If you're a regular reader here you have probably noticed that I've been reading alot of H.G. Wells lately. I have. And it's been wonderful. Guilty, but wonderful. You see, this is a site for reviewing young adult books, children's books, picture books. A site that says "may occasionally" review older books, but focuses on literature 2004-present. But silly old me has gone and fallen in love with H.G. Wells. The books were written for the adult crowd--though I'd imagine young adults could enjoy them as much as anyone--and they're certainly not new. Nineteenth century science fiction is not "new" or "contemporary." But they're just so good, I can't stop myself. So I've been indulging. Each day I open up my Seven Science Fiction Novels of H.G. Wells, prop up my feet, fluff a few pillows and relax with a very exciting, wonderfully written book. But a part of me can't help but feel guilty. I have stacks and stacks of books calling out at me. They're saying, "We're new. You're supposed to be reading us. What happened??? Why don't you love us??? Did you forget we're here????" Anyway, I've been ignoring them. My Wells' book is due at the library, September 5th, and I'm hoping that I'll get them all done and won't have to renew.
The latest Wells' novel that I've devoured is War of the Worlds. Each time I finish a novel, I think to myself, "It just can't get better than this. This has to be my favorite. That has to be his best." I felt that way after War of the Worlds. It was exciting. It was thrilling. It was without a doubt one of his faster-paced novel. I was hooked practically from the first page on. It was just a very compelling read. I didn't want to put it down. It chronicles through the eyes of one man, the arrival of Martians on Earth and the destructive peril that follows the landings of a handful of cylinders. (I believe there were around ten cylinders, maybe seven or eight. But no more than ten.) It is a terrifying thing for our narrator to witness. There is death. There is violence. There is fear. There is panic. There is chaos. It is the unraveling of society. The unraveling of life and society as we know it. The book shows how men--and women--but particularly this one man--handles the breakdown of society and civilization. How one man tries to survive against all odds. How one man comes to deal with such horror and terror and the unknown. How to even keep one's wits about them long enough to plan, to act, to move, to cope. It's very exciting, very suspenseful. And by far, one of my new *favorites* by Wells. I won't say it replaces The Time Machine as my favorite. It would probably be a toss up still, but it was very, very good. And definitely more exciting than the Time Machine.
online text of War of the Worlds