The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

The War of the Worlds book cover
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Critical Overview

(Novels for Students)

The War of the Worlds was published early in Wells’s career, at the tail of a string of successful novels that are still considered classics today: The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), and The Invisible Man (1897). Critics of the time were split between finding the book a marked improvement on his earlier works and a repeat of the same old formula. For instance, John St. Loe Strachey, in a review in the English magazine The Spectator, notes that “One reads and reads with an interest so unflagging that it is positively exhausting. The War of the Worlds stands, in fact, the final test of fiction. When one has taken it up, one cannot bear to put it down without a pang.” In addition, an unsigned review in the American publication The Critic concludes that “The author has written an ingenious and original work. . . . The book has the tone of intense modernity, with notes of convincing realism and morbid horror.” Academy starts its review with “Mr. Wells has done...

(The entire section is 352 words.)