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, the 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 as corralled.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
What an imaginative, objective, gripping, bracing, and humbling novel H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds is! The story is well-known: Martians land on earth, in Woking in Southern England, and quickly set about destroying the British infrastructure and military defenses and crisping via heat ray the humans they don't capture to use as handy blood sources, all as detachedly and efficiently as humans would deal with a colony of ants or wasps. The first person narrator relates all this in a compellingly honest and passionate way. His relationship with the curate is more provocative and terrible than that between Tom Cruise and Tim Robbins in the 2005 movie version by Spielberg. For that matter, the novel, depicting the narrator's attempts to survive and to find his wife, is sparer and cleaner than the film, clotted by Spielberg's corny additions of a little daughter and teenage son into his divorced protagonist's life. Wells' imaginings of the Martian tripod war machines with their terrible heat-ray and poison gas weapons and of their spider-like handling-machines (with their uncanny animation and dexterity) and of the red creeping Martian weeds and of how panicked masses of people would behave are all vivid and morbidly fascinating. Via his Martians, Wells forces us to look again at our actions towards the ???inferior??? species and aboriginal peoples on our own world and also at our ???right??? to survive in an uncaring universe.
Simon Vance does his usual fine job of reading, everything being just right except perhaps that his female voices may verge on the artificially feminine. But all in all this is a great audiobook.
Science fiction as we know it today would not exist without H.G. Wells, and no science fiction reader's library would be complete without a copy of War of the Worlds. In this version read by the incomparable Simon Vance, Audible has produced a real treasure. The story is first of all a tale of alien invasion, and indeed is so terrifying that no movie version comes close to the feelings of suspense it creates (of course some people found the radio version created by Orson Welles pretty scary too). I can't think of any description concerning the fall of civilization that succeeds as well as that short passage describing the flight from London before the invading Martians. But it's a lot more than just another horror story. Wells offers enough commentary to let us know that the plot allowed for a way of looking at how the British empire treated its subject peoples at the time. It is also a good look at how human beings react under pressure and what coping mechanisms work - and which ones don't - when the unexpected happens. It has as good a description of PTSD as any you'd read in any modern book, and this was decades before the syndrome was even defined. Amazing that we find all this in a compact work that comes in at under 6 hours. As much as I love a good thick novel, I'm really impressed by the succinct style and humanity of H.G. Wells. There are several versions of this classic book, but I can't imagine a better reader than Simon Vance for War of the Worlds, so this is the version I'd recommend to the undecided.
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds is apparently one of those literary classics of Science Fiction that only seems to have gotten better with age. It's still bizarre and terrifying to listen to, and this is due in no small part to Simon Vance's incredible narration.
I'd read the book years back, and have seen both cinematic adaptations. I wasn't sure how it would hold-up, but I was completely hooked from the opening minutes. I'm impressed by how full of weird this book is - the Martians and their tripods are some of the most original aliens we are ever likely to read. And some of the scenes and characters - the curate in particular - seem more relevant and upsetting than they did to me when I initially read it.
Vance is an excellent reader in general, and his performance here brings a lot of emotion to this apocalyptic vision. His voice and tone are sobering, a man witnessing the destruction of his civilization, trying to come to grips with it and figure out what (if anything) he is to do next. Vance is really the ideal reader for this one, and he turns in great work here.
All in all, this is an excellent storytelling experience. Highly recommended if you want a dose of classic Science Fiction.
I always think that text and audio combine beautifully, it makes the experience all the more chilling to have it read aloud.
The great use of tension in the readers voice, really set the mood.
I have not, but I really want to hear more of his work.
I did it over a few days, due to time constraints, but I could easily listen to it in one sitting.
Having never read "The War of the Worlds," I thought it was about time. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the narration.
Say something about yourself!
The narrator did a wonderful job. His voice is perfect for the narrator, aside from the obvious accent his tone carries with it a sense that this is an average man who has done well for himself and is intelligent but is not as stuffy as "high society". His tonal shift when reading as the dim-witted yet intuitive soldier just fits the character. You can believe that while he has valid points, he lacks necessary skill to carry out an otherwise decent plan, based solely on the tone and inflections.
I have never listened to any of Vance's other performances but based on what I heard here, I would not be opposed to hearing them.
This entire book is moving. It is easily one of the scariest novels I have ever read (and later listened to). The helplessness of humanity in the face of the Martian invaders is terrifying. The heat ray is a scary weapon and it isn't too hard to imagine that if an alien race wanted Earth, this is essentially how it would go down. There is not a lot of back story but the beginning does cover a motivation for the Martians to come and invade Earth. Just as it isn't too hard to imagine Martians doing this to Earth, perhaps one day mankind will reach a point where we would become the invaders.
Even though the time frame is generations ago this is a fantastic book. This comes from a big techno-file. It amazes me this came from so long ago.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content