Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

iconiconNote: The image links to an inexpensive paperback copy of The War of the Worlds from Barnes & Noble.  If you prefer an ebook edition, you can download it for free from Project Gutenberg.

I read H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds for a book review that is upcoming (I'll link to it when it's live). I'd read The Time Machine earlier this year, so I was eager to read another of his books.

Unfortunately, I found The War of the Worlds much less interesting in the beginning. The Time Machine hooks you early on, because the story is told to the narrator after the time traveler has already returned from his travels — in other words, you already know that he has an exciting story to tell, because of the condition he is in when he returns.

The War of the Worlds is told in a different manner: The narrator tells primarily of his own experiences, with a middle section of the book being about his brother's experiences (though not narrated by his brother). I personally thought the story started off rather slow, though it did pick up about halfway through. Still, there was something about it that always made me drowsy — and it isn't often that it takes me a full week to get through a book that short!

Interestingly, although many of the details of the book were changed in Hollywood's recent version of the movie &mash; for instance, the narrator's wife exchanged for two kids and a bad relationships with an ex — many other details were kept the same. An example that really stood out to me was the similarity of the endings and why the aliens failed in their invasion. The parts of Wells's book that formed the strongest basis for the movie were the meat of the story, which I think speaks highly of the author's ability to create believeable sci-fi.

No comments: