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The War of the Worlds

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  172,231 Ratings  ·  4,628 Reviews
They came from outer space -- Mars, to be exact.

With deadly heat-rays and giant fighting machine they want to conquer Earth and keep humans as their slaves.

Nothing seems to stop them as they spread terror and death across the planet. It is the start of the most important war in Earth's history.

And Earth will never be the same.

This edition of War of the Worlds includes a In
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Mass Market Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 8th 1993 by Tor Classics (first published 1897)
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  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
    The War of the Worlds
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    This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
    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)

    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30)
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    Joeji
    Jun 22, 2007 Joeji rated it really liked it
    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
    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
    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
    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
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    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
    ...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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Joseph
    Oct 18, 2016 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Spoiler: Anti-vaxers lose

    Free streaming audiobook from audible.com
    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
    César Bustíos
    Jan 30, 2017 César Bustíos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: science-fiction
    Un clásico de la ciencia ficción que aborda, por primera vez, la invasión de una raza alienígena en la Tierra. Publicada inicialmente en 1898, la obra de Wells ha servido de inspiración para muchos, muchos autores.
    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
    Stephen
    3.0 stars. A must read for Science Fiction fans. Didn't love it as much as I thought I would as I found it a bit dated. Stil, this was well written and was certainly ground-breaking in its time. Definitely worth a read.
    Stuart
    The War of the Worlds: Martians come to England and they’re not here for tea
    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
    This classic alien invasion story from 1897 hardly needs any introduction. We all know the image of Martians descending from space, moving on giant metal tripods and using deadly heat rays to ruthlessly destroy everything in their wake. Most infamous was the 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast that had average Americans convinced they were being invaded by Martians. Then George Pal ha
    ...more
    DramaQueen
    I am actually not quite sure what to think of this book. I don't really know what I expected, but I think I expected something different than what I got. Can I be anymore vague? Probably not. So let's just get into the details.

    "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 a
    ...more
    Kenchiin
    Aug 03, 2016 Kenchiin rated it liked it
    This book hasn't aged very well since its release, being honest, but I believe it's one of those things you must read if you appreciate Sci-Fi and Alien stories in general terms.
    Linda
    The novel was first published in book form in 1898, and is one of the first books containing a meeting with extra terrestrials. Wells was before his time with his reasoning science tone throughout the book. He has thought of everything, nothing is ignored. His knowledge about science is fascinating.

    A shooting star turns out to be something totally different and the beginning of a war the human race could never have imagined, let alone anticipated. When a cylinder crasch into the earth, it doesn'
    ...more
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    880695
    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
    More about H.G. Wells...

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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.” 114 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.” 49 likes
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