The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds

Book - 1983
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This ominous tale is a portrayal of aliens landing on English soil, and the survival of mankind in the face of scientific powers spinning out of control.
Publisher: Cutchogue, NY : Buccaneer Books, 1983
ISBN: 9780141441030
Call Number: F WELLS H
Characteristics: 189 p. ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

Set in the 1900's, aliens land in England and attempt to destroy humanity, but get more then they bargain for.

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 a Martian attack on England.

From the critics

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Nov 07, 2020

A gripping novel with one intriguing moment after another. (3/5)
Regarded as one of the most popular and influential sci-fi novels of our time, The War Of The Worlds documents a fictional invasion by Martians, and how it impacts the unnamed protagonist and his brother who inhabit the growing area of Southern England. How they manage to tackle it forms the crux of the plot.
Writer HG Wells delivers a strong product that's worthy of all its acclaim. Right from the get-go, the novel wastes no time with needless plot points. The novel is devoid of a forced familial connection between the protagonist and his brother and doesn't use this as an excuse to develop emotional context (that's established later in a better way). The single-minded narrative (which a writer from 1939 can do better than our writers today) is what really stands out. The other thing with the novel that's commendable is the scientific accuracy. The science in the novel never borders on silliness and is as realistic as possible - you never question the science used, but you're instead finding something to learn from a fantasy novel.
However, for all its' brilliance, I do wish the novel had better character arcs. The characters are given such vague detailing (spoiler alert: the protagonist doesn't even have a name in this one) that after a point, it becomes hard to root for them. The slow-paced nature of the novel may not sit well with every reader, though I found a way to get past it.
Nonetheless, there's a lot to enjoy with this novel. Gripping space novels are hard to find these days, so do yourself a favor and read this one, especially if you're a sucker for classics. Two big thumbs up!
@SSGDP of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Aug 08, 2019

Reading the classic "War of the Worlds," by H.G. Wells is a must read at least once in your lifetime. But the story is one that is impressive for 1898. The Martians arrive and humans discover quickly how unprepared the humans would be. The mixed emotions experienced by the Narrator are not unbelievable of humans who would experience a phenomena like this. The plot moves along quickly with a hint of surprise of the downfall of the aliens. There can be symbolism if you want to see it. An enjoyable read.

May 19, 2019

H. G. Wells wrote this alien invasion novel back in 1898. It's really amazing to read Wells' perspective on the future and man being seriously harassed by beings from another world.

Apr 20, 2018

To get the real meaning of this work of Wells, read the short "Critics" comment up on this page, a quote from the Guardian. That's the meaning. Otherwise, Wells was working on orders, he was a Gov. propagandist, whose role was to show in "fiction" form the planned future. Wells was given a multi-story house with typists; he walked around and dictated his ideas. He was a squat man with a squeaky voice; he married several times, but had queer habits, and so he had his divorced wives sign contracts of secrecy as to his husband-habits. He came from a poor family, his mother was a servant in a rich house, he saw the working class' hard life and dreaded to fall into the same way of life. He had some talent, though, and was used to convey propaganda into the public's mind in the form of seemingly fictional, but in fact, symbolic messages. In fact, Orwell (Eric Blair) was a Gov. propagandist too, but he jumped out of that role, and showed us the planned future in an also symbolic but different way. "1984" and "Animal Farm" are master works, but they carry a higher meaning.

Apr 19, 2018

Great read! 4/5

Jan 31, 2018

A classic science fiction piece, Wells' tale of a martian invasion of Earth is without a doubt the best known of the author's several outstanding books. Gigantic cylinders housing the martian colonists smash into Victorian England, bringing widespread destruction and death with them. The first part of the book switches between two characters: the narrator himself, who is accompanied by an artilleryman and then a curate, and the narrator's brother, who witnesses the general panic and mayhem as London is attacked by the Martians. At this point, Wells must be congratulated on his ability to realistically recreate the behavior of a mass of panic-stricken people, and the exodus of London is one of the most realistic scenes in the book. While the scene has all of the usual screaming crowds, Wells also portrays the pandemonium and the violence that humans are capable of when they are afraid: "Before [my brother] could get to [the horse], he heard a scream under the wheels, and saw through the dust the rim passing over the poor wretch's back. The driver of the cart slashed his whip at my brother, who ran behind the cart." As the brother escapes to foreign lands, the narrator, in the second part of the book, discovers the cosmic scale of the martians' adeptness at engineering and technology, before the invaders eventually succumb to bacteria not found on Mars. Wells' imagination is what really gives this book life, as it seems unbelievable that all of this could have been thought of by a man living in the 1700s. However, upon finishing the book, a consistent reader of Wells can't help but feel unsatisfied. Compared to other books Wells has written, this one really shouldn't stand out, as while the ideas it presents are strange and fascinating, its characters can't hold a candle to the enchantingly surreal entities he conjures up in stories such as "The Time Machine" and "The Invisible Man". If anything, the story resembles an apocalyptic parody of the Little Prince in that its characters all seem to serve some higher, moralistic function that doesn't contribute to the plot. It's a shame, since while the idea was certainly momentous even by Wells' standards, the writing, for the most part, just doesn't cut it.

Dec 11, 2017

This book is interesting. The plot keep you turning the pages. The part that gets at you is that, if martians did attack, would we be helpless?

Sep 20, 2017

This book was interesting to read because it is one of the first "alien invasion" stories ever. H.G. Wells had a huge influence on science fiction. I find it amazing that Wells was able to understand so much of science, and that he demonstrated it so well in his books, when he was from the 1800s. It paints a very frightening image; humans have always viewed themselves as the top species, so it is interesting to see how quickly civilization could collapse once a technologically superior race comes in.

However, I found the characters bland and the plot mediocre. The message of the story (that only strong, smart people should survive and that it would be good for humanity to become non-diverse, a mono-culture), is, in my opinion, not a very good one. I don't believe the Martians would have been able to progress scientifically and technologically if they were all essentially the same. However, the writing was excellent and this book remains an interesting historical classic.

Jan 16, 2016

A classic of science fiction, The War of the Worlds works on many layers. Most people take it as merely a fantasical fiction of invasion by otherworldly Martians set on subjugating and killing off large swathes of the human race.

However, it was intended as commentary on colonialism and the disruption to the lives of those native to the colonies. Numerous allusions are made, as to how an ant might find a steam engine as incomprehensible as the humans find the machines of the alien invaders. The introduction of the 'red weed' by the aliens, choking out the plantlife to plantations crowding out native flora and traditional crops.

Sep 05, 2013

Decided to read a classic although most people have the movie. If you're not from England or not familiar with the cities and towns you are going to find it hard to follow because the Well's uses street names and towns alot in the book. It is also has alot of narrative - he uses alot of adverbs and adjectives to describe the aliens and the terror they wield. I Could not finish the book because of the that but I definitely tried!

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Jan 16, 2016

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