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The World Set Free Paperback – Feb 18 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Book Jungle (Feb. 18 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605971049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605971049
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,564,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From AudioFile

Published in 1914 and set in 1956, this is a fantasy of the possible. Before scientists split the atom Wells foresaw the wonders of robotics, the positives and negatives of computers and the horrors of weaponry that could bring an end to civilization as we know it. Wells's sometimes unpopular social policy rails against the dangers of isolationism and offers the logic of globalization. Shelley Frasier performs the narrative with appropriately thoughtful distance. She manages sensitivity and complexity as George Ponderevo considers mankind's inevitable end. "...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange even to the men who used them." A prophetic, imaginative social reformer, Wells has long been recognized as a man ahead of his time. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Often called the father of science fiction, British author Herbert George (H. G.) Wells literary works are notable for being some of the first titles of the science fiction genre, and include such famed titles as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The Invisible Man. Despite being fixedly associated with science fiction, Wells wrote extensively in other genres and on many subjects, including history, society and politics, and was heavily influenced by Darwinism. His first book, Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought, offered predictions about what technology and society would look like in the year 2000, many of which have proven accurate. Wells went on to pen over fifty novels, numerous non-fiction books, and dozens of short stories. His legacy has had an overwhelming influence on science fiction, popular culture, and even on technological and scientific innovation. Wells died in 1946 at the age of 79.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In this book, Wells describes nuclear warfare and begins the descriptions of a possible future. He named uranium, "Carolinum" and talked about a chain reaction that would leave radiation behind so that nothing would survive afterwards, even if they did escape from the weapon itself. Dr. Szilard, the man who came up with the idea of splitting the atom with a nuetron, did so after reading, "The World Set Free". I say, NO KIDDING! Wells lays the idea right out in front of the world's face, laughing! It then goes on to describe future events that have occured, though in different times, and some which have yet to occur. He spoke of Carolinum (uranium), the atomic theory and its increadible source of power. He spoke of robotics and computers replacing people in the work place. This is where it all started folks. AND THIS IS JUST IN THE FIRST 100 PAGES! Trust me... it gets better :) If you wish yo know more on the theory and the bombs' construction, I refer you to Richard Rhodes. If you want to know the mind and the story that began this whole deal, read this book!!!!
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By A Customer on Aug. 1 1999
Format: Paperback
H. G. Wells is not usually given enough credit for this particular book (in my opinion, his best). The focus is usually upon one of his other works such as The Time Machine. The World set Free is truly staggering in its scope, scale, and vision of the future. It is interesting to note how much Wells got correct about the future, and to see how much he did not. The fact that this book was written before World War I indicates his genius at seeing what might be possible and how this might come about. I cannot recommend this book more highly than by saying AN EXCELLENT, FASCINATING, GRIPPING PAGE-TURNER. A quick point about the original year of publication - if my memory is correct, it was originally published in 1910, rather than 1914.
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Format: Paperback
Ths work written in 1914 is not one of Wells' great works, but is of interest because it is
reputedly the first use of the words "atomic
bomb", and recognises the dangers of warfare
with a weapon of enormous destructive power
delivered from the air. It is remarkably prescient
in the light of the date of writing.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fc21b04) out of 5 stars 92 reviews
201 of 209 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc3590c) out of 5 stars Atomic Theory, the book it all started from. Feb. 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this book, Wells describes nuclear warfare and begins the descriptions of a possible future. He named uranium, "Carolinum" and talked about a chain reaction that would leave radiation behind so that nothing would survive afterwards, even if they did escape from the weapon itself. Dr. Szilard, the man who came up with the idea of splitting the atom with a nuetron, did so after reading, "The World Set Free". I say, NO KIDDING! Wells lays the idea right out in front of the world's face, laughing! It then goes on to describe future events that have occured, though in different times, and some which have yet to occur. He spoke of Carolinum (uranium), the atomic theory and its increadible source of power. He spoke of robotics and computers replacing people in the work place. This is where it all started folks. AND THIS IS JUST IN THE FIRST 100 PAGES! Trust me... it gets better :) If you wish yo know more on the theory and the bombs' construction, I refer you to Richard Rhodes. If you want to know the mind and the story that began this whole deal, read this book!!!!
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc35d74) out of 5 stars A Man Ahead of His Time Aug. 1 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
H. G. Wells is not usually given enough credit for this particular book (in my opinion, his best). The focus is usually upon one of his other works such as The Time Machine. The World set Free is truly staggering in its scope, scale, and vision of the future. It is interesting to note how much Wells got correct about the future, and to see how much he did not. The fact that this book was written before World War I indicates his genius at seeing what might be possible and how this might come about. I cannot recommend this book more highly than by saying AN EXCELLENT, FASCINATING, GRIPPING PAGE-TURNER. A quick point about the original year of publication - if my memory is correct, it was originally published in 1910, rather than 1914.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc35cf0) out of 5 stars THE WORLD SET FREE by H. G. Wells Oct. 25 2010
By MOTU Review - Published on Amazon.com
The World Set Free (recently reissued as The Last War) is a 1914 science fiction novel by H. G. Wells. When atomic bombs are developed and the world is threatened with universal devastation, its leaders are forced to rethink war, government, and society.

The World Set Free is remarkably prophetic, as Wells forecasts both nuclear war and the capacity for mutually-assured destruction. And while Wells misses the mark on the way atomic bombs work (his atomic bombs have the same explosive power as conventional bombs, but they just keep on burning), he certainly doesn't underestimate their destructive power.

This book feels like a novel only in the sense that it relates a series of fictional events. What few individuals appear here are scarcely characters in the literary sense - other than Egbert, none are developed in the slightest. This simply wasn't what Wells is trying to do - Wells is interested in the technology and its ramifications, and because that's what he focuses on, The World Set Free reads like a fictional history book, or perhaps like an outline for a longer novel. This keeps it from ever getting too interesting, and while it's a short book, it can be hard to get through.

In short, The World Set Free is an impressively-imagined but not very well-written piece of prophetic science fiction.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc358f4) out of 5 stars Not one of Wells' greatest, first use of words "atomic bomb" Sept. 27 1997
By john@informed.co.nz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ths work written in 1914 is not one of Wells' great works, but is of interest because it is
reputedly the first use of the words "atomic
bomb", and recognises the dangers of warfare
with a weapon of enormous destructive power
delivered from the air. It is remarkably prescient
in the light of the date of writing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc35fc0) out of 5 stars The World Set Free but not by the Advent of the Atomic Bomb March 25 2015
By Chheyden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although his stilted language style irked me as I read, it is to be expected from a nineteenth century educated author. Wells’ predictions of Mankind’s progress in the 20th century and beyond are if nothing else accurate and therefore all the more amazing since The World Set Free was finished in 1912. No one before him expounded in such detail and so deftly. He wraps these forecasts in an interesting tale. The professional narration by Eric Jones is well worth the 1.99 and contributes to the British mood in the story.

Wells ventures the untenable prediction that the horrific force of atomic power alone brings Mankind to the irrefutable conclusion that he must reform his ways and think only of his place as a part of the greater striving of Man as a whole, a concept which correlates to his bent towards socialism. Untenable if only because men have employed and enjoyed the use of force to subdue one another, conquer one another and convince one another of the correctness of their beliefs and desires over all others.

What I found truly astounding is, although Wells attributes it wrongly to the Atomic bomb’s unimaginatively coercive destructive force, he predicts the freeing of Man’s attention from the day to day grind for survival into a virtual aesthetic utopia. Forecasting, what I have observed in my life, that men, women, individuals will have the chance in the future, circa our times, to express their innermost creative urges and focus on making things, aesthetic creations.

Finally as the story closes he very simply and boldy affirms his immortal inheritance, in the waning moments via his final major charater Marcus Karinen, the world educator who has come to prominence in the New World Order that has been set free. And that inheritance and its freeing is the key to Man’s continued progress towards being set free.


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