The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells was a science fiction story of a man who deals with the invasion of Martians, and the destruction they cause when they begin to decimate cities and people. It appeared in 1897, and completely surprised me with how futuristic and imaginative Wells was. It is written as a factual account that gives information about the occurrences during the invasion, but does not go into the aftermath of the Martians. At times, it did not hold my attention, but at others I was hooked. Here is my Five Things Wrap Up of The War of the Worlds.
- The descriptions of the Martians was fantastic
The Martians were terrifying and the heat ray they possessed was petrifying. Most of the people unfortunate enough to come across the Martians were singed by the ray. The narrator gives a factual recounting of his experiences with the Martians. He describes how the trees would burst into flames as the Martians grazed their ray over the forests. He also describes the long metal legs that perch the Martians high above their prey. The descriptions were my favorite part about this novel and I still cannot get the image of helpless people fleeing like ants. The descriptions of the appearance of the Martians was disgustingly delightful. Wells really outdid himself.
- The lack of characterization was a little frustrating
I love connecting with characters in the books I read, and although characterization was not important to Wells plot, I would have liked to have had more development. Names would have even sufficed. Moreover, the whole story the narrator was trying to reunite with his wife, but the lack of emotion and characterization left me not really caring if he found her.
- The pacing was slow for such a small book
The book was engaging when I was in the thick of the action. It was incredible to see how each town dealt with the oncoming doom and destruction of the Martians. However, when the point of view shifts over to the narrator’s brother and how he dealt with the disaster the book slows down and became boring to read. It was taking me too long to get through his section of the book, but it was stimulating nonetheless.
- The artilleryman was a genius
The conversation with the narrator and the artilleryman was interesting. The artilleryman gives a description of how they will survive and rebuild themselves again. He constructs his plan on how they will coexist with the Martians when they ultimately take over. He delves into chilling predictions of what the Martians have in store for the humans they capture. This part of the novel was the most thought-provoking. It was so realistic that it frightened me over 100 years later.
- The interpretations are endless
This novel despite its slowness has endless possibilities for its interpretations. Wells has been known to put political gems within his works, and this book is littered with them. The invasion, although done by Martians, could have easily have been any sort of monster wreaking havoc on Earth. Their origin is not the most important facet about them, but their intentions of colonizing on Earth is central. Thus, the issue of colonialism and imperialism are called into question. Furthermore, thoughts of natural selection along with evolution are woven in through the novel. It is a great piece that is entertaining and thought provoking. I would recommend to anyone with an interest of a classic science fiction piece.
Read ya later!