldog Skincare for Men, 2015, with cover design by Chris Falkner [not the one illustrated here]
  biodiplomacy | Apr 29, 2017 |
It took me over a hundred years but I finally got around to reading this novel.
Wells certainly had an incredible imagination and this novel is a fine example of that. At times I found it hard to believe this was written so long ago. Seemed a lot less dated than most books from that era.
I enjoyed the story and I am sorry it took me so long to read it. ( )
  antrat1965 | Apr 7, 2017 |
The War of the Worlds is a classic alien invasion novel written by H. G. Wells. I think it would be difficult for a present-day science fiction reader to be completely blown away by this book when we’ve inevitably read or watched many similar types of stories. However, it was still entertaining and it held my interest well with only the occasional dry spot.

I think what helped the story feel more “fresh” to me was the time period. It’s set at around the same time as it was written – in the late 1800’s. Most of the older science fiction books I’ve read have been set in the “future” as imagined by the author. With this book, I had the fun of visiting a time period I don’t often see in my science fiction reading. Since the author was living in that time period, it felt pretty authentic. That, combined with the matter-of-fact tone the story is written in, almost made it feel like I was reading about a historical event that they forgot to teach us in school. :) The technology of the time played a definite role in how things played out, particularly in terms of the limited transportation and communication options.

The writing style, as I said before, was very matter-of-fact. It was written as a first-person account of events, focusing mainly on the events the narrator experienced. There are also a couple chapters that tell part of his brother’s story to expand the view of what happened in areas further away from the narrator.

Although the story held my interest, there were certain aspects of it that I wasn’t thrilled with, and that I tend to complain about when they come up in other books. This book has those one-dimensionally evil, invading aliens that never hold too much interest for me. There’s also a bit of that “run, find refuge, danger approaches again, run again” circular pattern that I usually find tedious. I wasn’t as bothered by these things in this book, though. I think that was a combination of how short the book is, combined with the interesting time period in which it was set which added a different element to the story than what I’m used to reading. ( )
2 vote YouKneeK | Mar 15, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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 41 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141441038, 0451530659, 0141199040

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