What with my anger at injustice yesterday I actually didn’t write about the book that I finished yesterday morning. Due to my binge on the apocalypse I decided, after listening to the album from1973, to read the book where the album and both films originate from. I am of course talking about H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. A tale of aliens destroying the world…well at least a good proportion of the UK. Fun times guaranteed.
It was written in 1898 and was said to be one of the first ever sci-fi books. Once you can get past the language you can find that the story is a deeply moving tale of survival and faith. Despite when it was written the level of gory detail is surprisingly high as well. To me it really described the destruction of London at the hands of the Martians in perfect clarity.
There was even some humour wound into this tale of apocalyptical proportions. Here are a couple of quotes that amused me:
‘She seemed, poor woman, to imagine that the French and the Martians might prove very similiar.’
‘The Martians understood doors!’
All I can say is poor French people. That’s like saying they look like aliens. And of course aliens can use doors. If they can travel to our planet and destroy us then doors would be no problem. What I love is the exclamation mark on the end of that. That really made me laugh. It’s like the narrator was shocked at the very idea that a Martian would understand something made by man. Silly narrator.
Of course then you have the whole idea of faith and of faith breaking down. Here’s a quote that makes you think about the very concept: ‘What good is religion if it collapses under calamity?’ What good is it indeed Mr Wells.
It’s the final sentence that really ends the book well though: ‘And strangest of all is it to hold my wife’s hand again, and to think that I have counted her, and that she has counted me, among the dead.’ Truly moving, if I do say so myself…which I do, so that ends that.
I do still prefer the album though, but then I have yet to see either film adaptation. Looks like that’s all that is left to do on my The War of the Worlds list then.