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The War of the Worlds

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  177,206 Ratings  ·  4,796 Reviews
Herbert George Wells's (1866-1946) career as an author was fostered by a childhood mishap. He broke his leg and spent his convalescence reading every book he could find. Wells earned a scholarship at the Norman School of Science in London. Wells's "science fiction" (although he never called it such) was influenced by his interest in biology. H.G. Wells gained fame with his ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published October 23rd 2001 by HarperCollins (first published 1897)
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Mackie H.G Wells is trying to make a point about British Imperialism through his book. His goal is to show people how England's colonies might feel by…more H.G Wells is trying to make a point about British Imperialism through his book. His goal is to show people how England's colonies might feel by having the peaceful English countryside razed and innocent people slaughtered and the peoples inability to fight back against an immense foreign power. The normality the Narrator feels with all of the violence holds a parallel to the violence used in colonies to keep the people under control, and how it became a common occurrence. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Joeji
Jun 22, 2007 Joeji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artillerymen
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 more 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 mov
...more
Paul Bryant
Jan 04, 2017 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-novels-aaargh
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 bec ...more
Jo Woolfardis
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 invasio
...more
Apatt


“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
...more
Denisse
May 11, 2015 Denisse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Denisse by: My brain, tired of Young Adult Bullshit XD
Shelves: best-adult-books
Read for the 2015 Reading Challenge: #41 A book by an author you've never read before stupidly haven't read before I should say And for my 2015 Reading Resolutions: 5 classics (5/5) :’D completed!!

Excellent. Not just very interesting for all the technology and science it has, but outstanding in describing human behavior and criticizing Victorian society. Very thrilling at parts, philosophically emotional at others and well written. Highly recommended for any sci-fi fan. The ending might be a
...more
Jean
Was H.G. Wells schizophrenic? I'm just wondering because his novels fall into 2 distinct groups. There are the gently humorous novels such as "Kipps" or "The History of Mr Polly" - and then there are his SF novels, of which The War of the Worlds is surely the most famous.

His prescience is startling. Not only was he writing in the pre-atomic age, but it is as well to remember that this book was written over a century ago (1898) which is even before powered flight (though only just!) I now want to
...more
Becky
Jul 29, 2008 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
As I was reading this, two thoughts struck me.

The first was that this book was less about Martians than it was about how humanity views itself as the "Kings of the Earth". Mankind has always had this annoying tendency to think that whatever serves us is good and right, despite whatever injury is done to the Earth and any other living creature on it in obtaining whatever it is that we want. The Martian invasion served only to open our eyes to this blindness and willful ignorance.

I appreciated s
...more
Owlseyes
Mar 29, 2012 Owlseyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, paranoid


A few days ago I have read this juicy article on a Portuguese magazine (Visão): 5th September...still missing 3290 days for a visit to Mars.

The article speaks about NASA's visit by 2030. Yet, a Dutch company* is preparing to anticipate NASA in a decade. A no-return voyage,vegetarians by force...and a water factory are some of the ideas approached.

To my knowledge, though thousands worldwide had already applied, there are 8 Portuguese people ready to embark; but only 4 of them disclosed their n
...more
Benjamin Duffy
I somewhat lazily and arbitrarily clicked this book onto my "science fiction" Goodreads shelf, but it isn't, not really. Sure, the monsters happened to come from Mars, but that isn't essential to the plot. They could just as easily have come from deep under the ground, from the bottom of the ocean, or from Mordor. All the story requires is that they be from Somewhere Else, and Mars fills that bill perfectly well.

So, leaving aside the creatures' extraterrestrial origins, War of the Worlds succeed
...more
Phrynne
Nov 23, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was amazed that I had never read this before! Of course it is exceedingly dated; that's what happens when you are over 100 years old! But the man had some amazing ideas about the future and this is epitomised by the way this book ends. For today's reader it is an obvious resolution but back in Wells' day, not so much! The story is short but wordy with story advancement delayed by the main character philosophising frequently and at length. However I enjoyed it greatly and can understand why it ...more
Joe Valdez
The next stop in my end-of-the-world reading marathon was The War of the Worlds, the classic of alien invasion and interplanetary paranoia by H.G. Wells. Published in serial format by Pearson's Magazine from April 1897 to December of that year, the story originated after the author's relocation to the town of Woking in Surrey County. It was here that Wells also wrote his comic novel The Wheels of Chance, as well as The Invisible Man, which has now been replaced as my favorite Wells invention wit ...more
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds...

Wells wrote this in 1898, at the turn of the century. My Grandfather was less than a year old. The world found it'self i the middle of the industrial revolution where steam power had taken over the world, and mankind suffered from an Ego that had led them to believe that they were invincible. It was a dangerous illusion. Within the next twenty years, Nature will wallop man in ways that man had never believed possible. In 1906 an earthquake will flatten Charleston
...more
Ron
Dec 18, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Classics & Sci-Fi.
More and more I have become interested in reading the predecessor classic novels like The War of the Worlds. Shamefully, this was actually my first H.G. Wells books, and although I have seen the movies, there is nothing like reading the book itself. After researching, I realized that Wells book is not the first science fiction novel, but I’ve noticed hints of its influence within the pages of other novels I’d read (from Kim Stanley Robinson to Stephen King).

It is also relevant to horror and fear
...more
Connie
"The War of the Worlds" is an exciting first-person narration of a man who witnessed the Martians invading the Earth. Cylinders containing the Martians were shot from Mars and landed in England. The British army was defenseless against the Martian Tripods, three-legged fighting machines fitted out with a Heat-Ray and chemical "Black Smoke". The book was written in 1898, prior to World War I, but the Martian weapons were similar to lasers and chemical warfare. Wells uses the ideas of Darwin to de ...more
Eva
Jul 08, 2015 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read this magnificent book which was first published in 1898 (!) I cannot but feel sadness for the fact that we no longer have people whose imagination stretches that far. Who have we produced in mankind in the last couple of decades with such an advanced scientific as well as philosophical mind I wonder. H. G. Wells was ahead of his time yes, but not only in terms of technology but also in terms of human behavior. All these blockbuster movies that come out every year containing the destr ...more
Maria
Mar 26, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been on a sci-fi kick lately, and this classic had to make the list. I couldn't put this book down. I was engrossed from beginning until the final page; I read this in less than 24 hours! From my understanding, this is the one of the first books written related to an invasion on Earth by aliens. I found myself in awe that this was written in the late 1890's. The ideas were very advanced and unique.

Perhaps what I thought was the book's strongest aspect was how it mixed philosophy and psycho
...more
Willa
Oct 23, 2007 Willa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is brilliant! To think that Wells wrote it before anyone else had imagined visitors from other planets coming to Earth is simply incredible... The influence on the genre continues to this day... Well-deservedly, I might add...

But not only is this book a great example of science fiction, it's also a commentary on social practices... Wells points every so often to the feelings of the humans and compares them to the feelings of 'lower' animals who must contend every day with the effects h
...more
Sarah
Mar 18, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من روائع هـ. ج. ويلز
مختلفه عن الفيلم كتير تفاصيل كتير جدااااااااااا احداث في منتهي الروعه

عبقريييييييه الروايه دي وكعادة الكاتب ديما يبهرني بطريقة تفكيره التقدميه واللي سابقه الفتره الزمنيه اللى كان فيها بمسافات طويله
عنده دايما خلفيه علميه عن كل موضوع بيكتب عنه زي رواية آلة الزمن اللى قرأتها ليه من فتره طويله وكانت اول كتاب اقرأه لويلز

وصف دقيق لشكل الآلات الخاصه بالمريخيين لدرجة اني بقيت مش قادره اتخيل المنظر دا والتفاصيل دي كلها في الفتره اللى هو فيها سنة 1898
الروايه مكونه من كتابين او جزئين
...more
Fernando
Mar 06, 2013 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
En tan sólo cinco años, H.G. Wells escribió este libro, El Hombre Invsible, La Isla del Doctor Moreau y La Máquina del Tiempo, lo que demuestra la potencia creadora de la que era capaz. Este clásico futurista anticipó toda una saga de películas que se filmarían 100 años después, incluso de este libro en particular.
Erika
Oct 10, 2016 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I want to read anything & everything with extraterrestrials. & watch more X Files
Azumi
Mar 19, 2017 Azumi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desde que terminé de leer los libros de la saga “Trilogía Victoriana” de Félix J. Palma, con H.G. Wells y sus libros como protagonistas absolutos, me quedó la espinita de leerme algo de Wells.
La historia es archiconocida pero me ha encantado leerla de la mano de su creador.

Me ha gustado el tono de caos y desolación que presenta la historia y el hecho de que no sepamos el nombre del narrador me parece un acierto total. La explicación final de (view spoiler)
...more
Paul
Nov 11, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Martians are coming!

THE MARTIANS ARE COMING!!!

A-hem... Second on my list of all-time favourite classics to re-read this year is H.G. Wells' phenomenal 'The War Of The Worlds'. Contrary to popular belief, this book is not the first book about an alien invasion, but it is the first book about alien invasion that anybody but the most knowledgeable science fiction geeks will have heard of.

The plot is simple: Mars attacks Earth, us inferior humans can't do anything about it and (view spoiler)
...more
Ben Babcock
It's easy to be a jaded reader of science fiction, especially if you grew up with the conveniences of Star Trek, Star Wars, and the reality of spaceflight. So it's important to remember that writers like H.G. Wells never got to see the famous Blue Marble photograph of Earth; they never got to see what our planet looks like from space—something most of us take for granted in this era. This awareness, our conception of the Earth as a big blue marble, has become so pervasive as to make descriptions ...more
David
Oct 25, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: John Carter, Podkayne, Orson Welles, Tom Cruise
It's pretty much impossible not to know the plot of this hundred-year-old sci-fi classic, the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, the inspiration for all Mars fiction ever since, even stories without Martians. The ravaging of London, the iconic tripods, the inhuman, ululating Martians, probably everyone is familiar with Wells' story even if only a fraction have actually read the book.

I'm guilty of not reading the original until now, though I've read and watched countless adaptations and tr
...more
Kennis
Jan 24, 2009 Kennis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
First of all, I wish I never saw any of the movies before reading it because I couldn't get the imagery from them out of my head as I read. It was super annoying. Fucking Tom Cruise. In any case, I gotta say that I really didn't care for it. The radio show was probably much more captivating than the book. The way it was told, in third person and everything having taken place in the past, was just not working for me. The story was intriguing enough to keep me going, but boy did I feel like not fi ...more
Ashley
Sep 24, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely impressed by the quality of this 19th century sci-fi book, and I would have given it a higher star rating if it hadn't been for the excessive wordiness of the narrator. I can easily forgive H.G. Wells for the scientific inaccuracies in the story since he most definitely had a more limited knowledge of Mars, Venus, and space in general than we do today. I loved the imagination and creativity this tale required. The content was so different than other literature being published at ...more
YouKneeK
Mar 15, 2017 YouKneeK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The War of the Worlds is a classic alien invasion novel written by H. G. Wells. I think it would be difficult for a present-day science fiction reader to be completely blown away by this book when we’ve inevitably read or watched many similar types of stories. However, it was still entertaining and it held my interest well with only the occasional dry spot.

I think what helped the story feel more “fresh” to me was the time period. It’s set at around the same time as it was written – in the late 1
...more
Raoofa Ibrahim
Nov 14, 2015 Raoofa Ibrahim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fic, dead-authors
actual rating:4.5*
I love sci-fic a lot..but I saw people mentioning H.G.Wells as the godfather for it so as a fan of this category I decided to read his novels.
OKAY! have you asked your self about life on other planets? have you ever imagined the citizens of it as clever as you or more?
the story will begin with a falling star:
description
but is it a falling star?! the answer is definitely NO
those are the Martians coming to earth, to live in it. They'll find some difficulties because of the different gravit
...more
Joseph
Oct 18, 2016 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler: Anti-vaxers lose

Free streaming audiobook from audible.com
Metin Yılmaz
Mar 18, 2017 Metin Yılmaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wells klasiği çok iyi bir kitap. Özellikle sonunu bu kadar mantıklı bir biçimde bağlaması takdire şayan.
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In 1866, (Herbert George) H.G. Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government schol ...more
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“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.” 117 likes
“Be a man!... What good is religion if it collapses under calamity? Think of what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before to men! Did you think that God had exempted [us]? He is not an insurance agent.” 50 likes
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