The War of the Worlds
16 October 2013 5 Comments
Author: H.G. Wells.
Summary: 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.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
Review: I was so disappointed with this book, i don’t now how to begin. I read and loved Wells’ The Time Machine, and expected to love The War of the Worlds just as much.
The setting, apocalyptic England due to an alien invasion, is the perfect kind of science fiction tale i love. Alas, i did not love this book. I kept subconsciously comparing it to John Wyndham, and while the story is something he might write, the writing style is all wrong. Also bad.
Everything is told so methodically, so factually and straightforward. There is no drive or thrill. Even descriptions of emotions lack emotion. It reads more like an essay or simply a timeline of events, rather than an actual crazy life-and-death adventure story.
The characters lacked any character. The unnamed narrator of the book comes across as simply an anonymous (and stereotypical) Englishman; he has no real personality. Even the aliens are described only in appearance and movement, with physical facts; there is so little on how they make the narrator feel.
I loved the world created and the apocalyptic/alien invasion setting, but the book as a whole is so lacking. For the time it was written the concepts in the book are incredible, but ideas aren’t enough. There is no real story, at least not one i felt in the least invested in.
I found it so hard to pick this book up each time to carry on reading. The setting and genre of the book are the only things that kept me going until the end.
After The Time Machine i expected much better. I am now decidedly ambivalent about reading more of Wells’ work.