Monday, 5 September 2011

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds
This one is already a classic, but I had very little prior knowledge about its plot. I knew the Martians attacked, and that was it. Recently I read a book by a Portuguese author that was something akin to retelling of this book.

Intent on remedying this fault in my reading of Science Fiction, I set forth with this book. It was not without mishaps, as my aunt decided she would be reading it, and stole the book from me. Even though *I* was reading it. Luckily, this is a book in public domain, so I also had the ebook on my phone. Later on, I also “read” this book via audiobook, but I'll explain why further ahead.

The War of the Worlds is indeed the story of how Martians attacked Earth (or Britain, I'm still not sure what happened to the rest of world), and what happened during this invasion. The narrator tells us first of the society of the late 19th century, their beliefs (and disbeliefs) of the possibility of life on other planets and of space travel. Then he describes how the invasion came to pass, of the mayhem that followed and his own attempts of rescuing loved ones and survival.

This book took awhile to read, and it was more to do with the writing style than exactly the plot. The plot had everything to make read page after page, there were explosions and Martians and thunderstorms. But, somehow, the writing fail to transmit all that excitement and actions. It dragged, and dragged and I could only read a few pages at a time.

And this is the reason I turned to audiobooks. It would be easier to listen one chapter at a time, while I did other stuff. And at least the readers at Librivox manage to convey the emotions that were on paper. And so I was able to finish this book.

So, my overall opinion? Meh. Nice story, but the writing did nothing for me. And it's a story that has lost part of its power since space travel became a reality.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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