Aren't Amazon's reviews for this book a royal mess? If you're able to read this review, then congratulations because there must be several dozen editions of H.G. Well's "The War of the Worlds" kicking around out there now. The book's been in the Public Domain for some years, which means you could (if you wanted to) go out tomorrow, form a publishing company, print several copies, and then sell your own edition of this classic. Better still, you could cut your production costs and do an EPUB.
So let's get to it: I'm reviewing DigiReads' The War of the Worlds (Illustrated by Henrique Alvim Correa) paperback print-on-demand edition, which has the added benefit of several glorious 1906-era illustrations by Brazilian artist, Henrique Alvim Corrêa. Originally published in a beautiful limited-run French edition, these spooky, icky, creepy fin de siècle drawings are among the very best of the hundreds of artistic interpretations this book's inspired. Subsequent publishers seem reticent to reprint them, so the fact that DigiReads reproduced them for their edition -- printed on acid-free paper, no less -- is a bonus in its favour.
Other than that, what follows here can apply to pretty much ANY other edition.
The story itself hardly needs an introduction. It's a down-and dirty, lean little alien invasion tale, among the very first -- if not THE first -- of its kind. Wells (always the keen observer and social commentator) saw the impending decline of the British Empire looming on the horizon, and used his Martians as a social metaphor to give the whole thing a little push. It's worth noting that the invasion never leaves England, but in 1898 it didn't need to. Back then, England formed the nexus of a global empire built upon exploration, enterprise and aggressive colonialism (read: conquest and takeover). Knocking-out London would, indeed, bring the world to a political and economic standstill. Wells gleefully turns the tables on his own society, and describes the downfall in fairly graphic detail.
If you troll back through earlier product reviews for this book, you'll find a fair number of barely-legible and fairly short comments describing the book as "boring" and "old" with not enough character development. Ignore them! This book *is* old, but I had no problem threading my way through the verbage when I was nine-years-old, and I refuse to believe that an interested child (or adult) couldn't ford the same waters today. Character development is beside the point: this is reportage of an invasion told from the point-of-view of a fairly typical middle-class Englishman of the period, with about all the character development this story requires for him. As for "boring," it's anything but. This is not a comedy of manners, or a period romance. Get it, get into it and enjoy it for what it is -- one the earliest, and most influential, pure science fiction stories ever written.
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Award Publications Ltd (April 18 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782703446
- ISBN-13: 978-1782703440
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 789 g
- Average Customer Review: 129 customer reviews