1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why it's still in print a hundred years later...
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...
Published on Oct. 12 2006 by Mark Wakely
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too retro "Sci. Fi." for me.
In "The War of the Worlds" Martians come down from space and start their conquest of our home Earth. The Martians, with their heat rays and giant robotic machines, are attempting to conquer Earth and use it as their new home because Mars has become uninhabitable. This story is told from an English man's point-of-view, with vivid descriptions telling what it was...
Published on May 16 2004 by James Sefcik
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why it's still in print a hundred years later...,
And that's why it's still in print a hundred years later.
-Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Classic Book,
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enduring classic,
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless,
5.0 out of 5 stars Top of his game,
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. Wells may have been attempting to show his audience that we can never be to confident in man's resourcefulness, and never to become to high on our ideas of superiority over this world.
This was, and is a good lesson to learn and keep close to heart. I definitely recommend this book to any sci-fi fan out there. It's a one of a kind, and the parent of it's genre.
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Unbeatable! Still The Best!,
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to hate creatures with such cool toys,
Meanwhile on Earth, astronomers, their telescopes pointed towards Mars, notice strange luminous flashes on the surface of the red planet; these, it can be surmised, are the Martians launching their interplanetary spacecrafts towards their target. A few months later the crafts land in the English countryside one at a time; it turns out the Martians have traveled in gigantic cylinders which contain all their equipment, including their land vehicles--tall walking tripods with rotating control centers that look like hooded human heads--which evidently are stored in parts and need to be assembled. These machines have weapons that deploy "Heat-Rays" which roast anything on contact and dense black powder which poisons the air and water. With these undeniably cool toys, the Martians have no problems advancing towards London and decimating every living thing in their path.
Undiplomatic and incommunicative with earthlings, the Martians are cold-blooded killers with possibly the ultimate goal of enslaving the human species for labor in their colonies. The Martian beings themselves are described as vaguely globular, tentacular monsters that are mostly brain and little else, creatures seemingly borrowed from the distant future of Wells's imagination in "The Time Machine." What I found most original and bizarre about them was Wells's description of their machinery, which does not use wheels or any kind of angular mechanism, but rather complex systems of sliding parts on curved surfaces--in other words, their mechanisms approximate biomechanisms. Their cleverness is indeed formidable, but their information about Earth is lacking in one important area which causes their downfall.
The human characters in the novel are hardly worth mentioning, especially the narrator, which is probably why he doesn't have a name; he is used simply as an eyewitness to relate the events. The Martians and their incredible machines were the only things that really drew my interest because Wells is at his best when he invokes the horror of the unknown rather than the realities of human behavior. Upon its first appearance, this novel must have struck many Victorians as distastefully grotesque, the idea of a cataclysmic war (at the dawn of the century that invented the cataclysmic war) the willful nightmare of a madman; but Wells was a visionary if not the most elegant writer, and visionaries sometimes shock us.
2.0 out of 5 stars A tale that has eroded through the passage of time...,
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. Instead of informing other parts of the country and the world that the nightmare was over, the narrator retreated to a workman's shack and ruminated about his loneliness and exhaustion. In addition a number of the portions of this book read like the descriptive pages of a travel guide than a novel. I do not think that a reader really cares a great deal about the names of London streets or what the lengthy lists of England towns are.
If HG Wells saw in his portrayal of the narrator the universal, inner soul of all mankind, so be it. I on the other hand would have preferred a protagonist who was less trivial, more engaged with reality, more empathetic towards others and less self-absorbed.
5.0 out of 5 stars War of the Worlds Book Review,
This review is from: The War of the Worlds (Paperback)I am an H.G. Wells fan, and was very pleased with this book.
It was in excellent condition. Thanks.
5.0 out of 5 stars "...this world was being watched keenly and closely...",
This review is from: The War of the Worlds (Audio CD)In a society that has eliminated many imbalances, surplus goods, and even class struggle, there are bound to be deviates; Winston Smith is one of those. He starts out, due to his inability to doublethink, with thoughtcrime. This is in a society that believes a thought is as real as the deed. Eventually he graduates through a series of misdemeanors to illicit sex and even plans to overthrow the very government that took him in as an orphan.
If he gets caught, he will be sent to the "Ministry of Love" where they have a record of 100% cures for this sort of insanity. They will even forgive his past indiscretions.
Be sure to watch the three different movies made from this book:
1984 (1954) Peter Cushing is Winston Smith
1984 (1956) Edmond O'Brien is Winston Smith
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) John Hurt is Winston smith
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The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (Paperback - March 12 2002)
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