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The chilling novel account of a Martian invasion of London in the nineteenth century -- a science fiction classic for all time.
Published: Pocket Books on
ISBN: 9781416524984
List price: $6.99
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I liked this much more than Well's The Time Machine! Interesting that this too has a first person narration in which the narrator is never named.more
I liked this much more than Well's The Time Machine! Interesting that this too has a first person narration in which the narrator is never named.more
I liked this much more than Well's The Time Machine! Interesting that this too has a first person narration in which the narrator is never named.more
Got it in a book sale one summer when I was quite young -- nine or so, I think -- and scared myself silly with it. Never quite got up the courage to revisit, since then. I remember liking it a lot, but I also remember the nightmares about alien invasions.more
Reading another H.G. Wells novel I first read decades ago was like reading it for the first time. All the film versions, the Orson Welles radio theater, and the derivatives, do not detract from Wells's story. He manages the trick of describing an alien invasion, an event of worldwide importance, from the point of view of an anonymous observer who happens to witness the first landing. The science is out-dated--no radios or computers, for example, but the story left me with a sense Wells himself must have had of the fragility and promise of human life.more
Reading another H.G. Wells novel I first read decades ago was like reading it for the first time. All the film versions, the Orson Welles radio theater, and the derivatives, do not detract from Wells's story. He manages the trick of describing an alien invasion, an event of worldwide importance, from the point of view of an anonymous observer who happens to witness the first landing. The science is out-dated--no radios or computers, for example, but the story left me with a sense Wells himself must have had of the fragility and promise of human life.more
Reading another H.G. Wells novel I first read decades ago was like reading it for the first time. All the film versions, the Orson Welles radio theater, and the derivatives, do not detract from Wells's story. He manages the trick of describing an alien invasion, an event of worldwide importance, from the point of view of an anonymous observer who happens to witness the first landing. The science is out-dated--no radios or computers, for example, but the story left me with a sense Wells himself must have had of the fragility and promise of human life.more
Like his other works, this is social commentary shrouded in science fiction. Much more likable protagonist than Verne's Axel, but tells a similar tale of late 19th century civilization.more
Like his other works, this is social commentary shrouded in science fiction. Much more likable protagonist than Verne's Axel, but tells a similar tale of late 19th century civilization.more
Like his other works, this is social commentary shrouded in science fiction. Much more likable protagonist than Verne's Axel, but tells a similar tale of late 19th century civilization.more
As my first foray into the world of Sci Fi, I really enjoyed the vivid descriptions of everything, the emotional battles, the difficult people encountered and the scientific rationing of how to deal with and vanquish the Martians.

I even really enjoyed the Science vs Faith interplay, and relish the crushing defeat of the Martians at the hands of... well, I won't say for spoiler's sake.

H.G. Wells... I shall read more of you soon.more
As a science fiction fan, I have always been interested in reading The War of the Worlds, since it's the first of its kind. The modern movie with Tom Cruise put me off a little bit, even though I know it was vastly different than the novel. However, I finally got around to reading it and thought it was pretty good.Told mostly in first-person narrative, the novel starts off with cylinders landing on Earth. The Martians look like sickly, ungainly creatures barely able to survive on Earth, but then prove otherwise, using their heat rays and gigantic killing machines to wreak havoc on England.If you're looking for story with a lot of character development, look elsewhere. This is a novel solely focused on its plot. The narrator is basically the same person from beginning to end, just a little bit more jaded from war near the end. However, the plot is fantastic and moves along at a brisk pace. Wells does an excellent job in painting a picture of terror and war. I really enjoyed the suspense and thriller aspects of the novels. Also, it's simply interesting to see how this novel has influenced modern interpretations of science fiction and alien invasions.There are a lot of moments in this story that seemed convenient or forced; of course the main character would be trapped in a room with a peep hole so that he can observe the Martians and describe them; of course had a brother in London who lived to be able to relate those events, etc. This slightly bothered me, but it did further the story and provide a better picture of what was going on. Though I wish Wells would have used some other methods of conveying this information, I can see the dilemma of wanting to provide a seemingly-real firsthand account while also being able to provide all the details.Also, the narrator bothered me. He always seemed to know best and know more than everyone else, and I didn't really see justification for those thoughts. But, that's more of a personal issue.I do think this is best enjoyed when you have some knowledge of the historical context in which its written. It is imbued with the scientific thoughts of its time, as well as political and social ideas. (Namely, the idea of colonialism.) Understanding all of that makes The War of the Worlds a much better and more interesting story.Overall, I liked this novel. It's interesting to see how our ideas of aliens and alien invasion stories have developed, and it's simply an entertaining, dramatic story -- there were times where I held my breath in anticipation for what would happen next. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and classics lovers.more
As a science fiction fan, I have always been interested in reading The War of the Worlds, since it's the first of its kind. The modern movie with Tom Cruise put me off a little bit, even though I know it was vastly different than the novel. However, I finally got around to reading it and thought it was pretty good.Told mostly in first-person narrative, the novel starts off with cylinders landing on Earth. The Martians look like sickly, ungainly creatures barely able to survive on Earth, but then prove otherwise, using their heat rays and gigantic killing machines to wreak havoc on England.If you're looking for story with a lot of character development, look elsewhere. This is a novel solely focused on its plot. The narrator is basically the same person from beginning to end, just a little bit more jaded from war near the end. However, the plot is fantastic and moves along at a brisk pace. Wells does an excellent job in painting a picture of terror and war. I really enjoyed the suspense and thriller aspects of the novels. Also, it's simply interesting to see how this novel has influenced modern interpretations of science fiction and alien invasions.There are a lot of moments in this story that seemed convenient or forced; of course the main character would be trapped in a room with a peep hole so that he can observe the Martians and describe them; of course had a brother in London who lived to be able to relate those events, etc. This slightly bothered me, but it did further the story and provide a better picture of what was going on. Though I wish Wells would have used some other methods of conveying this information, I can see the dilemma of wanting to provide a seemingly-real firsthand account while also being able to provide all the details.Also, the narrator bothered me. He always seemed to know best and know more than everyone else, and I didn't really see justification for those thoughts. But, that's more of a personal issue.I do think this is best enjoyed when you have some knowledge of the historical context in which its written. It is imbued with the scientific thoughts of its time, as well as political and social ideas. (Namely, the idea of colonialism.) Understanding all of that makes The War of the Worlds a much better and more interesting story.Overall, I liked this novel. It's interesting to see how our ideas of aliens and alien invasion stories have developed, and it's simply an entertaining, dramatic story -- there were times where I held my breath in anticipation for what would happen next. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and classics lovers.more
As a science fiction fan, I have always been interested in reading The War of the Worlds, since it's the first of its kind. The modern movie with Tom Cruise put me off a little bit, even though I know it was vastly different than the novel. However, I finally got around to reading it and thought it was pretty good.Told mostly in first-person narrative, the novel starts off with cylinders landing on Earth. The Martians look like sickly, ungainly creatures barely able to survive on Earth, but then prove otherwise, using their heat rays and gigantic killing machines to wreak havoc on England.If you're looking for story with a lot of character development, look elsewhere. This is a novel solely focused on its plot. The narrator is basically the same person from beginning to end, just a little bit more jaded from war near the end. However, the plot is fantastic and moves along at a brisk pace. Wells does an excellent job in painting a picture of terror and war. I really enjoyed the suspense and thriller aspects of the novels. Also, it's simply interesting to see how this novel has influenced modern interpretations of science fiction and alien invasions.There are a lot of moments in this story that seemed convenient or forced; of course the main character would be trapped in a room with a peep hole so that he can observe the Martians and describe them; of course had a brother in London who lived to be able to relate those events, etc. This slightly bothered me, but it did further the story and provide a better picture of what was going on. Though I wish Wells would have used some other methods of conveying this information, I can see the dilemma of wanting to provide a seemingly-real firsthand account while also being able to provide all the details.Also, the narrator bothered me. He always seemed to know best and know more than everyone else, and I didn't really see justification for those thoughts. But, that's more of a personal issue.I do think this is best enjoyed when you have some knowledge of the historical context in which its written. It is imbued with the scientific thoughts of its time, as well as political and social ideas. (Namely, the idea of colonialism.) Understanding all of that makes The War of the Worlds a much better and more interesting story.Overall, I liked this novel. It's interesting to see how our ideas of aliens and alien invasion stories have developed, and it's simply an entertaining, dramatic story -- there were times where I held my breath in anticipation for what would happen next. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and classics lovers.more
Loved this book. Bit slow and lengthy at times but a great plot and great theme to it. Hardcore sci fi right here. :)more
Not quite the first alien invasion novel, or the first dystopian novel, or the first “contact” novel, but certainly the best that combined all three. Serialised beforehand and eventually published as a novel in 1898, this could be seen as the book that launched the whole new genre of science fiction. Sure H G Wells had dabbled before with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Invisible Man and even The Wonderful Visit, but The War of the Worlds, puts it all together to make a wonderful reading experience. How it must have fired the imagination of Well’s Victorian audience, because it still has the power to resonate today. The story of the Invaders from Mars is well known to most readers and there have been comic strip versions, radio broadcasts and spectacular film versions, so there is no need to detail the plot here, but re-reading it this week still made some aspects leap off the page at me. For a start most of the action takes place in the south west Home Counties that surround London, I was born and bred in that area and so when Wells places his startling events around Chertsey and Weybridge and then Twickenham, Richmond and Barnes I am right there with him. This gives the whole novel a parochial feel for me and indeed it is parochial because most of the action takes place in those sleepy small towns that in Victorian times were not a part of Greater London. The books big theme is an alien invasion and yet it all appears to be happening next door to where I lived. Of course at the time of writing, England was probably the most powerful of the colonial powers and so setting an invasion of the world around the outskirts of London made perfect sense.Well’s novel takes place in his present day and so the novel has a wonderfully authentic Victorian feel, here people are fleeing from the monstrous war machines on bicycles and horses and carts, the army is very slow to respond and when it does it feels amateurish, there is no ease of communication and people are unaware of what is happening around them but when they do see the carnage, there is shock, then fright, then confusion It must have felt very real to Well’s Victorian readers and it felt real for me reading it in 2013. Wells uses a first person survivor of the invasion to tell his story and this enhances the reality of the events described.There are some unforgettable scenes here; the flight from London with the narrators brother trying to cross a small road jam packed with vehicles, the battle between the Martians and the iron clad “Thunderchild” that takes place just off the English coast, the Martian war machine hunting humans along the river Thames and finally the eerie scenes in an almost deserted London when the Martians death calls reverberate around the city.The book is in two parts and the first part details the dramatic events leading upto the Martian take over. Part two is more reflective, perhaps a little slower, but it is full of atmosphere and a kind of horror. This is dystopia and Wells reinforces the major themes with some telling conversations with the narrator’s two main protagonists. The curate who attaches himself to the narrator is shown as weak, almost helpless, his faith of no use in the circumstances. Then there is the artillery man dreaming of leading a guerrilla war against the Martians, but in practice his methods are foolhardy and he is naïve and quickly becomes disheartened. Wells/the narrator says in the opening chapter when he reflects back on events:“And before we judge them (the Martians) too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon the inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their huiman likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination wages by European immigrants……..”Survival of the fittest and natural selection are themes that surface throughout this book.Wells was writing before the advent of the two world wars but at a time when “Invasion literature” was popular, invasion by Germany that is rather than Martians, but some of the devastation and panic amongst people seems prophetic of events that would soon become familiar. This is his description of the flight from London:“Never before in the history of the world has such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen would have been but a drop in the current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede - a stampede gigantic and terrible - without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” . This has got to be one of the first and one of the best science fiction novels. It is a novel with both a message and a warning: chock full of literary merit. It is still a great read today and if you have never got round to reading it I would encourage you to do so. It is free and in the public domain. A five star bookmore
Not quite the first alien invasion novel, or the first dystopian novel, or the first “contact” novel, but certainly the best that combined all three. Serialised beforehand and eventually published as a novel in 1898, this could be seen as the book that launched the whole new genre of science fiction. Sure H G Wells had dabbled before with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Invisible Man and even The Wonderful Visit, but The War of the Worlds, puts it all together to make a wonderful reading experience. How it must have fired the imagination of Well’s Victorian audience, because it still has the power to resonate today. The story of the Invaders from Mars is well known to most readers and there have been comic strip versions, radio broadcasts and spectacular film versions, so there is no need to detail the plot here, but re-reading it this week still made some aspects leap off the page at me. For a start most of the action takes place in the south west Home Counties that surround London, I was born and bred in that area and so when Wells places his startling events around Chertsey and Weybridge and then Twickenham, Richmond and Barnes I am right there with him. This gives the whole novel a parochial feel for me and indeed it is parochial because most of the action takes place in those sleepy small towns that in Victorian times were not a part of Greater London. The books big theme is an alien invasion and yet it all appears to be happening next door to where I lived. Of course at the time of writing, England was probably the most powerful of the colonial powers and so setting an invasion of the world around the outskirts of London made perfect sense.Well’s novel takes place in his present day and so the novel has a wonderfully authentic Victorian feel, here people are fleeing from the monstrous war machines on bicycles and horses and carts, the army is very slow to respond and when it does it feels amateurish, there is no ease of communication and people are unaware of what is happening around them but when they do see the carnage, there is shock, then fright, then confusion It must have felt very real to Well’s Victorian readers and it felt real for me reading it in 2013. Wells uses a first person survivor of the invasion to tell his story and this enhances the reality of the events described.There are some unforgettable scenes here; the flight from London with the narrators brother trying to cross a small road jam packed with vehicles, the battle between the Martians and the iron clad “Thunderchild” that takes place just off the English coast, the Martian war machine hunting humans along the river Thames and finally the eerie scenes in an almost deserted London when the Martians death calls reverberate around the city.The book is in two parts and the first part details the dramatic events leading upto the Martian take over. Part two is more reflective, perhaps a little slower, but it is full of atmosphere and a kind of horror. This is dystopia and Wells reinforces the major themes with some telling conversations with the narrator’s two main protagonists. The curate who attaches himself to the narrator is shown as weak, almost helpless, his faith of no use in the circumstances. Then there is the artillery man dreaming of leading a guerrilla war against the Martians, but in practice his methods are foolhardy and he is naïve and quickly becomes disheartened. Wells/the narrator says in the opening chapter when he reflects back on events:“And before we judge them (the Martians) too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon the inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their huiman likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination wages by European immigrants……..”Survival of the fittest and natural selection are themes that surface throughout this book.Wells was writing before the advent of the two world wars but at a time when “Invasion literature” was popular, invasion by Germany that is rather than Martians, but some of the devastation and panic amongst people seems prophetic of events that would soon become familiar. This is his description of the flight from London:“Never before in the history of the world has such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen would have been but a drop in the current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede - a stampede gigantic and terrible - without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” . This has got to be one of the first and one of the best science fiction novels. It is a novel with both a message and a warning: chock full of literary merit. It is still a great read today and if you have never got round to reading it I would encourage you to do so. It is free and in the public domain. A five star bookmore
Not quite the first alien invasion novel, or the first dystopian novel, or the first “contact” novel, but certainly the best that combined all three. Serialised beforehand and eventually published as a novel in 1898, this could be seen as the book that launched the whole new genre of science fiction. Sure H G Wells had dabbled before with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Invisible Man and even The Wonderful Visit, but The War of the Worlds, puts it all together to make a wonderful reading experience. How it must have fired the imagination of Well’s Victorian audience, because it still has the power to resonate today. The story of the Invaders from Mars is well known to most readers and there have been comic strip versions, radio broadcasts and spectacular film versions, so there is no need to detail the plot here, but re-reading it this week still made some aspects leap off the page at me. For a start most of the action takes place in the south west Home Counties that surround London, I was born and bred in that area and so when Wells places his startling events around Chertsey and Weybridge and then Twickenham, Richmond and Barnes I am right there with him. This gives the whole novel a parochial feel for me and indeed it is parochial because most of the action takes place in those sleepy small towns that in Victorian times were not a part of Greater London. The books big theme is an alien invasion and yet it all appears to be happening next door to where I lived. Of course at the time of writing, England was probably the most powerful of the colonial powers and so setting an invasion of the world around the outskirts of London made perfect sense.Well’s novel takes place in his present day and so the novel has a wonderfully authentic Victorian feel, here people are fleeing from the monstrous war machines on bicycles and horses and carts, the army is very slow to respond and when it does it feels amateurish, there is no ease of communication and people are unaware of what is happening around them but when they do see the carnage, there is shock, then fright, then confusion It must have felt very real to Well’s Victorian readers and it felt real for me reading it in 2013. Wells uses a first person survivor of the invasion to tell his story and this enhances the reality of the events described.There are some unforgettable scenes here; the flight from London with the narrators brother trying to cross a small road jam packed with vehicles, the battle between the Martians and the iron clad “Thunderchild” that takes place just off the English coast, the Martian war machine hunting humans along the river Thames and finally the eerie scenes in an almost deserted London when the Martians death calls reverberate around the city.The book is in two parts and the first part details the dramatic events leading upto the Martian take over. Part two is more reflective, perhaps a little slower, but it is full of atmosphere and a kind of horror. This is dystopia and Wells reinforces the major themes with some telling conversations with the narrator’s two main protagonists. The curate who attaches himself to the narrator is shown as weak, almost helpless, his faith of no use in the circumstances. Then there is the artillery man dreaming of leading a guerrilla war against the Martians, but in practice his methods are foolhardy and he is naïve and quickly becomes disheartened. Wells/the narrator says in the opening chapter when he reflects back on events:“And before we judge them (the Martians) too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon the inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their huiman likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination wages by European immigrants……..”Survival of the fittest and natural selection are themes that surface throughout this book.Wells was writing before the advent of the two world wars but at a time when “Invasion literature” was popular, invasion by Germany that is rather than Martians, but some of the devastation and panic amongst people seems prophetic of events that would soon become familiar. This is his description of the flight from London:“Never before in the history of the world has such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen would have been but a drop in the current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede - a stampede gigantic and terrible - without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” . This has got to be one of the first and one of the best science fiction novels. It is a novel with both a message and a warning: chock full of literary merit. It is still a great read today and if you have never got round to reading it I would encourage you to do so. It is free and in the public domain. A five star bookmore
When an unidentified object lands just south of London, residents are left dumbfounded. Could it really be aliens from Mars? When actual aliens emerge from the pods, all of London is left running for its collective life as the aliens begin a methodical destruction of the planet. We follow the narrator as he makes his way back to his wife, suffering under the trampling of the Martians and witnessing horrors he never imagined possible. The War of the Worlds is written as if it were a factual account of the narrator’s experiences. I liked that. It takes what could be a basic story and makes it feel very visceral. It did annoy me that I knew absolutely nothing about the narrator beside the fact that he was a scientist and was married. He does recount one part of the story as a second hand account from his brother but that’s all you get to know about him. I found that frustrating.I did find this story much more interesting than The Time Machine and I think that had to do with the fact that there was a lot more action. In parts of The Time Machine, it felt as if little was happening but in The War of the Worlds, it was all action all the time. I do wish, and this goes for both books, that Wells had taken a few minutes to name his narrators; a pet peeve of mine. The intense dislike I had for The Time Machine didn’t appear when reading The War of the Worlds, in fact, I liked it better but if I had put this book down at any point, the possibly that I wouldn’t have picked it back up was there.more
When an unidentified object lands just south of London, residents are left dumbfounded. Could it really be aliens from Mars? When actual aliens emerge from the pods, all of London is left running for its collective life as the aliens begin a methodical destruction of the planet. We follow the narrator as he makes his way back to his wife, suffering under the trampling of the Martians and witnessing horrors he never imagined possible. The War of the Worlds is written as if it were a factual account of the narrator’s experiences. I liked that. It takes what could be a basic story and makes it feel very visceral. It did annoy me that I knew absolutely nothing about the narrator beside the fact that he was a scientist and was married. He does recount one part of the story as a second hand account from his brother but that’s all you get to know about him. I found that frustrating.I did find this story much more interesting than The Time Machine and I think that had to do with the fact that there was a lot more action. In parts of The Time Machine, it felt as if little was happening but in The War of the Worlds, it was all action all the time. I do wish, and this goes for both books, that Wells had taken a few minutes to name his narrators; a pet peeve of mine. The intense dislike I had for The Time Machine didn’t appear when reading The War of the Worlds, in fact, I liked it better but if I had put this book down at any point, the possibly that I wouldn’t have picked it back up was there.more
When an unidentified object lands just south of London, residents are left dumbfounded. Could it really be aliens from Mars? When actual aliens emerge from the pods, all of London is left running for its collective life as the aliens begin a methodical destruction of the planet. We follow the narrator as he makes his way back to his wife, suffering under the trampling of the Martians and witnessing horrors he never imagined possible. The War of the Worlds is written as if it were a factual account of the narrator’s experiences. I liked that. It takes what could be a basic story and makes it feel very visceral. It did annoy me that I knew absolutely nothing about the narrator beside the fact that he was a scientist and was married. He does recount one part of the story as a second hand account from his brother but that’s all you get to know about him. I found that frustrating.I did find this story much more interesting than The Time Machine and I think that had to do with the fact that there was a lot more action. In parts of The Time Machine, it felt as if little was happening but in The War of the Worlds, it was all action all the time. I do wish, and this goes for both books, that Wells had taken a few minutes to name his narrators; a pet peeve of mine. The intense dislike I had for The Time Machine didn’t appear when reading The War of the Worlds, in fact, I liked it better but if I had put this book down at any point, the possibly that I wouldn’t have picked it back up was there.more
Everyone knows this is about the Martians invading. Most people probably know even more of the plot from having seen various film adaptations. I haven't seen any of them, but even so I had a good idea of what the aliens looked like before I even opened the book (and not just because the cover of my edition has illustrations of them done by Edward Gorey). So I'll just go over the outline - Martians land on earth, Martians kill everything in sight with some combination of heat ray, poison gas, and feeding habits, humans are resigned to total domination, the end of the book offers some uncertain reprieve.With that over, let's talk about the themes explored in the book. Much like The Time Machine, Wells has opinions on man's fate that aren't all that positive. Hubris is obviously one of man's biggest failings, in Wells' view, both for thinking that we are alone in the universe, and for thinking that getting rid of extraterrestrial invaders will be an easy task. Parallels are also drawn between man's dominion over the animals and finding the shoe on the other foot as Martians gain dominance on earth. Ultimately, the book seems to say that problems exist for which humans aren't going to have the answers, and we'd better hope that the planet itself can rescue us.Recommended for: fans of future tech and/or Martians, microbiologists, anyone who's ever wondered if, in the event of an invasion, the English would offer tea to the interlopers.Quote: "At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience."more
Everyone knows this is about the Martians invading. Most people probably know even more of the plot from having seen various film adaptations. I haven't seen any of them, but even so I had a good idea of what the aliens looked like before I even opened the book (and not just because the cover of my edition has illustrations of them done by Edward Gorey). So I'll just go over the outline - Martians land on earth, Martians kill everything in sight with some combination of heat ray, poison gas, and feeding habits, humans are resigned to total domination, the end of the book offers some uncertain reprieve.With that over, let's talk about the themes explored in the book. Much like The Time Machine, Wells has opinions on man's fate that aren't all that positive. Hubris is obviously one of man's biggest failings, in Wells' view, both for thinking that we are alone in the universe, and for thinking that getting rid of extraterrestrial invaders will be an easy task. Parallels are also drawn between man's dominion over the animals and finding the shoe on the other foot as Martians gain dominance on earth. Ultimately, the book seems to say that problems exist for which humans aren't going to have the answers, and we'd better hope that the planet itself can rescue us.Recommended for: fans of future tech and/or Martians, microbiologists, anyone who's ever wondered if, in the event of an invasion, the English would offer tea to the interlopers.Quote: "At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience."more
Everyone knows this is about the Martians invading. Most people probably know even more of the plot from having seen various film adaptations. I haven't seen any of them, but even so I had a good idea of what the aliens looked like before I even opened the book (and not just because the cover of my edition has illustrations of them done by Edward Gorey). So I'll just go over the outline - Martians land on earth, Martians kill everything in sight with some combination of heat ray, poison gas, and feeding habits, humans are resigned to total domination, the end of the book offers some uncertain reprieve.With that over, let's talk about the themes explored in the book. Much like The Time Machine, Wells has opinions on man's fate that aren't all that positive. Hubris is obviously one of man's biggest failings, in Wells' view, both for thinking that we are alone in the universe, and for thinking that getting rid of extraterrestrial invaders will be an easy task. Parallels are also drawn between man's dominion over the animals and finding the shoe on the other foot as Martians gain dominance on earth. Ultimately, the book seems to say that problems exist for which humans aren't going to have the answers, and we'd better hope that the planet itself can rescue us.Recommended for: fans of future tech and/or Martians, microbiologists, anyone who's ever wondered if, in the event of an invasion, the English would offer tea to the interlopers.Quote: "At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience."more
eBook

I think I read this before as a kid, but even if I hadn't, it's impossible to approach this book and expect much in the way of surprises. As enjoyable as the story is, it seems kind of surprising how completely it has soaked into the communal consciousness.

I can't tell if that's because of or in spite of how incredibly passive the book is. Essentially, none of the narrators or other main characters really do much of anything. The Martians are the primary actors, rendering everyone else completely impotent, but the reader is offered absolutely nothing in the way of forging a relationship with them. That's certainly (and brilliantly) realistic, but it also creates a strange and uncomfortable distance between the reader and the story.

Eh. What am I babbling on about. This is a summer movie, years ahead of its time.more
This is a good old fashioned yarn. I read the book through in one or two sittings. HG created a sense of menace and despair through the book, which I loved. His descriptions were evocative of the times, and I could almost visualize the destruction taking place, as the book weaved along. The writing is, for our times, old fashioned, yet timeless. The almost forgotten craft of writing is something that was displayed through the book. I lost the part where the Martians were 'destroyed'. It would have been really nice to have had a nice description of this, but you can't have everything in life!If you want a good book to read by the fireside, then this is one I can recommend.more
After seeing various film versions, it was a pleasure to read the original, which is actually quite exciting and must have been tremendously so when it was first published. It reminded me of John Wyndham, so maybe it's the British approach, but that made it even more enjoyable. I especially appreciated Wells' philosophizing over the position the invasion put the humans in: that of the rats or ants to us.more
After seeing various film versions, it was a pleasure to read the original, which is actually quite exciting and must have been tremendously so when it was first published. It reminded me of John Wyndham, so maybe it's the British approach, but that made it even more enjoyable. I especially appreciated Wells' philosophizing over the position the invasion put the humans in: that of the rats or ants to us.more
After seeing various film versions, it was a pleasure to read the original, which is actually quite exciting and must have been tremendously so when it was first published. It reminded me of John Wyndham, so maybe it's the British approach, but that made it even more enjoyable. I especially appreciated Wells' philosophizing over the position the invasion put the humans in: that of the rats or ants to us.more
Really liked this book; I genrally like HG Wells' books, and this is definitely one of his better works. His descriptions of the Martians are great, as are the descriptions of the desolation and chaos in the time after the arrival of these aliens.One thing I found strange and somewhat annoying is the insistence that the Martians are/have been human-like. Even after it becomes obvious that they do not look like us at all, it is claimed that they must have evolved from human-like beings. But why would this be the case? Isn't it possible that on Mars, where the environment is so different from our own, evolution went in a completely different direction and that these creature were never human-like, but are simply different from us? I find it annoying that Wells discards this possibility completely, when to me it seems strange to think that aliens are necessarily human-like.more
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Reviews

I liked this much more than Well's The Time Machine! Interesting that this too has a first person narration in which the narrator is never named.more
I liked this much more than Well's The Time Machine! Interesting that this too has a first person narration in which the narrator is never named.more
I liked this much more than Well's The Time Machine! Interesting that this too has a first person narration in which the narrator is never named.more
Got it in a book sale one summer when I was quite young -- nine or so, I think -- and scared myself silly with it. Never quite got up the courage to revisit, since then. I remember liking it a lot, but I also remember the nightmares about alien invasions.more
Reading another H.G. Wells novel I first read decades ago was like reading it for the first time. All the film versions, the Orson Welles radio theater, and the derivatives, do not detract from Wells's story. He manages the trick of describing an alien invasion, an event of worldwide importance, from the point of view of an anonymous observer who happens to witness the first landing. The science is out-dated--no radios or computers, for example, but the story left me with a sense Wells himself must have had of the fragility and promise of human life.more
Reading another H.G. Wells novel I first read decades ago was like reading it for the first time. All the film versions, the Orson Welles radio theater, and the derivatives, do not detract from Wells's story. He manages the trick of describing an alien invasion, an event of worldwide importance, from the point of view of an anonymous observer who happens to witness the first landing. The science is out-dated--no radios or computers, for example, but the story left me with a sense Wells himself must have had of the fragility and promise of human life.more
Reading another H.G. Wells novel I first read decades ago was like reading it for the first time. All the film versions, the Orson Welles radio theater, and the derivatives, do not detract from Wells's story. He manages the trick of describing an alien invasion, an event of worldwide importance, from the point of view of an anonymous observer who happens to witness the first landing. The science is out-dated--no radios or computers, for example, but the story left me with a sense Wells himself must have had of the fragility and promise of human life.more
Like his other works, this is social commentary shrouded in science fiction. Much more likable protagonist than Verne's Axel, but tells a similar tale of late 19th century civilization.more
Like his other works, this is social commentary shrouded in science fiction. Much more likable protagonist than Verne's Axel, but tells a similar tale of late 19th century civilization.more
Like his other works, this is social commentary shrouded in science fiction. Much more likable protagonist than Verne's Axel, but tells a similar tale of late 19th century civilization.more
As my first foray into the world of Sci Fi, I really enjoyed the vivid descriptions of everything, the emotional battles, the difficult people encountered and the scientific rationing of how to deal with and vanquish the Martians.

I even really enjoyed the Science vs Faith interplay, and relish the crushing defeat of the Martians at the hands of... well, I won't say for spoiler's sake.

H.G. Wells... I shall read more of you soon.more
As a science fiction fan, I have always been interested in reading The War of the Worlds, since it's the first of its kind. The modern movie with Tom Cruise put me off a little bit, even though I know it was vastly different than the novel. However, I finally got around to reading it and thought it was pretty good.Told mostly in first-person narrative, the novel starts off with cylinders landing on Earth. The Martians look like sickly, ungainly creatures barely able to survive on Earth, but then prove otherwise, using their heat rays and gigantic killing machines to wreak havoc on England.If you're looking for story with a lot of character development, look elsewhere. This is a novel solely focused on its plot. The narrator is basically the same person from beginning to end, just a little bit more jaded from war near the end. However, the plot is fantastic and moves along at a brisk pace. Wells does an excellent job in painting a picture of terror and war. I really enjoyed the suspense and thriller aspects of the novels. Also, it's simply interesting to see how this novel has influenced modern interpretations of science fiction and alien invasions.There are a lot of moments in this story that seemed convenient or forced; of course the main character would be trapped in a room with a peep hole so that he can observe the Martians and describe them; of course had a brother in London who lived to be able to relate those events, etc. This slightly bothered me, but it did further the story and provide a better picture of what was going on. Though I wish Wells would have used some other methods of conveying this information, I can see the dilemma of wanting to provide a seemingly-real firsthand account while also being able to provide all the details.Also, the narrator bothered me. He always seemed to know best and know more than everyone else, and I didn't really see justification for those thoughts. But, that's more of a personal issue.I do think this is best enjoyed when you have some knowledge of the historical context in which its written. It is imbued with the scientific thoughts of its time, as well as political and social ideas. (Namely, the idea of colonialism.) Understanding all of that makes The War of the Worlds a much better and more interesting story.Overall, I liked this novel. It's interesting to see how our ideas of aliens and alien invasion stories have developed, and it's simply an entertaining, dramatic story -- there were times where I held my breath in anticipation for what would happen next. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and classics lovers.more
As a science fiction fan, I have always been interested in reading The War of the Worlds, since it's the first of its kind. The modern movie with Tom Cruise put me off a little bit, even though I know it was vastly different than the novel. However, I finally got around to reading it and thought it was pretty good.Told mostly in first-person narrative, the novel starts off with cylinders landing on Earth. The Martians look like sickly, ungainly creatures barely able to survive on Earth, but then prove otherwise, using their heat rays and gigantic killing machines to wreak havoc on England.If you're looking for story with a lot of character development, look elsewhere. This is a novel solely focused on its plot. The narrator is basically the same person from beginning to end, just a little bit more jaded from war near the end. However, the plot is fantastic and moves along at a brisk pace. Wells does an excellent job in painting a picture of terror and war. I really enjoyed the suspense and thriller aspects of the novels. Also, it's simply interesting to see how this novel has influenced modern interpretations of science fiction and alien invasions.There are a lot of moments in this story that seemed convenient or forced; of course the main character would be trapped in a room with a peep hole so that he can observe the Martians and describe them; of course had a brother in London who lived to be able to relate those events, etc. This slightly bothered me, but it did further the story and provide a better picture of what was going on. Though I wish Wells would have used some other methods of conveying this information, I can see the dilemma of wanting to provide a seemingly-real firsthand account while also being able to provide all the details.Also, the narrator bothered me. He always seemed to know best and know more than everyone else, and I didn't really see justification for those thoughts. But, that's more of a personal issue.I do think this is best enjoyed when you have some knowledge of the historical context in which its written. It is imbued with the scientific thoughts of its time, as well as political and social ideas. (Namely, the idea of colonialism.) Understanding all of that makes The War of the Worlds a much better and more interesting story.Overall, I liked this novel. It's interesting to see how our ideas of aliens and alien invasion stories have developed, and it's simply an entertaining, dramatic story -- there were times where I held my breath in anticipation for what would happen next. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and classics lovers.more
As a science fiction fan, I have always been interested in reading The War of the Worlds, since it's the first of its kind. The modern movie with Tom Cruise put me off a little bit, even though I know it was vastly different than the novel. However, I finally got around to reading it and thought it was pretty good.Told mostly in first-person narrative, the novel starts off with cylinders landing on Earth. The Martians look like sickly, ungainly creatures barely able to survive on Earth, but then prove otherwise, using their heat rays and gigantic killing machines to wreak havoc on England.If you're looking for story with a lot of character development, look elsewhere. This is a novel solely focused on its plot. The narrator is basically the same person from beginning to end, just a little bit more jaded from war near the end. However, the plot is fantastic and moves along at a brisk pace. Wells does an excellent job in painting a picture of terror and war. I really enjoyed the suspense and thriller aspects of the novels. Also, it's simply interesting to see how this novel has influenced modern interpretations of science fiction and alien invasions.There are a lot of moments in this story that seemed convenient or forced; of course the main character would be trapped in a room with a peep hole so that he can observe the Martians and describe them; of course had a brother in London who lived to be able to relate those events, etc. This slightly bothered me, but it did further the story and provide a better picture of what was going on. Though I wish Wells would have used some other methods of conveying this information, I can see the dilemma of wanting to provide a seemingly-real firsthand account while also being able to provide all the details.Also, the narrator bothered me. He always seemed to know best and know more than everyone else, and I didn't really see justification for those thoughts. But, that's more of a personal issue.I do think this is best enjoyed when you have some knowledge of the historical context in which its written. It is imbued with the scientific thoughts of its time, as well as political and social ideas. (Namely, the idea of colonialism.) Understanding all of that makes The War of the Worlds a much better and more interesting story.Overall, I liked this novel. It's interesting to see how our ideas of aliens and alien invasion stories have developed, and it's simply an entertaining, dramatic story -- there were times where I held my breath in anticipation for what would happen next. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and classics lovers.more
Loved this book. Bit slow and lengthy at times but a great plot and great theme to it. Hardcore sci fi right here. :)more
Not quite the first alien invasion novel, or the first dystopian novel, or the first “contact” novel, but certainly the best that combined all three. Serialised beforehand and eventually published as a novel in 1898, this could be seen as the book that launched the whole new genre of science fiction. Sure H G Wells had dabbled before with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Invisible Man and even The Wonderful Visit, but The War of the Worlds, puts it all together to make a wonderful reading experience. How it must have fired the imagination of Well’s Victorian audience, because it still has the power to resonate today. The story of the Invaders from Mars is well known to most readers and there have been comic strip versions, radio broadcasts and spectacular film versions, so there is no need to detail the plot here, but re-reading it this week still made some aspects leap off the page at me. For a start most of the action takes place in the south west Home Counties that surround London, I was born and bred in that area and so when Wells places his startling events around Chertsey and Weybridge and then Twickenham, Richmond and Barnes I am right there with him. This gives the whole novel a parochial feel for me and indeed it is parochial because most of the action takes place in those sleepy small towns that in Victorian times were not a part of Greater London. The books big theme is an alien invasion and yet it all appears to be happening next door to where I lived. Of course at the time of writing, England was probably the most powerful of the colonial powers and so setting an invasion of the world around the outskirts of London made perfect sense.Well’s novel takes place in his present day and so the novel has a wonderfully authentic Victorian feel, here people are fleeing from the monstrous war machines on bicycles and horses and carts, the army is very slow to respond and when it does it feels amateurish, there is no ease of communication and people are unaware of what is happening around them but when they do see the carnage, there is shock, then fright, then confusion It must have felt very real to Well’s Victorian readers and it felt real for me reading it in 2013. Wells uses a first person survivor of the invasion to tell his story and this enhances the reality of the events described.There are some unforgettable scenes here; the flight from London with the narrators brother trying to cross a small road jam packed with vehicles, the battle between the Martians and the iron clad “Thunderchild” that takes place just off the English coast, the Martian war machine hunting humans along the river Thames and finally the eerie scenes in an almost deserted London when the Martians death calls reverberate around the city.The book is in two parts and the first part details the dramatic events leading upto the Martian take over. Part two is more reflective, perhaps a little slower, but it is full of atmosphere and a kind of horror. This is dystopia and Wells reinforces the major themes with some telling conversations with the narrator’s two main protagonists. The curate who attaches himself to the narrator is shown as weak, almost helpless, his faith of no use in the circumstances. Then there is the artillery man dreaming of leading a guerrilla war against the Martians, but in practice his methods are foolhardy and he is naïve and quickly becomes disheartened. Wells/the narrator says in the opening chapter when he reflects back on events:“And before we judge them (the Martians) too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon the inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their huiman likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination wages by European immigrants……..”Survival of the fittest and natural selection are themes that surface throughout this book.Wells was writing before the advent of the two world wars but at a time when “Invasion literature” was popular, invasion by Germany that is rather than Martians, but some of the devastation and panic amongst people seems prophetic of events that would soon become familiar. This is his description of the flight from London:“Never before in the history of the world has such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen would have been but a drop in the current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede - a stampede gigantic and terrible - without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” . This has got to be one of the first and one of the best science fiction novels. It is a novel with both a message and a warning: chock full of literary merit. It is still a great read today and if you have never got round to reading it I would encourage you to do so. It is free and in the public domain. A five star bookmore
Not quite the first alien invasion novel, or the first dystopian novel, or the first “contact” novel, but certainly the best that combined all three. Serialised beforehand and eventually published as a novel in 1898, this could be seen as the book that launched the whole new genre of science fiction. Sure H G Wells had dabbled before with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Invisible Man and even The Wonderful Visit, but The War of the Worlds, puts it all together to make a wonderful reading experience. How it must have fired the imagination of Well’s Victorian audience, because it still has the power to resonate today. The story of the Invaders from Mars is well known to most readers and there have been comic strip versions, radio broadcasts and spectacular film versions, so there is no need to detail the plot here, but re-reading it this week still made some aspects leap off the page at me. For a start most of the action takes place in the south west Home Counties that surround London, I was born and bred in that area and so when Wells places his startling events around Chertsey and Weybridge and then Twickenham, Richmond and Barnes I am right there with him. This gives the whole novel a parochial feel for me and indeed it is parochial because most of the action takes place in those sleepy small towns that in Victorian times were not a part of Greater London. The books big theme is an alien invasion and yet it all appears to be happening next door to where I lived. Of course at the time of writing, England was probably the most powerful of the colonial powers and so setting an invasion of the world around the outskirts of London made perfect sense.Well’s novel takes place in his present day and so the novel has a wonderfully authentic Victorian feel, here people are fleeing from the monstrous war machines on bicycles and horses and carts, the army is very slow to respond and when it does it feels amateurish, there is no ease of communication and people are unaware of what is happening around them but when they do see the carnage, there is shock, then fright, then confusion It must have felt very real to Well’s Victorian readers and it felt real for me reading it in 2013. Wells uses a first person survivor of the invasion to tell his story and this enhances the reality of the events described.There are some unforgettable scenes here; the flight from London with the narrators brother trying to cross a small road jam packed with vehicles, the battle between the Martians and the iron clad “Thunderchild” that takes place just off the English coast, the Martian war machine hunting humans along the river Thames and finally the eerie scenes in an almost deserted London when the Martians death calls reverberate around the city.The book is in two parts and the first part details the dramatic events leading upto the Martian take over. Part two is more reflective, perhaps a little slower, but it is full of atmosphere and a kind of horror. This is dystopia and Wells reinforces the major themes with some telling conversations with the narrator’s two main protagonists. The curate who attaches himself to the narrator is shown as weak, almost helpless, his faith of no use in the circumstances. Then there is the artillery man dreaming of leading a guerrilla war against the Martians, but in practice his methods are foolhardy and he is naïve and quickly becomes disheartened. Wells/the narrator says in the opening chapter when he reflects back on events:“And before we judge them (the Martians) too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon the inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their huiman likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination wages by European immigrants……..”Survival of the fittest and natural selection are themes that surface throughout this book.Wells was writing before the advent of the two world wars but at a time when “Invasion literature” was popular, invasion by Germany that is rather than Martians, but some of the devastation and panic amongst people seems prophetic of events that would soon become familiar. This is his description of the flight from London:“Never before in the history of the world has such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen would have been but a drop in the current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede - a stampede gigantic and terrible - without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” . This has got to be one of the first and one of the best science fiction novels. It is a novel with both a message and a warning: chock full of literary merit. It is still a great read today and if you have never got round to reading it I would encourage you to do so. It is free and in the public domain. A five star bookmore
Not quite the first alien invasion novel, or the first dystopian novel, or the first “contact” novel, but certainly the best that combined all three. Serialised beforehand and eventually published as a novel in 1898, this could be seen as the book that launched the whole new genre of science fiction. Sure H G Wells had dabbled before with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Invisible Man and even The Wonderful Visit, but The War of the Worlds, puts it all together to make a wonderful reading experience. How it must have fired the imagination of Well’s Victorian audience, because it still has the power to resonate today. The story of the Invaders from Mars is well known to most readers and there have been comic strip versions, radio broadcasts and spectacular film versions, so there is no need to detail the plot here, but re-reading it this week still made some aspects leap off the page at me. For a start most of the action takes place in the south west Home Counties that surround London, I was born and bred in that area and so when Wells places his startling events around Chertsey and Weybridge and then Twickenham, Richmond and Barnes I am right there with him. This gives the whole novel a parochial feel for me and indeed it is parochial because most of the action takes place in those sleepy small towns that in Victorian times were not a part of Greater London. The books big theme is an alien invasion and yet it all appears to be happening next door to where I lived. Of course at the time of writing, England was probably the most powerful of the colonial powers and so setting an invasion of the world around the outskirts of London made perfect sense.Well’s novel takes place in his present day and so the novel has a wonderfully authentic Victorian feel, here people are fleeing from the monstrous war machines on bicycles and horses and carts, the army is very slow to respond and when it does it feels amateurish, there is no ease of communication and people are unaware of what is happening around them but when they do see the carnage, there is shock, then fright, then confusion It must have felt very real to Well’s Victorian readers and it felt real for me reading it in 2013. Wells uses a first person survivor of the invasion to tell his story and this enhances the reality of the events described.There are some unforgettable scenes here; the flight from London with the narrators brother trying to cross a small road jam packed with vehicles, the battle between the Martians and the iron clad “Thunderchild” that takes place just off the English coast, the Martian war machine hunting humans along the river Thames and finally the eerie scenes in an almost deserted London when the Martians death calls reverberate around the city.The book is in two parts and the first part details the dramatic events leading upto the Martian take over. Part two is more reflective, perhaps a little slower, but it is full of atmosphere and a kind of horror. This is dystopia and Wells reinforces the major themes with some telling conversations with the narrator’s two main protagonists. The curate who attaches himself to the narrator is shown as weak, almost helpless, his faith of no use in the circumstances. Then there is the artillery man dreaming of leading a guerrilla war against the Martians, but in practice his methods are foolhardy and he is naïve and quickly becomes disheartened. Wells/the narrator says in the opening chapter when he reflects back on events:“And before we judge them (the Martians) too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon the inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their huiman likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination wages by European immigrants……..”Survival of the fittest and natural selection are themes that surface throughout this book.Wells was writing before the advent of the two world wars but at a time when “Invasion literature” was popular, invasion by Germany that is rather than Martians, but some of the devastation and panic amongst people seems prophetic of events that would soon become familiar. This is his description of the flight from London:“Never before in the history of the world has such a mass of human beings moved and suffered together. The legendary hosts of Goths and Huns, the hugest armies Asia has ever seen would have been but a drop in the current. And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede - a stampede gigantic and terrible - without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind.” . This has got to be one of the first and one of the best science fiction novels. It is a novel with both a message and a warning: chock full of literary merit. It is still a great read today and if you have never got round to reading it I would encourage you to do so. It is free and in the public domain. A five star bookmore
When an unidentified object lands just south of London, residents are left dumbfounded. Could it really be aliens from Mars? When actual aliens emerge from the pods, all of London is left running for its collective life as the aliens begin a methodical destruction of the planet. We follow the narrator as he makes his way back to his wife, suffering under the trampling of the Martians and witnessing horrors he never imagined possible. The War of the Worlds is written as if it were a factual account of the narrator’s experiences. I liked that. It takes what could be a basic story and makes it feel very visceral. It did annoy me that I knew absolutely nothing about the narrator beside the fact that he was a scientist and was married. He does recount one part of the story as a second hand account from his brother but that’s all you get to know about him. I found that frustrating.I did find this story much more interesting than The Time Machine and I think that had to do with the fact that there was a lot more action. In parts of The Time Machine, it felt as if little was happening but in The War of the Worlds, it was all action all the time. I do wish, and this goes for both books, that Wells had taken a few minutes to name his narrators; a pet peeve of mine. The intense dislike I had for The Time Machine didn’t appear when reading The War of the Worlds, in fact, I liked it better but if I had put this book down at any point, the possibly that I wouldn’t have picked it back up was there.more
When an unidentified object lands just south of London, residents are left dumbfounded. Could it really be aliens from Mars? When actual aliens emerge from the pods, all of London is left running for its collective life as the aliens begin a methodical destruction of the planet. We follow the narrator as he makes his way back to his wife, suffering under the trampling of the Martians and witnessing horrors he never imagined possible. The War of the Worlds is written as if it were a factual account of the narrator’s experiences. I liked that. It takes what could be a basic story and makes it feel very visceral. It did annoy me that I knew absolutely nothing about the narrator beside the fact that he was a scientist and was married. He does recount one part of the story as a second hand account from his brother but that’s all you get to know about him. I found that frustrating.I did find this story much more interesting than The Time Machine and I think that had to do with the fact that there was a lot more action. In parts of The Time Machine, it felt as if little was happening but in The War of the Worlds, it was all action all the time. I do wish, and this goes for both books, that Wells had taken a few minutes to name his narrators; a pet peeve of mine. The intense dislike I had for The Time Machine didn’t appear when reading The War of the Worlds, in fact, I liked it better but if I had put this book down at any point, the possibly that I wouldn’t have picked it back up was there.more
When an unidentified object lands just south of London, residents are left dumbfounded. Could it really be aliens from Mars? When actual aliens emerge from the pods, all of London is left running for its collective life as the aliens begin a methodical destruction of the planet. We follow the narrator as he makes his way back to his wife, suffering under the trampling of the Martians and witnessing horrors he never imagined possible. The War of the Worlds is written as if it were a factual account of the narrator’s experiences. I liked that. It takes what could be a basic story and makes it feel very visceral. It did annoy me that I knew absolutely nothing about the narrator beside the fact that he was a scientist and was married. He does recount one part of the story as a second hand account from his brother but that’s all you get to know about him. I found that frustrating.I did find this story much more interesting than The Time Machine and I think that had to do with the fact that there was a lot more action. In parts of The Time Machine, it felt as if little was happening but in The War of the Worlds, it was all action all the time. I do wish, and this goes for both books, that Wells had taken a few minutes to name his narrators; a pet peeve of mine. The intense dislike I had for The Time Machine didn’t appear when reading The War of the Worlds, in fact, I liked it better but if I had put this book down at any point, the possibly that I wouldn’t have picked it back up was there.more
Everyone knows this is about the Martians invading. Most people probably know even more of the plot from having seen various film adaptations. I haven't seen any of them, but even so I had a good idea of what the aliens looked like before I even opened the book (and not just because the cover of my edition has illustrations of them done by Edward Gorey). So I'll just go over the outline - Martians land on earth, Martians kill everything in sight with some combination of heat ray, poison gas, and feeding habits, humans are resigned to total domination, the end of the book offers some uncertain reprieve.With that over, let's talk about the themes explored in the book. Much like The Time Machine, Wells has opinions on man's fate that aren't all that positive. Hubris is obviously one of man's biggest failings, in Wells' view, both for thinking that we are alone in the universe, and for thinking that getting rid of extraterrestrial invaders will be an easy task. Parallels are also drawn between man's dominion over the animals and finding the shoe on the other foot as Martians gain dominance on earth. Ultimately, the book seems to say that problems exist for which humans aren't going to have the answers, and we'd better hope that the planet itself can rescue us.Recommended for: fans of future tech and/or Martians, microbiologists, anyone who's ever wondered if, in the event of an invasion, the English would offer tea to the interlopers.Quote: "At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience."more
Everyone knows this is about the Martians invading. Most people probably know even more of the plot from having seen various film adaptations. I haven't seen any of them, but even so I had a good idea of what the aliens looked like before I even opened the book (and not just because the cover of my edition has illustrations of them done by Edward Gorey). So I'll just go over the outline - Martians land on earth, Martians kill everything in sight with some combination of heat ray, poison gas, and feeding habits, humans are resigned to total domination, the end of the book offers some uncertain reprieve.With that over, let's talk about the themes explored in the book. Much like The Time Machine, Wells has opinions on man's fate that aren't all that positive. Hubris is obviously one of man's biggest failings, in Wells' view, both for thinking that we are alone in the universe, and for thinking that getting rid of extraterrestrial invaders will be an easy task. Parallels are also drawn between man's dominion over the animals and finding the shoe on the other foot as Martians gain dominance on earth. Ultimately, the book seems to say that problems exist for which humans aren't going to have the answers, and we'd better hope that the planet itself can rescue us.Recommended for: fans of future tech and/or Martians, microbiologists, anyone who's ever wondered if, in the event of an invasion, the English would offer tea to the interlopers.Quote: "At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience."more
Everyone knows this is about the Martians invading. Most people probably know even more of the plot from having seen various film adaptations. I haven't seen any of them, but even so I had a good idea of what the aliens looked like before I even opened the book (and not just because the cover of my edition has illustrations of them done by Edward Gorey). So I'll just go over the outline - Martians land on earth, Martians kill everything in sight with some combination of heat ray, poison gas, and feeding habits, humans are resigned to total domination, the end of the book offers some uncertain reprieve.With that over, let's talk about the themes explored in the book. Much like The Time Machine, Wells has opinions on man's fate that aren't all that positive. Hubris is obviously one of man's biggest failings, in Wells' view, both for thinking that we are alone in the universe, and for thinking that getting rid of extraterrestrial invaders will be an easy task. Parallels are also drawn between man's dominion over the animals and finding the shoe on the other foot as Martians gain dominance on earth. Ultimately, the book seems to say that problems exist for which humans aren't going to have the answers, and we'd better hope that the planet itself can rescue us.Recommended for: fans of future tech and/or Martians, microbiologists, anyone who's ever wondered if, in the event of an invasion, the English would offer tea to the interlopers.Quote: "At the time there was a strong feeling in the streets that the authorities were to blame for their incapacity to dispose of the invaders without all this inconvenience."more
eBook

I think I read this before as a kid, but even if I hadn't, it's impossible to approach this book and expect much in the way of surprises. As enjoyable as the story is, it seems kind of surprising how completely it has soaked into the communal consciousness.

I can't tell if that's because of or in spite of how incredibly passive the book is. Essentially, none of the narrators or other main characters really do much of anything. The Martians are the primary actors, rendering everyone else completely impotent, but the reader is offered absolutely nothing in the way of forging a relationship with them. That's certainly (and brilliantly) realistic, but it also creates a strange and uncomfortable distance between the reader and the story.

Eh. What am I babbling on about. This is a summer movie, years ahead of its time.more
This is a good old fashioned yarn. I read the book through in one or two sittings. HG created a sense of menace and despair through the book, which I loved. His descriptions were evocative of the times, and I could almost visualize the destruction taking place, as the book weaved along. The writing is, for our times, old fashioned, yet timeless. The almost forgotten craft of writing is something that was displayed through the book. I lost the part where the Martians were 'destroyed'. It would have been really nice to have had a nice description of this, but you can't have everything in life!If you want a good book to read by the fireside, then this is one I can recommend.more
After seeing various film versions, it was a pleasure to read the original, which is actually quite exciting and must have been tremendously so when it was first published. It reminded me of John Wyndham, so maybe it's the British approach, but that made it even more enjoyable. I especially appreciated Wells' philosophizing over the position the invasion put the humans in: that of the rats or ants to us.more
After seeing various film versions, it was a pleasure to read the original, which is actually quite exciting and must have been tremendously so when it was first published. It reminded me of John Wyndham, so maybe it's the British approach, but that made it even more enjoyable. I especially appreciated Wells' philosophizing over the position the invasion put the humans in: that of the rats or ants to us.more
After seeing various film versions, it was a pleasure to read the original, which is actually quite exciting and must have been tremendously so when it was first published. It reminded me of John Wyndham, so maybe it's the British approach, but that made it even more enjoyable. I especially appreciated Wells' philosophizing over the position the invasion put the humans in: that of the rats or ants to us.more
Really liked this book; I genrally like HG Wells' books, and this is definitely one of his better works. His descriptions of the Martians are great, as are the descriptions of the desolation and chaos in the time after the arrival of these aliens.One thing I found strange and somewhat annoying is the insistence that the Martians are/have been human-like. Even after it becomes obvious that they do not look like us at all, it is claimed that they must have evolved from human-like beings. But why would this be the case? Isn't it possible that on Mars, where the environment is so different from our own, evolution went in a completely different direction and that these creature were never human-like, but are simply different from us? I find it annoying that Wells discards this possibility completely, when to me it seems strange to think that aliens are necessarily human-like.more
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