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Extended Audio Sample The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: H. G. Wells Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9781400182848
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First published by H. G. Wells in 1898, The War of the Worlds is the granddaddy of all alien invasion stories. The novel begins ominously, as the lone voice of a narrator intones, “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s.”

Things then progress from a series of seemingly mundane reports about odd atmospheric disturbances taking place on Mars to the arrival of Martians just outside of London. At first, the Martians seem laughable, hardly able to move in Earth’s comparatively heavy gravity, even enough to raise themselves out of the pit created when their spaceship landed. But soon the Martians reveal their true nature as death machines one hundred feet tall rise up from the pit and begin laying waste to the surrounding land. Wells quickly moves the story from the countryside to the evacuation of London itself and the loss of all hope as England’s military suffers defeat after defeat. With horror, the narrator describes how the Martians suck the blood from living humans for sustenance and how it’s clear that man is not being conquered so much as corralled.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aries | 2/20/2014

    " Un classico ancora splendidamente leggibile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brandon | 2/20/2014

    " Another classic read. It was a little slow and spent time on what felt like unnecessary minutia, but was still an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Whisper19 | 2/16/2014

    " I still don't like the "bacteria killed them" ending. but it is a good book :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 2/9/2014

    " I had high hopes for this book, but it read like an academic report and I struggled to get past even the first 100 pages. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tabatha | 2/8/2014

    " I was expecting this book to be far more exciting. At first I felt intrigued by the descriptions of the aliens space ship when they arrive, but during the majority of the book I felt rather bored, and it felt like not a lot happened. If I got nothing else from this book, I added a few more words to my vocabulary. If you're interested in Sci-fi classics, it's worth a read, especially if you don't mind expanding your vocabulary. Other than that, it's not much of a read in my opinion. Don't expect it to be anything like the movie, because it's far different. I preferred the movie version. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karyssa | 2/7/2014

    " This book, though the premise was interesting, was a tad boring. It took me multiple tries to get through the first few chapters. It wasn't that I couldn't comprehend it; I was just extremely bored. Now, I did get more interested as it went on, such as at the beginning of Book 2 when the narrator and the curate get trapped. Speaking of the narrator, I did sort of enjoy that none of the key characters were actually named. It added a vagueness, which in turn added a disconnected sense of creepiness for me, which I did actually enjoy. Overall, the book was good. It had a great premise and plot. However, I didn't enjoy the flow of the story, so it only deserves 3 out of 5 stars from me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pedro | 2/7/2014

    " de los mejores libros de ciencia ficcion "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jewelee O'Neal | 2/6/2014

    " Great book! H.G. Wells was way ahead of his time. Heat rays (lasers) back in 1890's? Wow! He thought of these things, but he was vague with the descriptions of how any of it worked, so he wasn't an inventor, but he had a very active imagination. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky Thomasson | 2/6/2014

    " After seeing the musical a few nights ago I became desperate to read the book. I enjoyed it so much and I could not put it down. It was terrifying and exciting and I found myself on edge the whole way through the book. As the case a lot of the time, the book is far better than the film! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher | 2/5/2014

    " Read a long, long time ago. While in the 7th grade I think. I always have liked sci-fi. Don't remember much now though. I do remember big tri-pod things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/4/2014

    " Read it after the movie came out and was blown away by how different they were. Good book but may be a bit challenging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Hall | 2/3/2014

    " The seminal science fiction invasion story. Reads like a genuine first hand account. Wells' draws you in with his ability to set a scene and leaves just enough to the imagination that you can make yourself believe you are there. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lee-Anna West | 1/29/2014

    " Didn't exactly enjoy this book. I thought it was very repetitive in its events. The only thing I really enjoyed was the image of the aliens. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katelyn Strong | 1/28/2014

    " This was a good book, I would have liked it more if it wasn't an assigned reading book in literature class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh | 1/26/2014

    " It started out really slow and I didn't think I was going to like it. Once they got into the action of the invasion it was really good and exciting. I really liked it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 1/26/2014

    " In the nineteenth century, the sci-fi and fantasy genre was just being developed so I normally prefer ghost stories and romances from that period. But, this book is amazing! H.G. Wells was truly ahead of his time. I feel like it is not just because it is well-written, smart and classic but because of the setting and the world view. Reading modern historical fiction or futuristic utopian/dystopian fiction can be so tiresome sometimes. This book is refreshing for a modern reader to see the metaphor of the how the world power of the 1890's deals with being invaded by a mighter power. Even though everyone knows this story, the book is still shocking, exciting and very, very interesting. This book is easy to read in comparison to other books from this time period and I recommend it to anyone who loves sci-fi and the human condition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Saadiq | 1/25/2014

    " Imagine you're a young guy who lives in the English countryside who recently witnessed a meteor crashed near an astronomical observatory. Also imagine that you realized the meteor was in fact an alien ship filled with monstrous Martians who begin to attack the people surrounding the crater with heat rays. The Martians assemble the machinery, while you escort your wife to safety. You then see that the Martians have assembled Tripods, and are starting to destroy whatever is in their path. You try to escape and meet various people on your way. In the end you offer your life to the Martians, until they start to die due to bacterial infection. Once the invasion ends, you try to come to terms of the events that unfolded just moments ago. This is what the War of the Worlds is, and I can say that it is an exciting and thrilling read tied in to science and is subject to a variety of interpretations. It is a classic in the invasion literature genre and in science fiction in general. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Russell | 1/22/2014

    " Lagged a little in the middle, but still a fantastic read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lmack18 | 1/22/2014

    " This book with its ahead of the time futurist writing, make a fluid and must read for anyone into sic-fi. This book can be boring at some points but overall is worth it and it was definitely hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Roberts-waite | 1/18/2014

    " the first tale of alien invasion, with possibly the most ingenious ending of any book in the genre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leanne | 1/18/2014

    " Fast paced, philosophical and above all modern! Exciting story, thrilling from the first page and surprising end. Love it when literature reads like this! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhi | 1/16/2014

    " I really liked the way the Martians were "defeated" - aspects like that, as well as the discussion of how gravity would affect them, were nice touches. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 BethMarch | 1/15/2014

    " Boring at times but ok. I guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicky Thomasson | 1/14/2014

    " After seeing the musical a few nights ago I became desperate to read the book. I enjoyed it so much and I could not put it down. It was terrifying and exciting and I found myself on edge the whole way through the book. As the case a lot of the time, the book is far better than the film! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 1/12/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. I had never read H.G. Wells before, but I watched the original movie as a child. I thought the movie was close to the book and it was interesting to compare the original text to the first film. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants insight into human reaction to appcolyptic situtations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn Fairweather | 1/12/2014

    " The War of the Worlds accomplishes exactly what I feel Wells wanted it to...to cause the reader to think. So begins the modern day SciFi era. Many folks when they think of the SciFi genre, they quickly imagine horrible costumes and props ala Ed Wood or cult followings such as Trekies. In my eyes SciFi and its closely tied in relative of the Twilight Zone manufacture a thinking process that modern life simply cannot. What would you do in this situation? Have you ever thought about this? What if everything I know is wrong? Wells touchs on his time periods newly created fear of the unknown from outside the Earths atmosphere. While doing this, he portrays his story in two books, the first shows how he predicts mankind to act upon an invasion and shows how utterly unprepared he felt we are. Rational though is thrown out the window and we soon rely on panic and hopefully ingrown survival techniques. While the second book focuses more on the martians and what their landing on Earth has caused both through destruction and landing results. In todays terms, replace martians with zombies and the ever popular Zombie apocalypse made famous by George Romero and the similarites are amazing. When reading or watching these tales, think past the special effects and make up as well as the paper thin story line and pay closer attention to the slightly hidden lessons to be learned and concepts to be concerned about because they are not as hard to pick up as one may think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon Waller | 1/8/2014

    " Tried reading this 30 yrs ago but I found it pretty difficult with the period English, so I had another go and I've now finished reading it.A Sci-Fi classic and it shows that H.G Wells was ahead of his time along with J. Verne "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaina | 1/2/2014

    " The first half of the book is hard to get through. But the second half makes it worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen Richards | 1/1/2014

    " My favourite sci-fi book of all time, and only second to To Kill A Mockingbird. One of my dreams is to see a period-accurate film adaptation, but I doubt it would ever match up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda Ramos | 1/1/2014

    " It took some time for me to get in this book but it made me realize how mankind takes for granted the luxuries we are awarded. Life is precious and we must all continue to realise we may not take for granted the power of the unknown. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Shilstone | 12/30/2013

    " H. G. invades Earth via Mars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/26/2013

    " Wells is amazing. His imagination and description of an invasion from Mars is quite believable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 12/25/2013

    " Finally heard the original. Wish I had read it decades ago. The book is so much better than the films that have attempted to bring this classic to life. Mr. Wells' social commentary is definitely lost in the screen adaptations. A must read/listen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Puja | 12/25/2013

    " Rian found the original Orson Welles radio broadcast on audible (for very cheap!) and it was amazing. The performances and drama were fantastic, and really made me appreciate a good radio performance. I'll be curious to see how the original compares. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon Chater | 12/22/2013

    " Not my favourite Wells book, but still a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Wood | 12/21/2013

    " This classic by H. G. Wells offers a unique description of a Martian invasion with some interesting twists. It is a fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 12/17/2013

    " This book is a classic of course and well deserving. Wells does a great job of describing the Martians and even a hundred years later you can see them as terrifying creatures. Of course some of the theories no longer hold up thanks to modern rover visits to Mars, but still a good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Priya | 12/12/2013

    " I don't always enjoy science fiction, but I do love the way H. G. Wells writes. This book is great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Randi | 12/5/2013

    " English is not my native language which made this a bit hard to read due to it's more old english. But the book was very goodand if it was not for some words i would have been gone from this world into the book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy Burch | 11/30/2013

    " Classic Reading! This is the height of storytelling mastery. Screw Tom Cruise!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johnny | 11/29/2013

    " It's a classic, what else is there to say! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stacy | 11/20/2013

    " Maybe it was because I was listening to the audiobook, but I found this to be extremely boring. It was like torture every time I got into the car to drive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gord McLeod | 11/18/2013

    " Such a huge difference between this radio production and what I think of as a "traditional" audiobook. Love the cast and all the sound effects. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Collin | 10/31/2013

    " I read this book in 7th grade, and I still remember the way I though of the tripod and the rows or British houses destroyed in the battle. A true classic that I plan on rereading soon! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 10/23/2013

    " I was reading another book at the same time as this one, so this book was drawn out longer than it should have been. Once finishing the book, I have an appreciation for the story more than when I was reading it. It was slow in parts. I enjoyed the concept and idea though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Long Williams | 10/20/2013

    " Love it. SciFi classic in every way with a plausible ending. Just ask any astrobiologist. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rosemary | 9/21/2013

    " I am not a sci-fi kind of person but it is a classic so I gave it a try. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 9/13/2013

    " I enjoyed it, and I'm not big into sci-fi, aliens, or end of the world stuff. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Wood | 9/1/2013

    " This classic by H. G. Wells offers a unique description of a Martian invasion with some interesting twists. It is a fun read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon | 8/4/2013

    " Chilling and suprisingly gritty. Definately holds up in our day and age. Wells is the godfather of modern science fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 7/15/2013

    " An old standard. (I'm reading more of those of late) It's still a good read. I love HG Wells "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 6/25/2013

    " LOVED it! Science-fiction at it's best. Wished more of his work was like this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Henderson | 6/7/2013

    " Not what I was expecting at all, found it difficult to keep reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steph | 5/10/2013

    " Audiobook. Didn't like the narrator very much: James Spencer. Rather monotone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan E | 1/20/2013

    " An interesting view on what would happen if aliens came to England from Mars. Some interesting science fiction mixed in with what we know man is capable of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rik | 12/19/2012

    " A classic, unspoilt by the passage of time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ardis | 12/17/2012

    " I found this book a difficult read and I never did warm up to the characters. A shame because I wanted to read the Time Machine too but I think not...to much time versus pleasure quotient. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher Roberts | 12/9/2012

    " The original alien invasion novel. What is not to like? It made quite an impression when I read it as a kid. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 11/14/2012

    " Loved it! The writing made it really easy to imagine yourself living in the late Victorian era with the martians invading. It was particularly interesting noting the different way the information dispersed considering the lack of communication that existed compared to nowadays. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich | 11/10/2012

    " I had never read this... it was good! You should read it too! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shala | 10/7/2012

    " This book stands out in my mind as the biggest disappointment EVER. I can't think of another book I tried so hard to love but couldn't.. I even tried the audio and was bored to tears. I gave it my all and still don't like it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremiah Depta | 7/19/2012

    " It was good. I always suggest reading the source before embarking on the four million modern versions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 6/25/2012

    " The original (now classic) form of aliens taking over the earth. Brilliant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 اویس | 6/6/2012

    " made me realize just how fragile humans and their civilization really is.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monty | 5/21/2012

    " One of the all time great sci-fi classics. The best ever written "Mars Invades the Earth" genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Bandoian | 5/9/2012

    " Grim and gripping with a brilliant twist, there are no adaptations that surpass the original. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaina | 3/31/2012

    " The first half of the book is hard to get through. But the second half makes it worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jana | 1/29/2012

    " I can't believe I managed to reach this age without having already read this book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Hennessy | 1/9/2012

    " I read this in Junior High, and it made an impact on me, a story so complex and so simple at the same time. It is far superior to any movie rendition thus far. A great, enjoyable read for any science fiction fan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 1/5/2012

    " A classic, what more to say? Independence Day, if we had no technology or Bill Pullman. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sara | 12/26/2011

    " Found this very difficult to read. It never caught or held my attention. I am not sure if it was the way the book was written or the content. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua Duckart | 11/1/2011

    " I love this book. It's a fantastic work of imagination. For those who question it's relevance or realism, it is a sci-fi story, which was written in 1898. It's revolutionary! And, honestly, it's the most badass love story ever written, and an intriguing look into human behaviour. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Collin | 10/6/2011

    " I read this book in 7th grade, and I still remember the way I though of the tripod and the rows or British houses destroyed in the battle. A true classic that I plan on rereading soon! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katelyn Strong | 7/24/2011

    " This was a good book, I would have liked it more if it wasn't an assigned reading book in literature class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JusAnotherGirl*~*ThisBeatUpWorld | 6/29/2011

    " This book was ok.Not the best you know. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 6/3/2011

    " A very simple start to the whole Sci-fi genre. (Free e-book from B&N) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 5/21/2011

    " An interesting read though perhaps Wells' vision of the future is somewhat dated as our society moves farther away from the manufacturing of the Industrial age and more to the service and computers of the Information Age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremiah | 5/20/2011

    " Enjoyed this one alot, going to have the watch the movie too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 5/17/2011

    " Love the constant allegory of the destruction that mankind brought about on itself, and the terrible wrath that it played out on us through the ages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/16/2011

    " The most unique view into mankind's history I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elaine Maddox | 5/14/2011

    " I am reading it, I am enjoying it, this is my first HG Wells read. The language is antiquated, it might bother some, but it is interesting enough that I have downloaded War of the Worlds to also read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 5/13/2011

    " A fast but interesting read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ninad | 5/9/2011

    " Fascinating. dont have any words... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 G.l. | 5/8/2011

    " Where would Sci-Fi be without this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 5/7/2011

    " It's been ages since I last read this. The original would be a tough read for some of my students because of the outdated British language, but the plot fascinates, as ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sidharth | 5/6/2011

    " I read and honestly I was not able to visualise all that he wrote whatever i was able to for that I am happy that i read this one "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Demerzel | 5/4/2011

    " I'm sorry, I know this is an ancient book and the idea must have been quite an innovation back then (and I applaud Wells for it), but for a person who chooses to read it two centuries later, this book was just.. meh. Disliked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LuckyCharmer | 5/4/2011

    " Good, but a little too wordy... still good though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/2/2011

    " Finally got around to this one, and very glad I did. Prompted immediate acquisition of additional works by Wells, I so thoroughly enjoyed it. Fast read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ella Brooke | 5/2/2011

    " I liked the anthropological tone of the narrator describing the future races. It's definitely a product of the 1800's and was very similar to the ethnologies of the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christy | 4/29/2011

    " Loved this book! So freaky and scary even a hundred years after it was written. Will read again! "

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