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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 26 March 2013
Ever since this novel was first published it has always proved to be popular with the reading public. A tale told in the first person narrative we read about how suddenly Martians invade the Earth. The narrative takes place in the South of England and is still quite gripping, with the Martians in their machines and their death rays causing havoc and destruction.

Like most people I have read this story countless times, but I have never got bored with it. Influencing other writers in the field with their own 'invasion' stories this is a story that will never go away or age. If you have never read this before then snatch up this edition whilst it is free.

You do have an active table of contents here, and there is also the beginning excerpt of Felix J Palma's 'The Map of the Sky' at the back of this book, after the main story. I should point out that you will see occasionally small numerals in the text of this, but there are no footnotes. The reason for this is that the publisher, Simon and Schuster, have allowed the main text to be used, but not the footnotes as they publish that in a complete 'enriched' edition.

As well as a sci-fi novel this can be seen as so many other things, an allegory for instance of Imperialism, as well as other topics. As I noted above, there are no footnotes for this particular edition, but lets be honest, I seriously doubt that you would need any, and no, the tiny numbers that appear where there would be one doesn't detract from reading the novel.
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on 18 October 2017
Was going to buy the audio CD of War of the Worlds but after listening to the audio sample I will be letting it go.
As is usual with amazon they have lumped all the reviews of different editions into one basket which is very frustrating and worthless to their customers.
The narrator listed here is Bill Weideman who is American but the voice is clearly a droning English one.
Whomever this narrator is he reads like he is describing his journey through temporary roadworks back from the weekly shopping trip to Tesco's!!!
A poorer choice could not have been made.
It may seem harsh as the voice of the late, great Richard Burton comes to mind and that is a hard task to equal but even so....this narration is wrong on so many levels.
Picture if you will the " What was your journey like" sketch from Monty Python with Eric Idle.......that is what this narration brings to mind.
An example of a great choice of narrator was Orwell's 1984 read by Bill Holmwood.
Again he had a Burton film portrayal to go up against but he does a marvelous job of imparting the characters of O'Brien and Smith over to the listener.
The casting director for WotW's needs firing!!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 August 2014
Having heard Jeff Wayne's musical adaption growing up and being a large sci-fi fan it's a surprise it has taken me this long to read this utter classic. Not only am I glad to have read it but i'm also incredibly impressed at how far ahead of it's time this novel was considering it was published in 1898, making it 116 years old at this time.

The book is written in the first person perspective focusing on a civilian's experiences during a martian invasion from their initial launch to their eventual defeat. The book is slow in places due to HG Wells's description of the martians and their equipment including advanced weaponry such as lasers had never been written about before so he goes into rather a lot of detail, which isn't a bad thing by any means as it still fits perfectly from the point of view of the protagonist and the era it's set in.

Despite the title of the book this isn't like modern titles that are full of heros and explosions though there are plenty in the latter. This is a story about a man's survival, fascination with the unknown as well as his mental state and inner thoughts regarding the events. It's really rather clever and even now everything about it stands out.

Anyone into science fiction should really read this, not just to see the history of the genre but because this victorian book is still a brilliant read.

+ Well ahead of it's time.
+ Detailed in it's description as an observer of events.
+ Incredibly clever ending.
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VINE VOICEon 11 September 2015
There is little new that can be said about this classic SF novel, the first great invasion of Earth novel published by the father of the genre in 1898, and the precursor for so many that have followed since. This is, of course, a re-read, prompted by my having recently got into the mood by listening to Jeff Wayne's musical version, and watching both the 1953 George Pal film version (with excellent special effects for the time) and the 2005 Stephen Spielberg one (much better than I remembered from my first viewing). The description is dramatic and the imagery vivid, and in 1898 this would have been very graphic and, aside from the obvious features of the historical period, much of this reads like more recent science fiction novels in its uncompromising description of death, destruction and the worst of human behaviour as the massive tide of humanity escapes from the oncoming Martian war machines and their deadly heat-rays. The narrator, his wife and his brother are unnamed, as are the artilleryman and the curate, and there are very few named characters except for the astronomer Ogilvy and one or two others at the very beginning. This allows Wells to focus on the driving narrative. It is very short, only 141 pages, but this shows how a great novel does not need to be many hundreds of pages long. Tremendous stuff.
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on 18 April 2015
First published in 1898, H. G. Wells' The War Of The Worlds is undoubtedly one of the first great sci-fi novels. Following the template of invasion literature that was common in the later third of the nineteenth century it presents us with a hypothetical war waged by an intelligent Martian invader, and in doing so foreshadows much of the horror of the two world wars that were to follow it's publication during the next fifty years.

I originally read an abridged version of this book when I was quite young, having first been introduced to the story through my dad's love of Jeff Wayne's musical version, and it's been one of my favourite early sci-fi novels ever since. There's no question that modern sci-fi wouldn't be where it is now without the influence of Wells and his contemporaries.

To modern readers the bulk of this novel could very easily come across as somewhat flawed. The assumptions made about Mars, and the technology employed by the Martians were later borne out to be incorrect, though at the time many of the ideas and concepts used by Wells were ground-breaking. Drawing on the popular scientific understanding of the times he was able to present his readers with a tale that could so very easily have been true, though many considered the idea of total war as practised by the Martians to be more far-fetched than the possibility of life on other planets.

Despite the flaws that we can so easily identify with hindsight this is still one hell of a tale, and in my opinion should be essential reading for anyone who has even a passing interest in science fiction.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 October 2011
Like most people I have lost count of how many times I have read this story over the years. This Vook edition contains both photos and illustrations, and if you are looking at this book on a colour screen device then you will see that these are in colour, as well as some black and white.

This has to be the most famous novel of alien invasion, with Martians coming to Earth in their tripod killing machines. Our narrator sees what is happening from his home, and then tells us all what he sees happening. At the time this book was considered more than just science fiction, but also a scathing indictment on Imperialism. Of course nowadays with laser guided missiles and what have you this can also be seen as an allegory of modern warfare, with death and destruction raining from the air by a faceless military. Because it can be read on more than one level this story never really ages and is just as enjoyable for a child reading it for the first time, to an adult reading it for the umpteenth time.

If you've never read this before then you have a real treat in store, and if you have read it before you will know how great this is.
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It starts off slow but builds up pretty well.

The Martians remind me of zombie vampires, as they seem so zoned in on their mission and don't have any characteristics that will allow you to consider them as "other beings"

And this threat - from these zombie Martians intent on destruction brings out the worst in us.

“We can't have any weak or silly. Life is real again, and the useless and cumbersome and mischievous have to die. They ought to die. They ought to be willing to die. It's a sort of disloyalty, after all, to live and taint the race.”

“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.”
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on 9 September 2016
I first read this book as a child, while recovering from illness at home. I came across it in a box of other books in the dark recesses of a dusty cupboard whilst looking for something to read, and after reading the prologue and the first chapter, I was instantly captivated and swept back to that time and place where I would be at the narrators side for his whole, incredible journey.

Many years later, I find that this story still grips me with same sense of excitement, fear and trepidation as it did as a child, and is just as impossible to put down now as it was then. It is a remarkable piece of story telling that one wishes could continue after the last page has been reached. Cunningly, the author leaves the story somewhat open ended, perhaps so that the reader can indeed create what follows for themselves.

The War of the Worlds is truly deserving of its status as a literary masterpiece.
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on 22 September 2013
War of the Worlds should need no introduction, it is one of the classic science fiction stories of all time. It's been many years since I last read it and I'm pleased to report that it remains as good a read as I remembered it.

For those of you that don't know War of the Worlds is the alien invasion story, it takes place at the height of Victorian Britain. At the time it was the most powerful force on the planet when capsules from Mars arrive one by one across the country.

These aliens have come from Mars, their world is dying and they need a new world to live on. They invade the land and consume the people as food. The story concerns a solitary man trying to survive the invasion and find his wife again.

The story more than stands the test of time, it flows with economy and brilliant insight. For its time it was revolutionary, but even now where it has been imitated so many times it still stands out. The story is at times moving and others terrifying and the writing, while obviously not modern it still a great read.

One small part that fascinates me about the style is the assumption that you know the places and times that you are taken to. Of course that makes sense because he's writing for the people of his time, but reading it now, because he's not describing every detail, it makes you feel familiar, as if part of the tale, not just an observer.

This is a great story, a classic novel and if you haven't read it then you really should.
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on 5 January 2014
I downloaded this book for two reasons. One- it was free on Kindle and two- I was eager to read the book that I'd heard so much about. After reading the reviews, I had high hopes but for me, something just did not click between me and 'The War of the Worlds'.
I realise that it was written however many years ago, but I found it very hard to read and often found myself reading whole pages again just so that I could try to make some sense of the abundant extra clauses, rambling sentences and occasionally, random segments that seemed to have been stuffed in.
Sure, the description was vivid, and I enjoyed following the unnamed narrator, but at times I wished the Martians would squish him like a bug for being so mysterious about himself as he talked about his brother and the Martians and scientists who I had no recollection of at all.
I was also left frustrated by the lack of a decisive ending. I mean, it just ended. The Martians invaded and then bing bang boom it was all dealt with and England was marching on again regardless.
If you like sci-fi and the triumph of human spirit, then this is the book for you. But if you prefer reading something with straight-forward wording and a conclusive ending, then I'd steer clear of this 'classic' if I was you...
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