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Overview War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel written ithe late 19th century. Generally regarded as a classic, it is noticable as being a very early and pioneering work of SF and one of the first ever depictions of an alien invasion of Earth.
General Opinion I didn't like War of the Worlds. Classic novels have a rather odd position in which they are impervious to criticism. They stand aloft, their status assured. All this makes it difficult to write a critique of one. But that's no reason why I shouldn't try.
Justification of dislike I understand War of the worlds. Its significance, its originality, how revolutionary it was for its time. I get all that, but none of it can stop it being a very, very dull book. My, my how contreversial. Please allow me to elucidate precisley as to which aspects I found to be so intensely soporific.
All of it. I have read many older and more exciting books than this, so age doesn't come into it but I find H.G Wells to write in an interminably flat and montonous way. His prose is literally fatiguing to the eyes.
The complete lack of any metaphorical colour extends to the plot as well. Not exactly helped by being set mostly in rural England, Wells somehow contrives to make an epic alien invasion of the Earth (well, England) drag.
There are no interesting characters. The protagonist is a complete blank canvas offrering cold and prolix insight in a thoroughly Victorian way. Reading this book I just imagined a moustache floating around observing the events described. There are other characters but none are fleshed out or given any aspects of personality. Characters without character.
An example of Wells' laboured style can be seen by the way in which the protaganists brother's story arc is handled. You would think that we would switch to a first person perspective. Someone elses view of the events (someone more interesting). But no, his story is told in its entirety through the awkward contrivance of 'my brother later told me this happend.' And then this happend. He told me. Third person perspective, cold, distant and impassive like the rest of this book.
Summary: Undoubtedly a literary classic. Just not a very good one.