Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Notes On The War Of The Worlds

There's a lot going on in this book- the invention of a SF trope, a critique of colonialism, a Swiftian satire on Man, a prophecy of the "total wars" of the 20th century, a settling of scores. 

I love the geographical exactitude. Wells pedalled round the Home Counties on his bicycle scouting locations. 

Take that, Woking!

Our narrator is a gentle, respectable, scholarly type- a model English gentleman of the kind we expect to front a late Victorian adventure story- but put him in a hole- where the rules of civilised behaviour no longer apply- and he turns into a beast- and ill-treats and murders his weaker companion. Wells pulls a similar trick in Tono-Bungay. 
 
I first read this in my early teens. It disturbed the fuck out of me. I could take Dostoevsky; I couldn't take Wells. I now see why.
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