The War of the Worlds SummaryFasten your seatbelt, folks, because the plot of War of theWorlds can be a little bumpy. Wells narrator jumps from talkingabout the whole world, to talking about himself, to talking aboutwhat his brothers been up to. Dont say we didnt warn you.The book starts with the narrator mentioning that the people ofEarth never expected Martians to attack (understandable). ThenMartian cylinders come crashing down into the English countryside.The cylinders open, revealing Martians that dont move so well –that is, until they build their tank-like tripods and go striding aroundthe countryside on those, burning everything in sight with theirHeat-Rays (patent pending).The narrator runs and hides. He gets his wife away from theMartians… but then goes back towards the Martians. Why would hedo that? Well, because a) he has to return the cart-and-horse heused to get out of town and b) he wants to see the British armycrush the Martians. Also, possibly because c) hes not so smart.At this point, the British army is fighting the Martians and losingbadly: the British have managed to destroy one Martian tripod,while the Martians have been going to town on the British. Whenthe narrator realizes how deadly the Martians are, he runs andhides in his house, where he meets an artilleryman. They traveltogether a little, but the narrator loses track of the artillerymanduring another Martian attack.After escaping the Martians (again), the narrator meets a curate.The narrator and the curate travel together, even though thenarrator starts to be bothered by the guy. The Martians also startusing their second major weapon, the Black Smoke (also patentpending).
Meanwhile, the narrators brother is in London, so we get to hear allabout how things went over there too. At first, people in Londonworried about the Martians because they didnt realize howpowerful the Martians were. Then, later, the Londoners hear thatthe Martians are advancing on the city, so they all evacuates. Onhis way out, the brother meets up with two women, Mrs. and MissElphinstone, and the three of them escape together. They reach thecoast and get a spot on a boat thats going to Ostend. While theirboat is shipping out, the Martians attack, but the English navydestroys two of the Martians tripods.The narrator and the curate are trapped in a house for a few daysbecause there are Martians camped outside the house. The twomen grow to hate each other. The narrator observes the Martiansand discovers a lot about them. For example, the Martians surviveoff of blood (hence, the delight of going after humans). Eventually,the Martians catch the curate, who has been knocked out by thenarrator.Several days later, after the Martians leave the general area, thenarrator comes out of his hole in the ground. He discovers that theworld is stranger than he left it – its largely destroyed and coveredin a red Martian weed.The narrator runs into the artilleryman, who tells the narrator allabout his plan for a new lifestyle: living underground, playingcricket, and killing Martians occasionally. The narrator is veryimpressed by this plan and wants to subscribe to the artillerymansnewsletter. However, while the artilleryman talks the talk, he doesntwalk the walk, so the narrator leaves him. No cricket for them.The narrator makes his way to London, which he discovers is amess. (Probably soccer hooligans.) He eventually discovers that the
Martians are all dead – they died from some bacteria or diseasethat humans are immune to. He finds his wife again and thinksabout how the Martian invasion has made people rethink some ofthe things they thought they knew.