Sunday, 13 February 2011

Top Ten Favourite Books - Number 4

This is one of my favourite books of all time. (I guess that sort of makes sense if it's in my Top Ten list..) It's one of those books I can pick up, crawl into it and lose myself in the time period and the adventure. H.G. Wells has definitely written one of the best science fiction books ever. Considering that he originally wrote it in 1897, it was ahead of its time.

For anyone not familiar with the plot, The War of the Worlds tells the story of invaders from Mars who land in England. The synopsis on the back reads, 'Man had not yet learned to fly when H.G. Wells conceived this story of a Martian attack on England. Giant cylinders crash to earth, disgorging huge, unearthly creatures armed with heat-rays and fighting machines. Amid the boundless destruction they cause, it looks as if the end of the world has come.'

I enjoy a well crafted alien invasion story and this does not disappoint. I enjoy the setting of England before WWI, the lovely countryside, the heroism of the English army in trying to battle the Martians. The story is just such an easy, enjoyable read; even those not fond of science fiction would enjoy it.

The success of the story has spawned movies, comics, TV shows. One of my favourite movie versions is the one starring Gene Barry. While it can be somewhat hokey, it still tries for the same feel as the book; mankind versus the Martians, small town California instead of the English countryside. In its own way, it is as good as the story.

The more recent version, starring Tom Cruise, was quite disappointing, considering the excellent cast and the pedigree of the director, Mr Steven Spielberg. I had hoped that with Spielberg involved that the movie would be set in the time frame of H.G. Wells' story. Unfortunately, it was too modernized and became a disappointing action movie that did nothing to enhance the book.

H.G. Wells also wrote well-known science fiction novels such as The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man and The Time Machine, to name a few. But if you want to read a classic, one of the first science fiction stories and an excellent one at that, you have to try The War of the Worlds.


  1. I am so amazed by writers like H.G Wells that wrote about stuff that was so ahead of his time. It’s too bad the movies made based on his stories never portrayed the original story.. It would be so much more interesting to watch a science fiction movie set in the late 19th century than in the 20th and 21st century! I also love that time period set on the British country side – so I’ll have to read this one!! I love the cover of that book! It would look great as framed art work!
    Check out:

  2. I think one of the reasons I so enjoyed science fiction stories, and, in fact, still do is that the writers explore concepts and ideas that seem so futuristic. How they see alien cultures, new technology and try to put every day issues and ideas into these settings make them so very interesting. The cover of that book would look great framed. I enjoyed your poster link too.

  3. Hi Bill! Just popping in to say hello and make sure you're making it through the winter... AND also to inquire: where the heck has Jo been!? Please tell her i miss her; i know what it's like to fall off the blogging bandwagon too, and it can be hard to find the inspiration again. Please do give her my best, and my best to you too! :) hope those BC tulips are popping up before too long! xo

  4. Hi Vikki. All is well in BC. We're doing well. Just got back from Victoria where we saw Elton John in concert. Fantastic!! I've passed your best wishes and boot in the arse to Jo. She has developed a bit of a Blog slump. I've tried to get her going again; I'm sure that once she gets one Blog down she'll get going again. I definitely miss her Blogs. :0) Re tulips, we're having a cold snap these days, even snow!!!


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