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The War of the Worlds Paperback – May 6, 2017
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Why, if life was improving so rapidly for so many people at the dawn of the 20th century, were the next hundred years full of brutal conflict? Ferguson (Colossus) has a relatively simple answer: ethnic unrest is prone to break out during periods of economic volatility—booms as well as busts. When they take place in or near areas of imperial decline or transition, the unrest is more likely to escalate into full-scale conflict. This compelling theory is applicable to the Armenian genocide in Turkey, the slaughter of the Tutsis in Rwanda or the "ethnic cleansing" perpetrated against Bosnians, but the overwhelming majority of Ferguson's analysis is devoted to the two world wars and the fate of the Jews in Germany and eastern Europe. His richly informed analysis overturns many basic assumptions. For example, he argues that England's appeasement of Hitler in 1938 didn't lead to WWII, but was a misinformed response to a war that had started as early as 1935. But with Ferguson's claims about "the descent of the West" and the smaller wars in the latter half of the century tucked away into a comparatively brief epilogue, his thoughtful study falls short of its epic promise. (Sept. 25)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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When I saw these had been reprinted I quickly snapped it up, the paper quality is much higher of course than those originals and I think the artwork has been retouched, maybe re-inked and definitely re-colored. However it was with a great sense of warm nostalgia I re-read the simplified version of Wells' seminal invasion story. As others have mentioned the depiction of the large headed gray aliens sluffing out of the cylinders stands out in memory as does the artists interesting take on the tripods themselves with their weird motorcycle helmet style heads. Recommended.
A must for any fan, young or old.
This is a book I'll recommend to absolutely everyone. Frankly, I'd recommend everyone read it a few times to really get the most out of it. This is my second copy, as my first is a few thousand miles away and just about too annotated to be read properly.
I don't know that I'd say this is my absolute favorite book I've read, but it's easily the best. Beautifully written, darkly compelling, prophetic, and empathetic.