Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The War of the Worlds” as Want to Read:
The War of the Worlds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Book* *Different edition

The War of the Worlds

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  128,828 ratings  ·  3,417 reviews
Man had not yet learned to fly when H.G. Wells conceived this story of a Martian attack on England. Giant cylinders crash to Earth, disgorging huge, unearthly creatures armed with heat-rays and fighting machines. Amid the boundless destruction they cause, it looks as if the end of the world has come.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 12th 2002 by Modern Library (first published 1898)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
30th out of 4,828 books — 16,846 voters
Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
38th out of 882 books — 4,891 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jun 26, 2007 Joeji rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
May 15, 2015 Denisse rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Denisse by: My brain, tired of Young Bullshit XD
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
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

“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
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
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
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
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
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

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
Is there life on Mars? A question the Father of Science Fiction looks at in an all too terrifying manner in one of his most famous novels, The War of The Worlds.

It all begins when a massive cylinder crash lands in England, a cylinder that no one can claim ownership for. In a time where the thought of humans someday being capable of flight would be absurd, these cylinders were quite the phenomenon. Soon, reports filter in that this mysterious cylinder is just one of many that have crashed seeming
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
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
While it may seen inhumane to all the stockbrokers and their dependants, there is some vicarious pleasure to be had in the destruction of Surrey commuter towns by the Martians. The fear, confusion and rapid break down of late Victorian life following on from the initial attack is striking.

The War of the Worlds is one of those science-fiction books that are full of contemporary fears - it is a pre World War One invasion fantasy like The Riddle of the Sands but with the German army transformed in
3 stars ...more
It has arisen to my attention that this interesting work of fiction demands from me its own review. In fact I don't believe I have attended to many of Mr Wells' works as of this stage of my existence. This shall have to be amended once I have taken over the world holidays...

I appreciate H.G.Wells' work immensely but for some odd reason I like this less than I like The Invisible Man. Perhaps it is the psychological horror prevalent in his other noted novel - the idea of a man being alienated and
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.
André Shart
No semestre passado, tive uma cadeira que se propunha a estudar a relação entre ciência e cultura e ciência enquanto cultura, tendo necessariamente passado por várias obras e autores que se dedicaram ao género literário da ficção científica. De entre eles, aquele que mais aprofundei foi o escritor francês Júlio Verne, autor do conceituado livro A Volta ao Mundo em 80 Dias e conhecido como o grande precursor deste género que era então, por mim, ainda muito pouco explorado.

Um dos pontos interessan
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
Adam David Collings
An absolute classic of science fiction. We take alien invasion stories for granted these days, but when people read The War of the Worlds for the first time, they were experiencing something absolutely new. It is impressive to think that this book was written in the nineteenth century.

There is a lot of action in this book, and the description gave me vivid pictures in my head. I really did enjoy the clash of alien technology in Victorian England. I'd actually like to see a movie adaptation that
Unlike many of its contemporaries, The War of the Worlds holds up quite well, even today. The book's style of language is a bit formal, perhaps, when compared to modern parlance, but it's not plodding or overly tiresome. Wells had a prodigious imagination, and although he was (appropriately for his time period) quite genteel about it, he doesn't shy from describing the horrific. He weaves an engaging, not-at-all-pleasant story of hostile alien invasion by a technologically-superior race in a tim ...more
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'
Verdict: This may be first iteration of a now-familiar paradigm but it still has a few shocks and surprises up its sleeve. Certainly better than that Tom Cruise crap.

In my review for The Time Machine I commented on how incredible it was that this ancient book which has spawned so many of our now familiar sci-fi elements should still read as fresh and inventive. I’m afraid I cannot bestow similar praise upon The War of the Worlds. I’m afraid it’s just a case of H.G. Wells being a bit too ahead of
As a piece of literary history, The War of the Worlds is a five star book. As a contemporary read, it is less impressive.

I also recently finished reading The Invisible Man and in each book, the writing, while sensual and descriptive, lacked something. In both cases, I felt minimally invested in the main character. Some of this is perhaps stylistic and the result of when these books were written.

That said, Wells' imagination is amazing. His vision of the Martians as a possible evolution of the hu
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
Finally! A five-star novel by H. G. Wells!

I'm not sure if I read this in my childhood or not. I think not. If I didn't, I should have since I read almost every other H. G. Wells novel as a boy. And this is far and above his best. It is the granddaddy of alien invasion stories and still holds up rather well. Wells foresaw a number of science fiction themes in this book, alien invasion, post-apocalyptic, he even toys with the idea of terra-forming. His descriptions of the Martians and their ensuin
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
Smartly written, giving a really realistic account of a possible invasion by an interstitial intelligence. A bit slow moving at times and sometimes a bit hard to understand since it was written for people of the 1890. But still it's quite clear why it became a classic. And the ending is also terrific and ironic. I liked it.

Not to mention the book is 10 times better then any movie that exists.
An early science fiction story from the brilliant mind and imagination of H.G. Wells that had a touch of believability, a possible reality waiting to happen. Who knew what those Martians were capable of; they could build large canals on their planet, maybe they could travel to Earth. It really was so well conceived and so well written that it did seem possible, and the public loved it. This was in 1898, and 40 years later actor Orson Wells, on Halloween night in 1938, brought this story to live ...more
It just occurred to me that the ending is remarkably similar to the one in Disney's The Sword in the Stone. You know, the magic duel between Merlin and Madame Mim - she cheats and turns herself into a dragon, but he then wins by turning himself into a microbe. I wonder if it's a random coincidence, or if H.G. Wells gave them the idea?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1)
  • The Day of the Triffids
  • The Martian Way and Other Stories
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (Extraordinary Voyages, #3)
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories
  • Star Maker
  • The Shrinking Man
  • The Land That Time Forgot (Caspak, #1-3)
  • After London: or, Wild England
  • When Worlds Collide (When Worlds Collide, #1)
  • The Martian Chronicles
  • Double Star
  • Non-Stop
  • The Demolished Man
  • Cities in Flight (Cities in Flight, #1-4)
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...
The Time Machine The Invisible Man The Island of Dr. Moreau The Time Machine/The Invisible Man The First Men in the Moon

Share This Book

“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.” 88 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.” 39 likes
More quotes…