Review: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

book cover: the war of the worlds

I didn’t include The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells on my Classics Club list because it didn’t appeal to me at the time. It’s one of those books that, while influential, is too well known to offer any surprises. Plus, while I knew Spielberg’s movie took liberties since it’s set in modern times, I thought it was a fairly faithful adaptation since it opens and closes with quotes from the book (as read by Morgan Freeman). While some story beats are adapted faithfully, the book is very different. For starters, Tom Cruise flees aliens alongside his children, but the book’s unnamed narrator spends much of the book alone. Many disaster books/movies show people banding together to survive, but the narrator’s isolation adds to his vulnerability and the book’s overall tension.

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