Saturday, August 2, 2014

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells [1898]

No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns as they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a  microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter.
-Book 1: The Coming of the Martians, Chapter One: The Eve of War

Let's give the book credit, it has a pretty cool opening paragraph.
But the rest of the book isn't that great. Forgive me for disliking a classic, but yeah. It's bound to happen.
First off, I don't really like this juvenile Mr. Wells' tone! What I got from this book was that he doesn't particularly like humankind. I'm not an optimist, my friends will attest to that. But while I always expect the worst to happen, I try to be idealistic when it comes to humanity. As a Catholic, I believe that we were created in God's image, and that our true purpose is to Know, Love, and Serve God. In other words, our true purpose is noble and good. We do horrible things (I agree with you on that, Mr. Wells) but we aren't scum.
Now that I've gotten that gripe out of my way, I can get on with my other gripes. Yay!
I didn't like the characters that much. I know that this is a stylistic choice, but narrating in the first person without giving your main character so much as a name is a writing style that is very off putting. To me, at least. As a reader, I feel like I need somebody to hold onto. When your characters are card-board cutouts with barely any personality there isn't that much to hold onto, and quite frankly? I don't care whether or not they die!

The Verdict: D
I should cut the book a little more slack for ending with a nice, hopeful note. But this book, I don't know what it is, but Wells' writing style must've rubbed me the wrong way because I don't think I'll ever take the trouble to read this book again. :P

But now I have guilt for posting something so negative and mean. Nobody likes having their day bogged down by the dark cloud that is my bad attitude. Have a cute animal! Axolotl time!
Adorable baby Axolotls.


  1. Awww, the Axolotls are soooo cute!! Now I'm curious though, and want to read this so I can see why you disliked it so much. I'm weird like that, tell me something is awful and I want to experience the why. Which isn't really smart.

    1. And they're from Mexico! :D
      Meh, you can read that book, ain't no law says you cain't.
      'hem. You'd probably like it better than me. You're a lot warmer to the genre of science fiction than I am. :)

  2. I'm not a big fan of the book, either. I'm cool with unnamed narrators (Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is one of my fave books), but I'm definitely a person who needs to like the characters in order to love the book.


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