Thirty-five million miles into space, a species of Martians set eyes on planet Earth. With their own planet doomed for destruction, the Martians prepare to invade. Their weapons are ready and their aim is ruthless.
The war of the worlds is about to begin.
From the back cover: "Across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to the beasts, intellects vast and unsympathetic regard Earth with envious eyes, and draw their plans against us..." The massacre of planet Earth
The horror starts on a quiet summer night, with a falling star...and then hundreds: ships filled with repulsive, super-intelligent monsters and war machines deadly beyond even the dreams of military science. The invaders don't want to trade, or talk, or enlighten: they only want to trample humanity beneath them, and take our world for their own. And we can't stop them.
Some call it the War of the Worlds. But it's not a war. It's a mass murder...
35 million miles into space, a species of martians sets eyes on planet Earth. With their own planet doomed for destruction, the martians prepare to invade. Their weapons are ready and their aim is ruthless. The war of the worlds is about to begin.
I downloaded this for free for my Kindle. I have never read this before (I have seen a couple bad movies about it) but was eager to read the original story. Overall I liked the story. I thought parts of it were a bit drawn out and boring; but overall it was definitely worth reading...and much better than any of The War of the Worlds movies I have seen.
The nameless narrator of this book tells about green capsules that fall to Earth. Inside them are strange tripod/octupus like creatures that use a heat-rays to destroy a number of people early on. The book follows the narrator as he struggles through the English countryside trying to make it back to his wife. Then for a while he tells the story of his brother in London and of the second Martian weapon they face, that of a black cloud which instantly kills people. Then the story winds back to the original narrator as he makes his way to London to see the final destruction of the Martians.
Like most classics, this story is most outstanding for the story it told at the time it told it. There are probably better books out there now (Christopher John's Tripod series comes to mind) about alien invasion; but for the time this was a very forward thinking book.
The description in the book is very well done and, it is, for the most part very readable and enjoyable. Wells does an excellent job of creating suspense at certain times in the book. He also does an excellent job at showing humanity both at its best and its worst. It is amazing how inhumane some of the humans in this book behave when they are in a panic. The most colossal tragedies this book show that there is space for great heroics and great evil in a time of mass destruction.
I also enjoyed the irony behind how the Martians finally meet there death; it was suiting and says interesting things about evolution in general.
There were some things I did not like about this book. Some of the parts just went on too long. There is a portion where the narrator spends forever describing every minute aspect of the Martians which was slow, another portion where the narrator is making his way across the countryside that was boring, and the part where the narrator is trapped in a collapsed house seemed to drag on forever. Wells gives great attention to the narrators situation but doesn't ever go outside of the narrators sphere of influence to see what is happening world-wide or what kind of reaction the rest of the world is having. Also the characters were pretty sketchy...this was definitely more of an adventure driven novel than a character driven one.
Should you read it? Well if you like sci-fi and are interested in alien invasion then this is a must; this is pretty much the story that inspired a lot of later sci-fi stories. A lot of the story is very enjoyable, engaging and intriguing; but as with many classics there are portions that drag on a bit. I never found the language or writing difficult to understand, so that means this novel has aged well with time. If you are not a sci-fi fan, interested in post-apocalyptic stories, or alien invasion I would probably skip this in favor of something else.
If you do really like this story and haven't read the Tripods trilogy by Christopher John I recommend that you do; the story is similar in tone, more character driven, and a wonderful read.
The War of the Worlds is a classic science fiction novel, which I had never read. Written in 1898 by H.G. Wells it is the experiences of an unnamed narrator who survives the invasion of Martians in the suburbs of London England. The narrator lives a mile or so from the first landing, and after the first attack he flees with his wife. They separate and he spends the rest of the book trying to find her.
Several parts of the book are his brothers story of escape from London. How he first hears about the invasion and the disbelief of those who do not see the Martians first hand. The Martians are octopus looking creatures that use heat rays and a gas or black smoke to kill the humans. As more Martians land Londoners flee the city and the English flee the country.
At on point in the book the narrator is trapped in a partially ruined building with a curate, an assistant clergyman, whos mind has snapped from stress. While the two men hide from the Martians who are right next door the narrator tries to calm the clergyman to avoid the Martians. When they see the Martians feeding on the humans like we are just big caprie sun containers the curate losses all control and is knocked unconscious by the narrator and found by the Martians.
After several days the Martians depart and the narrator moves towards London. It is in London that the narrator discovers that the Martians have succumb to the bacteria that live on our planet. When the narrator returns home he finds his wife waiting. She had believed him to be dead and vice versa.
This is one of those classic novels that I have been meaning to read for years and finally got around to. Of course, I know the story from the movie versions and the Classics Illustrated comic adaptation that I read many times as a kid. I also remember that the comic edition had a short summary at the back describing the terror that was invoked by Orson Welles' radio production of the novel in the 1930s.
The book was well worth reading and was pretty much what I remembered with a lot more detail. The novel was first published in 1898 and introduced the theme of alien invasion that has had countless imitations since then. The plot is pretty simple with a strange disk landing near London that contains malevolent aliens able to build machines with a heat ray that is able to pretty much destroy humanity. The book goes into quite a bit of detail describing the Martians and their machines and weapons including a black gas that is a foreshadowing of the gas warfare in WWI. The aliens also bring the seeds for a red-hued Martian plant that seems to easily adapt and take over the native flora. Of course, in the end the Martians are destroyed by earthly bacteria that is lacking on Mars.
I did enjoy this but sometimes got lost and uninterested in the narrator's wanderings around the myriad number of locations around London that I had no knowledge of. Wells was a pioneer of science fiction and I have read most of his other well-known scifi and I can now add War of the Worlds to the list.