The war of the worlds by h g wells random triumph of a lucky species


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The war of the worlds by h g wells random triumph of a lucky species

  1. 1. The War Of The Worlds by H. G. Wells More Relevant Than Ever In A Post-9/11 WorldThis is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories, first published by H.G.Wells in 1898. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narratortells readers that No one would have believed in the last years of thenineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closelyby intelligences greater than mans... Things then progress from a seriesof seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances takingplace on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first theMartians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earths comparativelyheavy gravity even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created whentheir spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature asdeath machines 100-feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste tothe surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countrysideto the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as Englandsmilitary suffers defeat after defeat. With horror his narrator describes howthe Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance, and howits clear that man is not being conquered so much a corralled. --Craig E.EnglerFirst thing first - THE WAR OF THE W ORLDS is what they used to call "acracking good yarn". Wells knew that his readers were picking up his workprimarily to take off on a fantastic adventure, and he did not disappoint,delineating a thrilling, chilling "scientific romance" with the skill of a bornstoryteller. Certainly the narrative wont pack quite the same punch totodays more jaded reader as it did in the late 19th century, but its power tohaunt is still very much present; I doubt that there are many images in thehistory of fiction more nightmarish than a monstrous Martian tripod bearingdown on a panicked mob of hapless humans.If WOTW stopped there, it would be remebered primarily as fodder for big-screen popcorn flicks, the text itself largely forgotten. As it is, the noveltoday is routinely hailed as a classic and has, rather incredibly, stayedcontinuously in print since it was first published 112(!) years ago. Thereare, I think, a couple of good reasons for this. First of all, unlike themajority of science fiction before, say, Ray Bradbury came along, Wel lscould actually write - he was a respectibly good prose stylist. This isdemonstrated especially well in the opening and closing chapters of thenovel and in the cutting humor of the narrators rejoinders to the characterknown as "the curate," a hysterical clergyman I found to be eerily
  2. 2. reminiscent of contemporary televangelist/wackjob Pat Robertson ("Thinkof what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before tomen!", the narrator tells him, as the curate identifies the Martian invasionas the Apocalypse of the Lord; "Do you think God had exemptedWeybridge? He is not an insurance agent.")The other reason I believe W OTW remains as relevant (if not moreso)today as it was the day it was published is this: WOTW was written at atime when the British Empire was wantonly using its military might to getwhat it wanted - sometimes (as Wells himself points out in the openingchapter) wiping out entire populations with apparent carelessness. WithWOTW, Wells was attempting to illustrated to his (mostly British)readership how the shoe might feel on the other foot. How does this relateto us? Well, I doubt this is a popular point to make, and Im sure Ill getmore than a few "not helpful" votes for saying this (go ahead and click onthe button if you feel you need to - its right down there), but America hasnot made a lot of friends with its own foreign policy over the years, and wehave experienced events that have (hopefully) given US pause and have(hopefully) made US see how the shoe feels on the other foot. I am nottrying to justify the actions of either ourselves or our enemies here -personally, I find violence in almost any form repugnant and feel that italmost always creates more problems than it solves - Im simply trying tosuggest that a novel like this one may be helpful in bringing someimportant matters into perspective for the contemporary reader.In conclusion, let me simply say this is as excellent a novel for modernreaders as it was for readers of the past, and one that set the bar very highindeed for those who would follow in Wells footsteps. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: The War Of The Worlds by H. G. Wells - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!