This review is for this version of the book not the story. This is the second novel I have ordered through Amazon that is horrible published. The print is EXTREMELY tiny and difficult to read, with tight spacing. Chapters are merely seperated by double spacing and all caps. There is no enjoyment in trying to read such a poorly printed book. Returned!
A classic scifi story, WOTW gets better everytime I read it. I've started reading every 2 years or so at Mars' opposition. That's the best time to view Mars through a telescope. Fortunately, I've never seen any evidence of cannon blasts 😉 I gave the recording four stars because the story is timeless, but this particular recording is not a favorite. The narrator seems to mumble and does not have a lot of expression in the reading. I've not shared this recording with anyone else because I am afraid of boring them with the reading. I guess maybe it's supposed to sound like a stuffy 19th century upper class Englishman. It does but sounds more like someone reading a newspaper out loud rather than someone telling a story. It's ok, but I hope a more lively performance is done someday....
(The following paragraph is my explanation about why the AmazonClassics edition is extraordinary. You can skip to the other paragraph for the review of the proper book)
Kindle books are meant to mirror the experience of reading books in paper, on kindle e-readers at least. After seventeen books read in the AmazonClassics series I have to say that Amazon not only matched the experience but they have surpassed it, it would be lovely if other publishers would imitate the format of these Amazon classic editions. Usually kindle books include editorial footnotes, introductions, studies among others that, although useful, tend to spoil the adventure to discover by oneself a classic book, in some cases the editorial footnotes don't explain some things and in other cases are rather interruptions of known meanings. In AmazonClassics edition all those studies and footnotes are replaced by X-Ray, the built-in dictionary and, in extreme case with a Wikipedia search. The most relieving benefit is that the book is pure. You can check the X-Ray data only when needed. For the War of the Worlds to me, ignorant of urban names in England, was quite important to know the distance in metric system of the mentioned places to the center of London and get a grasp of the urgency of the threats; and getting explanations of the militar devices and transportation of the end of 19th century. Inversely if I were a Londoner I wouldn't need to consult that data, but as the X-Ray function is hidden text it would not disturbe the reading. It's perfect.
What a story! To talk about The War of the Worlds is to talk about a complex attack of a civilization that feels so alien and, even today, technological and evolutionarily advanced; more than one century later humanity cannot make the amazing Martian machines. The militar and technological characteristics of the British Empire and London, the biggest and most amazing city in the 19th century, are so fantastic too, in a grade whose intensity I have never felt with steampunk fantasies, in great part due to be real technology. I took more days than intended in reading this book because I got to investigate how were, among others, the heliographs, the trucks of the age, the steam-driven vehicles. Wells prepare well the nature of the conflict: beings that (similar to us with internet :S) have relegated the sensations to external devices, their destruction is almost an intellectual task, without kindness but without wanton cruelty too. In the side of humans London is a militar machine that was, in that moment, dominating the world. London fights till the end, the vast city turns into a hell of war. The quality of Wells as a writer is shown not only in the imagination of the science fiction world, but also in the character development. In one part the unnamed protagonist is struggling to go back where his wife, but he feels angry without knowing why. It could be that he is angry to be risking his life in search of her; but actually is maybe angriness against himself, because that risk was due for not paying ear to his wife in the first place. The characters are human and have different strengths and weaknesses. The plot is narrated from the future, as a memory of bad days, but it is not predictable, because if there is a win it seems to be not human. Even in one point this human defeat seems the origin of the dystopia in "The Time Machine." Maybe you already know the story but I will not spoil it. Is the product of a powerful and cultivated imagination. Reading it has made me appreciate even more the Steven Spielberg version in the cine. I think it is quite respectful of the essence of the book as it represents many aspects and emotions from the book.
As usual, the original is always better. This could make a great movie, as is. For the generally informed mind, this and other HGW books are informative as to that time period of science and flight. He always referrs to the science and technology of that day, (1890s), and this is where ones own knowledge is broadened. Although, I'll grant you that the average person is ignorant of past technology. So sad , and like the people of this story. This really would make a great movie, as is.
I grew up with the original black and white movie so I was very familiar with the story when the Tom Cruise version came out later which was also a great update. But knowing these didn't prepare me for hearing the classic tale taking which takes place at the turn of the 20th century/late 19th. Well worth your time.
What a great book and it’s a lot different than what you see in the movies that have been based on it. The style of writing is a lot easier to read than many of Wells’s contemporaries so you can really get into the story without stumbling over a lot of archaic prose. The story itself is super imaginative considering the time period it was written in, but so were the rest of Wells’s writings. He was probably a fascinating person to talk to. I’m not going to give a synopsis of of the book because I’m sure everybody else has and there’s one in the book description anyway, but I really recommend this book to any age group over 10. Enjoy it!
Hard to believe elements of the story were conceived in the 19th century - just a few years after invention of the light bulb. Wells imagines robots, lasers, chemical weapons, indiscriminate warfare, panic human exodus, and wide spread human crisis.