The War of the Worlds – Book Review #RRSciFiMonth

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This book was on my tbr for way too long. This is my third book by H.G.Wells, after reading “The time machine” and “The invisible man” which were both amazing books.warofworlds_sm

The War of the Worlds is an alien attack book where aliens come from Mars and start attacking people on Earth. For some reason, this book bored me in the first half and I was turning pages to see when something interesting would happen. The first few chapters were great where he describes how the aliens came and started attacking everyone. He also talks about the technology that they use to kill people.

But after that, he started explaining how people fled from the cities, how everyone was terrified etc. He started throwing way too many names of places, towns, bridges at the reader. Mr.X escaped from place x, then crossed bridge y, then headed towards town z. This got so repetitive and for a person who has no idea where x, y and z are as the person has not even been to London, it was boring to read these. At least if the book had a map or something, I could have followed the path of someone’s flight. So that section got pretty boring for me.

But once I crossed that section, it was great. I got the science and writing that I was expecting from Wells. He explains what the aliens are like and about their technology etc which was just too awesome. The science that he talks about has not aged that much and some of it still makes lot of sense.

I was disappointed that the book did not terrify me, the way his other books did. But maybe because I knew the ending and had already seen the movie, I knew what was going to happen and I did not get scared. This is why we should read the book before watching the movie I guess.

Considering this is the first book written about alien invasion, I think it was great. Wells always writes stories which are original. I am not sure how he came up with such unique ideas whether it is about coining the word “Time machine” or creating an “Invisible man” or bringing aliens to Earth.

The first half was little boring but the second half made up for it and it was great. So I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes alien invasion stories. After all, how can you miss the first alien invasion story ever written? Also hard sci-fi is my favorite sub genre in Science fiction and Wells is one of the best in hard sf. This story sounds so realistic, this could very well happen if aliens decide to attack us.

If you are starting with Wells, I would suggest you start with Time machine or Invisible man, as I enjoyed reading them more than this book.

These opening lines from the book are so haunting –

“this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…”

Some of my favorite quotes –

“The chances against anything man-like on Mars are a million to one”, he said.

“It is still a matter of wonder how the Martians are able to slay men so swiftly and silently.”

“Never before in the history of warfare had destruction been so indiscriminate and so universal”

‘This isn’t a war’, said the artilleryman. ‘It never was a war, any more than there’s war betweeen men and ants’.

I wanted to finish listening to the Jeff Wayne’s musical version of the story, but I could not completely listen to it as everyone at home was sick for last few weeks. Also Fantastic beasts got released which left no time for other books.

I will now watch the movie again to see how faithful it was to the book.


My other book reviews:

 

 

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16 thoughts on “The War of the Worlds – Book Review #RRSciFiMonth

  1. I haven’t been able to acquire books for several months now, so I’ve been stuck reading Wells’ books, partly because he’s my favorite classic sci fi author, and because I’ve been awaiting new books.

    I agree with the fact that the book has way too much detail. It’s a little over-redundant. I’ve read The War of the Worlds three times now, and I only have a vague understanding of cities, towns, and roads.

    But the alien invasion part! Like you said, that’s what’s awesome. Ray guns and “pew pew pew” and… yeah.

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    • Oh yeah the invasion was the best part I guess – those guns and the black smoke were all so amazing. Also the way he describes how those aliens live and even their anatomy in such details. Phew! It was amazing.

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  2. I haven’t read this but I have The Time Machine on my TBR, mainly due to loving time travel stories but also because I saw the old movie and loved it. I’ve seen the old War of the Worlds movie too, and parts of the newer one, , but yeah Time Machine appeals to me more so I’ll start there. I should read this though.

    http://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.com/

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  3. I loved this one so much, particularly for the fact that it had horse carts AND alien machines. It was just so crazy, a world that’s almost completely disconnected from ours, a completely different century, no machines or anything – and yet, alongside of it, all those things we see in an alien movie. It felt like Wells was really ahead of his time. What must the first people reading this have thought? How must they have felt? Must’ve been crazy. Of course, it does not terrify us anymore, we’re far too gone for that – used to our extremely full of action movies and all that. But back when he wrote it, it must’ve been insane.

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    • Oh yeah, so true.. steampunky but yet alien machines. He really was well ahead of his time I guess. After seeing a billion alien movies, this one did not scare me much. But like you said, people must have been so terrified reading that book at the time when it was released. Nobody had even given a thought about alien invasion I think, until this book came out. I even read somewhere that people thought aliens had really come to Earth or something.

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      • Not just terrified of the book 🙂 did you know in 1938 (I think) there was an actual radio play scare? 😀 apparently, it wasn’t stressed enough that it was a play, and also, if you happened to tune in mid-play, how would you know? And in 1938, people weren’t quite as numbed down by all the alien horror content, so a lot of people actually freaked out that it’s true and aliens have just landed 😀 when I read about it, I found it unbelievably hilarious, although at the time “awwww”ing about the innocence of the people of that time. I’m pretty sure I would have also got scared!
        So I think the thing you read was about the radio play.

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      • Thanks for letting me know. I read somewhere that people thought aliens had come for real but didn’t know the whole story. That must have been so scary! Haha. I would have been scared too I guess.

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  4. Pingback: #RRSciFiMonth November Wrapup | Bookish Muggle

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