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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

The War of the Worlds (Author: H.G Wells)


The War of the Worlds (Book Cover)

The War Of The Worlds By HG Wells

The journalist sat in Olgivy's observatory studying space through his telescope, most notably the planet Mars. On noticing a meteor like object fall to earth & land somewhere in the direction of Horsell Common, the two men make their way to the suspected destination of the landing.


On arriving they see that a crowd of people have gathered around a large pit. Inside it is a cylinder. It is covered with what appears to be a thick scaley incrustation. Olgivy perceives it to be the wrong shape for a meteorite. It is so hot from travelling through the atmosphere that he can get no where near it. He notes at this point that there are no birds to be heard & that the air is still. Movement from inside the cylinder could be detected. Then ash from on top of the cylinder begins to topple. Olgivy concludes that the movement could be related to the cooling of the object. He clambers down into the pit to gain a better view, & as he does so, the top of the cylinder starts to rotate. There is something within the cylinder unscrewing the top!

So, I have been aware of 'The War Of The Worlds' since I was a child. My mother was, or so I assume a fan of the sound track, as she played it incessantly & evidently I grew to hate it. Then 14 years ago, I met a man who has loved it since his childhood &, through watching the various film adaptations on TV & the stage show on DVD, plus listening to the soundtrack on car journeys, I developed a 'like' for it, & now love it. Which is kind of sad for me as I no longer have my mum.


Anyway, I digress....the book...it was something that I was curious to read, to ascertain how accurate the screenplays had been. It is told from the journalist's perspective, is constructed point by point & is extremely in depth. Very comprehensive. The writing style threw me, & in parts I had to refer to my partner, as the story is set in 1884 & the vernacular used is quite different. However I was still able to grasp what was taking place. I was surprised that it was such a thin book which I initially mistakenly thought that I would be done reading in a couple of days. However, for me, this wasn't an easy book to get through. But I am glad that I can now say that I have read it.

H.G Wells describes settings, the experiences of the journalist & others well, plus the destruction & the Martians who cause that destruction.

If you like stories about Martian invasions set in late 19th century England I can't recommend this enough, but being the philistine that I am (in this case), I will be sticking with the televisual options.

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