The War of the Worlds (SF Masterworks)
"The Fifth Doll" by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village. | Learn more
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Hardcover : 190 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0575115351
- ISBN-13 : 978-0575115354
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Gollancz; Reprint edition (September 1, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,170,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Kindle books are meant to mirror the experience of reading books in paper, on kindle e-readers at least. After seventeen books read in the AmazonClassics series I have to say that Amazon not only matched the experience but they have surpassed it, it would be lovely if other publishers would imitate the format of these Amazon classic editions. Usually kindle books include editorial footnotes, introductions, studies among others that, although useful, tend to spoil the adventure to discover by oneself a classic book, in some cases the editorial footnotes don't explain some things and in other cases are rather interruptions of known meanings. In AmazonClassics edition all those studies and footnotes are replaced by X-Ray, the built-in dictionary and, in extreme case with a Wikipedia search. The most relieving benefit is that the book is pure. You can check the X-Ray data only when needed. For the War of the Worlds to me, ignorant of urban names in England, was quite important to know the distance in metric system of the mentioned places to the center of London and get a grasp of the urgency of the threats; and getting explanations of the militar devices and transportation of the end of 19th century. Inversely if I were a Londoner I wouldn't need to consult that data, but as the X-Ray function is hidden text it would not disturbe the reading. It's perfect.
What a story! To talk about The War of the Worlds is to talk about a complex attack of a civilization that feels so alien and, even today, technological and evolutionarily advanced; more than one century later humanity cannot make the amazing Martian machines. The militar and technological characteristics of the British Empire and London, the biggest and most amazing city in the 19th century, are so fantastic too, in a grade whose intensity I have never felt with steampunk fantasies, in great part due to be real technology. I took more days than intended in reading this book because I got to investigate how were, among others, the heliographs, the trucks of the age, the steam-driven vehicles. Wells prepare well the nature of the conflict: beings that (similar to us with internet :S) have relegated the sensations to external devices, their destruction is almost an intellectual task, without kindness but without wanton cruelty too. In the side of humans London is a militar machine that was, in that moment, dominating the world. London fights till the end, the vast city turns into a hell of war. The quality of Wells as a writer is shown not only in the imagination of the science fiction world, but also in the character development. In one part the unnamed protagonist is struggling to go back where his wife, but he feels angry without knowing why. It could be that he is angry to be risking his life in search of her; but actually is maybe angriness against himself, because that risk was due for not paying ear to his wife in the first place. The characters are human and have different strengths and weaknesses. The plot is narrated from the future, as a memory of bad days, but it is not predictable, because if there is a win it seems to be not human. Even in one point this human defeat seems the origin of the dystopia in "The Time Machine." Maybe you already know the story but I will not spoil it. Is the product of a powerful and cultivated imagination. Reading it has made me appreciate even more the Steven Spielberg version in the cine. I think it is quite respectful of the essence of the book as it represents many aspects and emotions from the book.
H. G. Wells' story of the native creatures attempting to lay waste to the Earth is a fun, fast read. If I had sat down on an afternoon with no interruptions, I probably could have finished the book in about 4 hours. As it was, I read it in a couple of sessions over a couple of days, but I still felt like I didn't spend a lot of time in this book. Wells' first-person narration is an excellent vehicle for putting the reader right in the heart of the action.
I did find, as I was reading this, that I sort of wished I had a map of contemporary England to reference. Much of the narration involves, "I walked from [here] to [there]," and without knowledge of the land or distances, it sort of misses for the modern reader. Granted, at the time Wells was writing, most of his readers would have been intimately familiar with these names and places, so it would have been another link toward the realism of the book. Unfortunately, without that knowledge, I feel like it is hard to judge time passage in the book, as the modern reader may have difficulty grasping how long it would take to get from point A to point B.
Aside from that one caveat, I really enjoyed this book. The twist Wells put at the end - the Earth, at its most basic, taking care of mankind and defending itself against those who would do it harm - resonates in a time of global warming. If Wells' Earth can take care of us, shouldn't we return the favor?
Top reviews from other countries
A good read with vivid imagination and descriptive passages.
The only problem for me was the need to see a true portrayal of this masterclass produced.
I absolutely love Jeff Waynes Musical War of the Worlds and recently went to the Immersive Experience in London. It made me think that it's time I read the book and see how it compares.
I can see the connections and events which inspired Jeff Waynes musical. The story is a classic and an original sci-fi book. I love the fact it is British based as well.
I can only imagine what people at the time thought when this came out.
I would definitely recommend this book to any sci-fi lover.