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The War of the Worlds the War of the Worlds Hardcover – May 23 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing (May 23 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1161480528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1161480528
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 17.8 x 1.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,023,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G. Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator tells readers that "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's..."

Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth's comparatively heavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England's military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and how it's clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This edition of Wells's much disguised attack on British imperialism includes a scholarly introduction, a biographical preface and chronology of the author's life, maps of the Martian landing sites, and explanatory notes. A lot of extras for the price.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched1 keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Read the first page
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4.1 out of 5 stars

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wakely on Oct. 12 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
H.G. Wells wrote War of the Worlds as a warning to the complacent, world-dominating British citizens of his era to not take the status quo for granted. The arrogance of some British politicians in particular rubbed Wells entirely the wrong way, particularly their sentiment that the British had an 'obligation' to 'civilize' the world (read: colonize) for its own good. Well's book was a rock thrown at that attitude-on-a-pedestal, and although he didn't knock it down, he made his point- and in spectacular fashion. In one way, the Martians *were* the conquering British, with their superior weapons and baffling ways that must have seemed incomprehensible to the natives of Africa and other areas colonized by force. Wells' dark tale was also a warning that even the British- despite their firm belief in their world destiny- could be squashed like so many bugs by an indifferent cosmos that didn't give one whit about the British (or anyone else's) false boast of superiority. In the end, though, it's a hopeful book- just as the Martians died off because they weren't biologically suited to live in this world, Wells also foretells the end of the British Empire because the British (alien) way was not the native way of life in the colonies, suggesting that the British wouldn't survive there long; the natives would eventually prevail. And they did. On top of all that, it's rousing entertainment that can be read just for its drama and suspense.

And that's why it's still in print a hundred years later.

-Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While one can draw a modest degree of symbolism regarding the evolution of mankind into that portrayed by the Martians, a right-brained, non-emotional creature who relies on technology for its livelihood, most of the story is a highly dated affair. Even the fact that this novel was published in 1898 does not extinguish the fact that, eleven decades latter, it has become irrelevant.

First, and most obvious, there is no cognizant life on Mars which will lead to an invasion. Secondly, if there are any alien life that is planning a future attack on planet Earth, the first thing they would do would be to send a probe which would reveal a strain of bacteria to which they are not immune. Thirdly, showing London as the 'seat of civilization' glaringly shows the English-centered mentality of the author. Lastly, and most disturbingly, the author, using the narrator of the story as its main protagonist, shows an utter disconnect from how society presently wishes to view itself. The narrator, himself, is a highly narcissistic being who is more concerned with his hunger, thirst, fatigue, aloneness, etc... than he is with the tragedy that is occurring around him. His elitist view of himself as a philosopher is contrasted with an arrogant attitude towards those who he does not view as being on his status. He is continually (and rightfully) racked with guilt over his continued inaction while continuing to magnify his victimhood instead of developing any level of self-reliance. Furthermore, his lack of concern for anyone but himself was highlighted when he evaluated that the aliens were, in fact, dying from an unknown source.
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Format: Hardcover
We are in 1898 England. Yep we see something happening on the surface of Mars. Later what looks like a meteor comes to earth. Once we realize the significant of the situation (or think we do) Different people approach the situation in different ways. The true story is how the different people meet the situation.

Many people want to equate this story with real potential invasions others as the bad guys vs. the good guys. However from the very first we see that they are the greater (more evolved) intelligence and we are the equivalent of vermin or the ants that are being held under the magnifying glass. From our point of view they seem like cruel creatures, from theirs is indifference. Their way of consuming nourishment is appalling yet look at what and how we eat.

The writing its self is of the time in which Wells lived so the descriptions of our world may seem a little alien to today's younger readers. However the suspense is still there and the story will hold their attention.

Do not miss the 1953 movie. Even thought it adds more religious overtones it is still pretty much the same story with similar characters. Of course this one names the narrator and adds a love interest.
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By Loki Xombi on Aug. 30 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've said it before, so I'll say it again: Wells was way ahead of his time.

At the end of the 19th century Wells was already conceiving the possibility that we are being watched by entities whose intelligence is far superior to our own. And though those beings may be more advanced, they regard our form of life as being a simple setback to be quickly removed. Our solar neighbor, Mars, sends its children down to earth to being the decimation of the human race. In the opening of the novel, large metallic pods crash on our soil, and from their craters, emerge as massive tri-pod walking machines. These tri-pods go about the business of burning all of civilization to ashes. They spew noxious gas that suffocates those that inhale it, and fire concentrated lasers that scorch the earth to dust. Within a few days, all of England is turned into a smoking ruin by these walking terrors.

The novel is set in the perspective of a young philosopher/writer (whom is never given a name) as he travels across England and witnesses the horrible destruction and transformation of his home country, trying his hardest to stay clear of the death-machines. It was interesting to read something from the perspective of someone who has no name, and to read about his terror, not only over the ruin of England, but the destruction of organized society. No man made creation, no human endeavor, nothing our earthly minds can construct is able to save us from the death that walks on 3 legs. You actually get to watch a man's mind turning towards hopelessness and insanity.

In the end, the invaders are destroyed by the tiniest of organisms our planet has to offer. The moment they introduced themselves into our environment, they had lost the battle.
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