Rachel's Random Recommendation #36: The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells War of the Worlds (1897) by H. G. Wells

If you haven't yet read Wells's most famous novel, I insist that you rectify that situation. I mean, just read this first sentence:
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 they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

How awesome do I think these opening lines are? Well, I included them in the recent Book Riot post about our favorite sentences in literature. In this one (pretty long) sentence, Wells toys with our sense of scale, invoking planets one minute and microscopic organisms the next. This relatively short novel about a Martian invasion of Earth and the former's ultimate defeat set the stage for alien invasion stories and movies of the 20th and 21st centuries. So yeah Virginia Woolfe's gonna hate but whatever amiright? Cause who doesn't love a good alien invasion story.

Wells was writing at a time of unprecedented discovery and development in the field of astronomy, both in America and Europe, and he urges readers to think outside the planet about what we might encounter, even in our own solar system. What would we do if another life form threatened us? How would we defend ourselves? What would that life form even be like?

And don't hurt me but I didn't think the recent movie adaptation was all that bad. So if you saw that and liked it and haven't yet read the book- go read it. It's a wild ride.

1 comment:

  1. Been meaning to read this for a while. Only read one H G Wells (Time Machine) and really loved that even though sci fi really isn't my thing.

    I shall follow your advice! :)