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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Read, 16 Sept. 2013
This review is from: The War of the Worlds by Wells, H.G. New Edition (2005) (Paperback)
I am not a great fan of science fiction and so was no sure what to expect when I read The War of the Worlds. Technological advances since 1898, when the book was first published, mean that the book could appear to be unexciting for a reader today. However, if you get into the frame of mind of thinking and knowledge in 1898, you will be impressed.

The story appears to be relatively short- as compared to the modern trend of books being very long - but if studied in depth, it is very rewarding. In the Penguin Classics edition of 2005, both the biographical note, and the Introduction by Brian Aldiss, are crucial in informing the reader about the context of the narrative, and in particular what H G Wells was concerned about. He seemed to be very forward looking for someone writing in 1898.

This is brought out in the narrative. While it may seem to be an exciting story with a good ending - ie the earth was saved, and the narrator was still alive, the creation of the Martians and their weapons and what they brought with them, was well founded on research, and so was the basis on which the Martians were defeated. The notes indicate the level of research and knowledge H G Wells had.

The book is very well written. The descriptions are so detailed it is easy to visualise what must have been happening. There are very profound ideas on human behaviour in different circumstances. Kindness as wellas greed are depicted in an unnerving way.

One needed to have a map especially as all the places mentioned do exist, and the reader needed to follow the narrator's journey. It was very annoying to find that there was a map, but after the narrative. The map should have been at the front of the book.

In many ways, it was not a true war of the worlds, as the ` warring' was done mainly by the Martians. Maybe this narration to H G Wells was of what he thought would happen in the future- more wars between different planets. Considering we are still trying to ascertain if there is/was life on Mars, the book shows us how human beings have always conjectured about what there may be in the rest of the universe.
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