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The War of the Worlds (Tor Classics) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1993
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In each case, Wells uses the trappings of science-fiction and popular literature to lure readers into what is essentially a moral lesson. THE TIME MACHINE is essentially a statement on the evils of the English class system. THE INVISIBLE MAN addresses the predicaments of the men and women to whom society turns a blind eye. And THE WAR OF THE WORLDS is a truly savage commentary on British imperialism and colonialism.
This is not to say that it isn't science-fiction--for it most certainly is, and moreover it is science-fiction well grounded in the scientific thinking of its day: intelligent life on Mars was believed to be entirely possible, and Wells forecasts the machinery and weapons that would soon become all too real in World War I. Set in England about the beginning of the 20th Century, the story finds a strange meteor landing near the narrator's home--and from it emerge Martians, who promptly construct gigantic and powerful killing machines and set about wiping the human population of England off the face of the earth. The Martians and their machines are exceptionally well imagined, the story moves at a fast clip, and the writing is strong, concise, and powerful.Read more ›
"The War of the Worlds" has been interpreted as an allegory of imperialism. Just as the British took over other countries to make them part of the Empire, so too is the Earth being taken over by the Martians. They even bring their own plant life with them, the "Red Weed". The Martians see us as vermin, trying to wipe us out with heat rays and poisonous black gas. Thats's what makes the story so much fun. It is frightening in a cosy sort of way. We read the story in a safe, comfortable room, while the narrator talks of all the death and destruction he sees.
An interesting point that Issac Asimov once brought up was that if alien intelligence did exist, their advanced evolution would also mean they would be emotionally superior to us. They would not act like barbarians, as war is a primitive thing. When people write alien invasion stories, they are really saying something about us. We are destructive and aggressive by nature. Our history has been one long story of conquest, slavery and even genocide. So HG Wells has put a little bit of us into his Martians. Both metaphorically (as imperialists), and literally (as food).
Probably the most impressive thing about it is that it reads like historical fiction written today, not science fiction written a hundred years ago -- to a modern reader, the heat rays and gas weapons of the Martians seem more "real" than the oddly bucolic Victorian setting that they shatter.
The most interesting detail about this story, and one that many readers may miss (I certainly did until it was pointed out to me) is that Wells intended this work as a satire (not a funny satire, but a biting one) of British imperialism. The story was inspired by a conversation with his brother, discussing the eradication of the Tasmanian islanders by the British. His brother wondered what would happen if an alien race dropped from the sky and did the same to England; Wells wrote the book in response (and there is a brief mention of the Tasmanians in the novel).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sci-Fi fan that I am, I had never read War of the Worlds. this story, Orson Wells version notwithstanding, is perfect.Published 19 days ago by SueAnne Merrill
It's a good book. A classic. I would recommend. I bought it for my 11yr old, but there were too many 50 cent words. So, I re-read it myself. Read morePublished 26 days ago by staffordScott
The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells - Great Illustrated Classics - ISBN 0-86611-070-5 [0718 - SF novel - 07-31-2016]
This is a fine-looking edition of the Well classic. Read more
Several of the science fiction "classics" I have read recently have proven to be rather less than classic for me. However, War of the Worlds is not one of them. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Pheel
The one star is not for the book...the contents of this book is excellent. The one star is for the format of the printing. It reads like a newspaper, NOT a book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I was expecting something a lot less...boring. Like, for being about an alien invasion, including enslavement and harvesting of humans, this is REALLY a snooze-fest! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dione Basseri