Free Reading The War of the Worlds By H.G. Wells –

With HG Wells Other Novels, The War Of The Worlds Was One Of The First And Greatest Works Of Science Fiction Ever To Be Written Even Long Before Man Had Learned To Fly, HG Wells Wrote This Story Of The Martian Attack On England These Unearthly Creatures Arrive In Huge Cylinders, From Which They Escape As Soon As The Metal Is Cool The First Falls Near Woking And Is Regarded As A Curiosity Rather Than A Danger Until The Martians Climb Out Of It And Kill Many Of The Gaping Crowd With A Heat Ray These Unearthly Creatures Have Heads Four Feet In Diameter And Colossal Round Bodies, And By Manipulating Two Terrifying Machines The Handling Machine And The Fighting Machine They Are As Versatile As Humans And At The Same Time Insuperable They Cause Boundless Destruction The Inhabitants Of The Earth Are Powerless Against Them, And It Looks As If The End Of The World Has Come But There Is One Factor Which The Martians, In Spite Of Their Superior Intelligence, Have Not Reckoned On It Is This Which Brings About A Miraculous Conclusion To This Famous Work Of The Imagination

10 thoughts on “The War of the Worlds

  1. says:

    I acknowledge that I am one of the few people who actually enjoyed the recent War of the Worlds movie The reason for this has to do with the original book than Tom Cruise or Steven Speilburg s tendency to wittle everything, including alien attacks, down to simple family problems In a lot of ways, War of the Worlds 2006 was a close to dead on adaptation of the original Victorian novel Just a few words on why you should like, or if you don t like, respect War of the Worlds as a movie It avoids alien movie cliches 1 There are no characters Presidents, generals, etc who tell you what is going on on a global scale all information is through rumors 2 You do not see a major city destroyed nor any iconic landmarks 3 Instead of humanity banding together to defeat a common foe, the characters and others they interact with are left increasingly fragmented and isolated That being said, Speilburg s War of the Worlds adapts much of the plot line and themes from the original novel Instead of the 1950s version which pits a united front against the aliens Cold War adapted , the original Victorian novel has a character travel isolated Wells narrater, like Tom Cruise, finds himself on a ferry crossing, holed up with a panicked priest who conflated with the artillery man, provides us with a freaky Tim Robbins Robbins even shares a few lines with the artillery man The ending is much the same, a kind of Now what sense pervades And of course, Morgan Freeman s opening and closings, are practically word by word from the novel The movie is also a great window into some of the novel s most important themes War of the Worlds, is a very Post 9 11 movie There is the dust, the annhilation of things we find familiar, clothing floats from the sky in mimic of office paperThere is a pervading fear of complete and nonsensical annhiliation Whereas the 1950s adaption pits humanity against an enemy, the updated version worries itself with unknown enemies who spring from the ground And, Speilburg, not one to be subtle, has Dakota Fanning ask Tom Cruise, Is it the terrorists That being said, the Victorian novel is a catelogue of Victorian anxieties This is the age of colonialism, afterall, and suddenly England is beset by a much powerful force, unexpected, and completely foreign Reverse colonialism The aliens take England s resources, kill off its people, and even cover the landscape with alien plant life And perhaps the most over arching anxiety of all Darwin Here we have evolution at its cruelest then consume us drinking our blood like in Bram Stoker s Dracula Just when humanity seems at its lowest, nature kicks in and saves the day The ending seems anti climatic now, but you have to remember that H.G Wells did not have a pop reference that included Will Smith destroying the mother ship So my point is, War of the Worlds is an amazing book and good movie, and one can inform the other This is not a war any than it s a war between men and ants.

  2. says:

    Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC s Big Read Poll of 2003 The War of the Worlds goes beyond the of the time popular military invasion fiction, which took away the standard protagonist antagonist arc of single characters and popped whole countries or tribes in their place, and brings down to Earth a whole new enemy at a time when science fiction did not exist and science itself was oft thought of as fiction.In Surrey, a professor is caught up in the invasion of Martians as they sweep through London and its surrounding boroughs after witnessing several explosion on the planet Mars at the Ottershaw observatory We follow the un named professor and his brother in first person narrative, seeing through their eyes this invasion and the destruction caused The air was full of sound, a deafening and confusing conflict of noises the clangorous din of the Martians, the crash of falling houses, the thud of trees, fences, sheds flashing into flame, and the crackling and roaring of fire Dense black smoke was leaping up to mingle with the steam from the river, and as the Heat Ray went to and fro over Weybridge its impact was marked by flashes of incandescent white, that gave place at once to a smoky dance of lurid flames The first thing one needs to reference is the radio adaptation of 1938, which was narrated by Orson Welles and caused panic due to its news bulletin style those listening thought it was the truth Whilst reading the novel, there is no doubt that the imagery, style and prose of H.G Wells purported this panic It is written with such imagination that it s difficult not to imagine oneself standing on the side of a crater as Martians crawl sluggishly out of their spaceships.It is not often that I can forgive a book its downfalls due to the time of its writing It s all very well to accept that, for the most part, racism and sexism and things of that ilk were at many times in history acceptable behaviour, but enjoying a book from a period with those things in this day and age is a thing I find difficult to do However, in the case of The War of the Worlds I think it is vitally important to read the book with the exact time and place it was written in history to be lodged within your mind alongside every word you read.We have a primitive form of speculative fiction, the very foundations of what we now call science fiction At the time, H.G Wells was writing fiction that had scientific and imaginative leanings, but no one would dare think that perhaps the fiction was not quite fiction after all There is little mention of the Martians weaponry or technology except when it is in use any modern day writer of sci fi would absolutely be telling you all about the nuts and bolts of the piece We have primitive science, because that is what they had at the time of writing Whilst the future may have been thought of, the idea of futuristic technology was as alien to them as the Martians and their technology are in the book.So, the excitement of the scientific exploration of futures is not to be found here But the imagination of Wells is so beyond almost everything else that was around at the time and coupling it with popular militarist fiction means that this is an extremely important novel in the progression of English fiction It is not surprising that Wells was, like Darwin himself, stuck inextricably between the truth of science and the tradition of religion.The story itself, if put in perspective removed from its time period and thought of solely as a novel is nothing special The narrator is disjointed with his surroundings, the story disappointing in the way it ends and less dramatic and climactic than it could have been The style of prose is lacking, the dialogue just standard and the characters just slight breezes on a warm day In that, it would require a mere two or three stars enjoyable, if a little boring But this is a novel that should be remembered for when it was written.The imagination of a scientific man who is at odds with what is right and wrong The spectacular birth of a new genre of, not only writing, but of thinking, too The fact that even though my oestrogen levels were almost at zero, the reunion at the end made me cry my eyes out because it was written so perfectly, so unexpectedly.Of course, that film with that actor was better Of course it was We have perspective and technology now that means the original The War of the Worlds is pretty pathetic It cannot possibly compete with our high standards of today, unless you have half a brain and take this novel for what it truly represents Unless.

  3. says:

    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 and yet as mortal as his own that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water A beautiful opening to the book but I must say the Martians did a very poor job of scrutinising us human chappies and our little blue planet considering what transpires later Ah, but I must not spoil the book even though I imagine most people reading this review all three of them already know how it ends Which brings me to my next point, if you know the story of The War of The Worlds quite well already but have not actually read the book I urge you to read it, especially if you are a science fiction fan I don t think there are many books in the pantheon of sci fi as important as this one This is the book that launched the alien invasion sci fi trope and even manages to remain one of the best examples of it.H.G Wells was literally light years ahead of his time, the mind boggles to think what he was able to conceive in the 19th century alien invasion, time travel, genetic engineering, all these when TV sets are still decades in the future If historical importance is not much of an inducement for you and you are just looking for a thumping good read Mr Wells is also at your service here The War of The Worlds is often thrilling, skillfully structured and narrated with some unexpected moments of philosophising and surreal dialogue I generally find that Wells wrote much better prose than most of today s SF authors do.He even included some element of hard sf into his novels, here is an example from this book It is still a matter of wonder how the Martians are able to slay men so swiftly and so silently Many think that in some way they are able to generate an intense heat in a chamber of practically absolute non conductivity This intense heat they project in a parallel beam against any object they choose, by means of a polished parabolic mirror of unknown composition, much as the parabolic mirror of a lighthouse projects a beam of light Yes, you may already have a fairly good idea of The War of The Worlds beginning middle and end without ever reading the book but you would miss Wells marvelously immersive and visual storytelling and the subtexts embedded in the original texts The scene of naval battle between the military s ironclads and the Martian tripods is vividly depicted and should please fans of military sf and general badassery The slightly surreal chapter involving the artilleryman is a particularly interesting depiction of people who always seem to be brimming with ideas, plans and suggestions but never actually do anything.The story of The War of The Worlds is so potent that Orson Welles 1938 War of the Worlds 1938 radio broadcast became famous for causing mass panic, although the extent of this panic is debated Still, even moderate panic is an amazing achievement for a radio drama.This book has of course been adapted into movies several times Unfortunately a straight adaptation complete with the Victorian setting does not seem to have been made The most recent adaptation being the 2005 Spielberg directed movie with Tom Cruise being the usual Cruisian hero, dodging Martian heat rays like nobody s business.For this reread I went with the free Librivox audiobook version, very well read by Rebecca Dittman.I hope to eventually read all of Wells sci fi and perhaps his mainstream books also Anyway, never dismiss H.G Wells sci fi as old hat because he invented the hat and it is still superior to most of today s headgear I have a bee in my bonnet about today s frequent and incorrect overuse of literally.A quick note about the ending view spoiler The ending is the mother of all Deus Ex Machina, I suppose Wells may have written himself into a corner a bit here as Victorian Brits are never going to be much of a challenge for giant tripod riding aliens armed with heat rays and weird smoke guns hide spoiler

  4. says:

    This was not anything like the Tom Cruise movie so be warned If you re expecting an action story about a divorced union container crane operator with a 10 year old daughter you ain t gonna find it here They changed like 99% of everything around As far as I could see there are only two things which are the same, one is that the Martians attack Earth in these COOL THREE LEGGED METAL 70 FOOT HIGH HEAT RAY KICK ASS DEATH MACHINES and two is that they die in the same way which I won t say here because that would be a giant spoiler but really it s a bit feeble but I guess could happen because they came from Mars which don t have bacteria I don t do biology so I don t know if a whole PLANET can not have bacteria Seems like also they couldn t have had YOGHURT as well, but HG Wells does not make this clear Nor Stephen Spielberg either Now this book version I think is not the book of the movie, I think it came first so that may explain why the movie is better, because really this book is lame Yes realistic because like the main guy is no Tom Cruise, but less action What happens is that the Martians land and like fry everyone up with the DEATH HEAT RAY and send out the BLACK SMOKE to finish off anyone left alive and the main guy hops around and hides and eats really gross stuff and just sees stuff As for instance he sees the army get a lucky shot in and kill the one single Martian but then like his buddies just wipe out the whole British army Boom, heatray zzzzz GONE Oh yeah the book is set in England which I thought was strange Why not America like the movie Anyway just when the guy has realized that from now on we re just going to be MARTIAN FRENCH FRIES and kept in cages when not heatrayed then the Martians just like shrivel up and die End of So, in my opinion, I say watch the movie Or you could go for the prog rock version, lol Oh I guess I did give away the end Okay, SPOILER sorry But everybody knows this story It s like saying oh in the end Dracula dies with a steak in his arse It s a known fact.

  5. says:

    Paraphrasing Whitehead, I would say that the safest general characterisation of the science fiction tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to H G Wells Indeed, The War of the Worlds is probably the most influential novel of the whole science fiction genre, as well as a significant part of the horror category I remember reading this short novel as a child and being viscerally engrossed and terrified Rereading it now made me aware of a few things First I realised how this book sums up and, in a way, accomplishes some of the things H G Wells had experimented before Just to name a few the Darwinian conflict between two similar species The Time Machine , the fascination for freakish life forms The Island of Dr Moreau , the chase around working class London and its surrounding area The Invisible Man.It is possible that H G Wells s remarkable book was perceived, at the close of the 19th century, as just a fin de si cle catastrophic story similar to, say, Mad Max or Terminator at the end of the 20th Though in hindsight, The War of the Worlds is much than that It is indeed the kernel and the seed of all the later tales of extraterrestrial invasion and tropes of apocalyptic destruction, from H P Lovecraft e.g The Colour Out of Space to Arthur C Clarke e.g Childhood s End , Robert Heinlein e.g The Puppet Masters , Ray Bradbury e.g The Martian Chronicles , Arkady Strugatsky e.g Roadside Picnic , Margaret Atwood e.g Oryx and Crake , Michael Faber e.g Under the Skin , Cormac McCarthy e.g The Road , Ted Chiang e.g Story of Your Life , Emily Mandel e.g Station Eleven , or Jeff VanderMeer e.g Annihilation Not to mention films and TV Alien, Independence Day, The Walking Dead, and so many that I forget as I write this short note.What strikes me the most is the fact that Wells depicts humanity in the shoes of the invaded party, and pictures the invaders as an alien race of bloodthirsty mollusks which, in itself, sounds like a veiled but stark criticism of Western imperialism and sense of superiority But, as it turns out, Wells s prophetic vision was not so much that of a War of the Worlds with extraterrestrial invaders, but precisely a vision of the World War between fellow humans, that would break out some twenty years later, with a technological arsenal not unlike that of the Martians cf mechanised artillery, chemical warfare, surgical strikes Later still, when the Second World War began, and the Nazis were about to invade the whole of Europe, Orson Welles remembered this old tale about a Martian invasion and turned it into an incredibly relevant radio sensation The masses of refugees, described by H G Wells, fleeing the war in a disorderly and life threatening manner is a sight anyone may witness even today, despite all the concrete walls or steel fences that are supposed to stop them.In short, this is an unavoidable masterpiece The only reproach I could make is regarding the ending, where the deadly flu epidemic the Martians eventually suffer from feels a bit like a disappointing Deus ex Machina As a side note historically, things unfolded the other way around when, say, Spanish Conquistadors landed on the shores of the New World They didn t win against the Aztec and Inca Empires so much because of the superiority of their weapons, religion or culture, but because they were bringing the smallpox virus along with them first major and unwitting case of biological warfare.Jeff Wayne produced a compelling musical version of The War of the Worlds in the 1970s that would please any fan of Mike Oldfield Wells s novel has been brought to the screen a significant number of times, one of the most recent ones being Steven Spielberg s adaptation 2005 , with Tom Cruise, which I should watch afresh Edit Rewatched the 2005 film adaptation Steven Spielberg took a few liberties with the book, setting the story in present day Connecticut One very clever unfaithfulness, however, is having the aliens not come from Mars, but from underground a nod to The Time Machine, no doubt Spielberg isn t new to the alien first contact genre But this is an outright nightmarish and nail biting take on what had once been a benevolent musical spaceship or a heart warming horticultural E.T longing for home in this film, aliens also play the trombone and are versed in landscaping, but they spray their gardens with human blood Spielberg s War of the Worlds comes after the intense and graphic scenes of the Omaha Beach assault in Saving Private Ryan and is roughly in the same vein Some scenes, like the innumerable bodies suddenly floating down a glistening river, or the empty cloths raining from a blazing sky are strangely beautiful and horrifying In the midst of the gruesome devastation, Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins and Dakota Fanning are exceptional, playing the parts of regular people, suddenly overwhelmed with PTSD and facing the brutal ending of all things Breathtaking.

  6. says:

    I hadn t read this classic 1898 science fiction novel since I was probably a teenager, and I didn t particularly care for it much back then, but I let myself get roped into a group read of it, partly because it s so short And also my literary diet needs classics And you know I m glad I did The War of the Worlds is a lot thoughtfully written than I had remembered In between deadly heat rays, huge tripod machines striding around the country killing everything in their path, and bloodthirsty Martians trying to take over Earth starting with Great Britain , there s critique of colonialism, religious hypocrisy, and even how humans treat animals The way people react in a crisis is given just as much attention as the Martians actions.Upping my rating from 3 stars to 4.5 on reread, partly in recognition of how advanced this book was for its time in some of its concepts, and the influence it s had on the SF genre.February 2018 group read with the Non Crunchy Classics Pantaloonless crew.

  7. says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, I shall read you a wire addressed to Professor Pierson from Dr Gray of the National History Museum, New York 9 15 P M eastern standard time Seismograph registered shock of almost earthquake intensity occurring within a radius of twenty miles of Princeton Please investigate Signed, Lloyd Gray, Chief of Astronomical Division Professor Pierson, could this occurrence possibly have something to do with the disturbances observed on the planet Mars Martians are coming Run for your lives Boo Hey, what has Orson Welles got that I have not got Now that I scared you let us go back to the review This is one of the best known science fiction stories of H.G Wells among with The time Machine and The Invisible Man as well as the one of the first ones In case you somehow missed it the book tells the tale of Martian invasion on Earth.These guys decided Mars became too cold, but luckily they have a really nice cozy planet practically next door our own Earth They came and proceeded to beat the crap out of humans using so called heat ray which strongly reminds laser weapons, except that laser was not invented at the time of the book publication And so the fashion showI mean total destruction of humanity began starting with British Islands I found it strange that Martian decided this place was the best landing point by pure laws of probability Russian Empire was the obvious candidate just because they had the largest territory Other than being the fist book that introduced the idea of alien invasion since that time beaten to the death and beyond by pulp media and aforementioned laser there are quite a few interesting themes in here if you read carefully colonialism its ugly sides, religious hypocrisy, and relations between humans and animals usually the former kill the later It might be the very first dystopian novel written way before the term came to be I freely admit that the book is great, but personally I like both The time Machine and The Invisible Man better simply because I am not a big fan of dystopia This is the only reason for one less star of the otherwise perfect rating P.S Who would have thought Martians were anti vaxers

  8. says:

    Las obras de Mr Wells pertenecen, sin duda, a un tiempo y un grado de conocimiento cient fico futuro muy alejado del presente, pero no completamente fuera de los l mites de lo posible Julio Verne Ya lo he afirmado en rese as anteriores La capacidad de anticipaci n a la tecnolog a y el futuro que ten a Herbert George Wells era ampliamente superior a la de Julio Verne a punto tal que el visionario franc s lo admit a sin reparos Pero adem s de esta caracter stica tan marcada en sus novelas, Wells nos alertaba sobre los posibles peligros que involucraba a la tecnolog a en poder de los hombres, sobre los riesgos de los avances cient ficos y los alcances de la ciencia sobre el planeta.Sumado a esto, es importante reconocer tambi n que Wells profundizaba en el costado psicol gico del ser humano ante tantos cambios inesperados y en c mo el hombre tiene que lidiar con estos.En tan s lo cuatro a os, Wells hab a escrito cuatro novelas inolvidables La guerra de los mundos , El hombre invisible , La m quina del tiempo y La isla del Dr Moreau , lo que demuestra su poder o narrativo que perdura a n hasta nuestros d as La Guerra de los Mundos no es solamente un libro sobre la invasi n de la Tierra a partir de la llegada de los marcianos Tiene muchos elementos m s que la hace una novela muy entretenida para ser tan corta y, como comentara anteriormente, nos muestra otro costado el de la reacci n del hombre ante la p rdida de su libertad A lo largo de la historia, hemos conocido acerca de las distintas invasiones y en todas ellas el patr n com n es precisamente ese, el de la libertad perdida Usualmente pondemos el ojo en el vencedor, pero no prestamos atenci n al vencido o dominado y en c mo influye en ste el hecho de ser sometido en todos los aspectos Es sobre esa faceta en donde Wells ahonda el desarrollo de su novela, porque para ser sinceros, si reemplazamos a los habitantes de la tierra, por ejemplo con un ejemplo cualquiera, por los polacos, luego de la invasi n nazi en 1939 a Polonia, veremos que ese sufrimiento es exactamente igual al que nos cuenta el narrador de esta historia.La opresi n que viven los habitantes de la Tierra puede compararse a la de este pueblo o a cualquiera que haya experimentado un suceso similar Para ello y a la par de lo que sucede con la ca da de los distintos cilindros a Inglaterra, Wells comienza a relatarnos las reacciones de los hombres que sufren el asedio y de c mo va esto trastocando su vida.Durante el transcurso de la novela nos encontramos con grandes diferencias entre los seres humanos como sucede entre el narrador y el cura y tambi n con el artillero Distintas maneras de pensar nos llevan a un contrapunto interesante En primer lugar descubrimos que ins litamente la falta de fe y esperanza repercute totalmente en el cura, que es casualmente quien por su posici n ante precisamente esa fe es quien m s debe reconfortar al d bil En este caso no funciona y creo que se debe a una cr tica que Wells entabla hacia la Iglesia como constituci n Desconozco si era o no creyente pero pude notar que por momentos el narrador que es tal vez un Wells encubierto nos daba una imagen paranoica, fr gil y temerosa de alguien que supuestamente debe mostrarnos exactamente lo contrario.En el caso del artillero, se desarrolla una personalidad completamente opuesta La de aquellos hombres que bajo la influencia de la invasi n a la que est n sujetos intentan tomar partido para su beneficio o pactando secretas sumisiones a cambio de una traici n a los suyos o en otros casos queriendo intentar una represalia que es imposible llevar a cabo y es ah en donde el autor pone al descubierto nuestras defectos, ambicione o debilidades como personas.El punto del artillero es de todas maneras muy v lido, pues ste pone de manifiesto que la supervivencia de los seres humanos est ligada directamente a que entendamos que, ante un dominio tan brutal como el que ejercen los marcianos, stos estar n unidos o dominados En nosotros est descubrir la verdad.Un dato interesante que descubr durante el tramo final de la segunda parte es que los marcianos comienzan a rociar toda la zona con un una nube letal negra, principalmente en la ciudad de Londres que en ese libro equivale a la Nueva York de las pel culas de Hollywood, y este detalle me record a la de la nevada mortal con la que comienza la m tica historia gr fica de Hector Oesterheld en El Eternauta Tal vez, a partir de esta novela haya habido alg n tipo de inspiraci n en el autor argentino para desarrollar su historia.Para finalizar, simplemente dejo una peque a reflexi n e interrogante, ya que sabemos que esto es ficci n, que la ficci n es justamente la creaci n de mundos a partir de la realidad, que se han escrito muchos libros sobre el tema y que se filmaron centenares de pel culas pero, si un d a nos despert ramos con la noticia de una invasi n extraterrestreT , querido a lector a c mo reaccionar as

  9. says:

    One of my favorite movies growing up was the old War of the Worlds movie the 50 s film, not the itty bitty Tommy remake I had to watch it each and every time it played on television The same running dialogue would go on inside my head Cowardly dudes, don t wave that white flag, they re Martians, they re probably color blind or something Oops, too late, you re toast Or Maybe the A bomb will work this time Nope, you re toast I also liked to imitate the heat ray sound when I re enacted the movie later Dododododoodododoodleydo It was a combination of a yodel and the sound the cat would make when its tail would get caught under the rocking chair Dododododoodododoodleydo Barbie s dream house is toast Dododododoodododoodleydo You can t use the Barbie car to escape, Ken, you sexless loser imitation explody sound as the Barbie car and Ken go up in a ball of flame Dododododoodododoodleydo GI Joe, Batman, a Rock em, Sock em robot, and a one armed cowboy hurl a huge pillow from the sofa at the Martians, thus ending the invasion Get your asses back to Mars, bitches.For Wells, this was a pioneering book, its tropes were to be dug up and used over and over again Wells does here as Wells does in his other books throws in some social commentary If the British lorded over much of the known world back then, foisted itself on lesser cultures, why could it not get it s comeuppance by being stomped around by a powerful foe in this case, obese, slow assed, turd like aliens from Mars.This was a buddy read with those Pantless connoisseurs of fine, classic literature and is another example of a classic book that doesn t suck donkey balls.

  10. says:

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