The War of the Worlds. Finished 9-6-17, 3.5/5 stars. classics, 192 pages, pub. 1897
With H.G. Wells’ other novels, The War of the Worlds was one of the first and greatest works of science fiction ever to be written. Even long before man had learned to fly, H.G. Wells wrote this story of the Martian attack on England. These unearthly creatures arrive in huge cylinders, from which they escape as soon as the metal is cool. The first falls near Woking and is regarded as a curiosity rather than a danger until the Martians climb out of it and kill many of the gaping crowd with a Heat-Ray. These unearthly creatures have heads four feet in diameter and colossal round bodies, and by manipulating two terrifying machines – the Handling Machine and the Fighting Machine – they are as versatile as humans and at the same time insuperable. They cause boundless destruction. The inhabitants of the Earth are powerless against them, and it looks as if the end of the World has come. But there is one factor which the Martians, in spite of their superior intelligence, have not reckoned on. It is this which brings about a miraculous conclusion to this famous work of the imagination. from Goodreads.
First published in 1897 in a series of magazine articles, this sci-fi classic has not been out of print since and has spawned a number of movies. I loved Wells’ The Time Machine and was looking forward to this one about an alien invasion of England. His writing always takes me a few chapters to get into a rhythm, but then I don’t even notice that the pre-1900 language. Aliens from Mars head down to earth and somehow they are able to start killing at will and the people in the area don’t even seem that concerned. The protagonist somehow managed to come out unscathed and with his life seemingly intact.
I was expecting to like it, but found myself a little bogged down in the geography and details. But I did love the old school, 1980 edition I had on my shelves!
This was my 14th selection for the Classics Club and I have until January 1, 2020 to get to 50. I am woefully behind!
4 thoughts on “The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells”
That’s one of Vance’s favorites.
I’ve heard some of the radio broadcast of this and seen a movie version. I haven’t read the book, but I’ve always been curious.
I’m way behind with my Classic Club selections too. At least we still have time? 🙂
Never read that one. But I’ve been wanting to read some of the old sci fi classics. Glad it was a decent read for you!
That is indeed a classic.