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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...
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

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3.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT HISTORY LESSON!
Greatly enjoyed this old classic!
Had trouble following all the London landmarks, so it took considerable concentration to visualize the movements of the Martians and the others in the story.
Glad I read it though.
Recommend it to both HISTORY and sci-fi. Buffs.
Published 9 months ago by Christine Brandon


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War of the worlds, Dec 20 2013
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This is one of the classics by H.G. Wells. Intriguing story; however, tends to drag in parts. Reader must allow for the fact that Wells was writing without the benefit of current scientific knowledge. Consequently, story seems implausible in parts.
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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..., Oct. 12 2006
By 
Mark Wakely (Lombard, Illinois) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The War of the Worlds (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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3.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT HISTORY LESSON!, Oct. 9 2013
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Greatly enjoyed this old classic!
Had trouble following all the London landmarks, so it took considerable concentration to visualize the movements of the Martians and the others in the story.
Glad I read it though.
Recommend it to both HISTORY and sci-fi. Buffs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, Sept. 29 2013
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Bootsy Bass (Winnipeg) - See all my reviews
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Maybe one of the books that could be credited with starting the sci-fi genre. This is a must read for any sci-fi geeks out there. Very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, Sept. 11 2013
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Excellent book. I always liked all versions of WotW. Especially a musical version I found in a flea market. It was on 2 CDs and first time I listened to it it was like taking an audio adventure. I was young and it was both scary and interesting at the same time listening to that. This book takes me back to those days
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, May 19 2013
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One of the best science fiction books I have ever read! Read it first as a teenager and still entertains as a senior! Excellent writing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top of his game, Aug. 30 2006
By 
Loki Xombi "Nox" (Alberta, ED Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The War of the Worlds (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. 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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original and Unbeatable! Still The Best!, July 20 2005
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This review is from: The War of the Worlds (Mass Market Paperback)
Written in 1898 by visionary author H.G. Wells, "The War of the Worlds" stands today not only on its own merits as a thrilling, terrifying work of the imagination, but as the granddaddy of all the extraterrestrial-invasion fiction that has saturated the media of this century. One is even tempted to proffer the possibility that, had it not been for Wells's seminal work, we may not have witnessed the UFO phenomenon that has manifested itself throughout the past 50 years or more. "The War of the Worlds" involves the abrupt landings of the Martians, fleeing their dying planet, in England, and their immediate campaign to subjugate human beings whose blood they need as sustenance. Through the use of fearsome weapons such as poison gas, and a heat-beam (Wells anticipating the laser) that incinerates everything in its path, the Martians( hideous octupi-like creatures, and their miraculous machinery) reduce much of London and the surrounding areas to smoldering ruin. This mass destruction Wells narrates in horrifying detail through the first-person of his protagonist, a writer-philosopher. In addition to serving as our eyes as civilization is apocalyptically laid to waste, the philosopher gives voice to the socialist Wells's views on humanity's vain view of its preeminent place in the cosmos, as well as to use the Martians' seemingly unstoppable domination as a way of comparing it to the British Empire's treatment of its subjugated populations. For all who have thrilled to the writings of Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Bradbury, as well as the films "The Thing", "Invaders from Mars", up through "Independence Day", we may give thanks to "The War of the Worlds", the progenitor of the hundreds of excitingly imaginative invasions of our paltry little planet. Give the book a shot. Pick up a copy! In addition to War of the Worlds, another book I'd like to recommend, is The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, a non Sci-fi novel I stumbled on by accident on Amazon and really love.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to hate creatures with such cool toys, July 7 2004
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This review is from: The War of the Worlds (Mass Market Paperback)
I don't know if H.G. Wells can take all the credit for pioneering modern science fiction, but his 1898 novel "The War of the Worlds" is certainly a revolutionary stroke, apparently the first conception of what a hostile extraterrestrial invasion would be like. The invaders here are Martians, who, as Wells describes, are superevolved beyond humans, having had to sharpen their intelligence and develop superior technology in order to survive their planet's cold climate. Looking with jealousy towards their larger, warmer sunward planetary neighbor, they have decided to take over Earth, where they can build a new civilization.
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.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A tale that has eroded through the passage of time..., Nov. 29 2011
By 
Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of the Worlds (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. 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.
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The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Mass Market Paperback - Dec 1 1993)
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