Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review of War of the Worlds

Book #1: War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. Unabridged audio.

I have heard portions of the classic audio version of this story, and have seen more than one version of the movie. But I’d never tackled the original Wells story.

The book tells a first-person account of a Martian landing in the English countryside, a landing that slowly turns into a ruthless invasion. The novel smoothly moves from a war story to a survival story. I was surprised by the similarities between this and more modern survival tales like The Walking Dead. The search for food, shelter, and security is similar, no matter the circumstances or the time frame.

I was impressed by how “modern” the book seemed. There are references to the English class structure of the day, but somehow the style of the book seems “timeless.” The language and attitudes were never a distraction, which they can be in some 100+ year old novels. It was a readable novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And the ending, the manner of the Earth’s victory (spoiler!) is interesting. Interesting enough that it’s been repeated numerous times, as both an homage to War of the Worlds, and as a good way to end an story.
Along with Verne and a few others, Wells continues to maintain a good reputation among modern readers. And at least as far as this novel goes,that reputation is well-deserved. 

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