Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The War of the Worlds

My kids have been finishing up their summer reading/assignments and one novel was a real bear: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. The style in which it was written, the vocabulary, and the subject matter – Martians invading planet Earth – made it a tough read for one of my kids. So I decided I’d do a sympathy read, just in case she had trouble with her written assignment and needed someone to talk it out with.

I was always fascinated by the Orsen Welles radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds and as a kid I loved watching the 1953 movie with my mother. So even though I was up for the challenge of reading the novel, I thought it might be a dry sci-fi read. I was a bit apprehensive about committing to it but you know, the things we do for our kids, etc, etc.

She completed the assignment not long after I started the book (yay for J!). However, I wanted to soften her negative reaction to it so I decided to keep reading. And guess what? It's great so far! I'm only on Chapter 8 but I love it. She thinks I'm absolutely crazy for reading it voluntarily, but every now and then she'll ask, "What part are you on?"
Heh, heh.

I told her to just wait 'til tomorrow - me and her and a big bowl of popcorn.
Movie night - 1953 version.
Oh, yeah!

Here's the trailer. Woot!

Has anyone read Wells's novel? And has anyone seen the updated 2005 Tom Cruise adaption? When it first came out, I couldn't bring myself to watch it for fear it might taint my memories of the earlier film. Weird, I know. But if it's good I might check it out.


  1. I much preferred the book to any of the movies, especially the most recent version. My grandmother was listening to the Orson Wells radio show and was one of the people who thought it was real. Scared the crap out of her. =D

  2. I'm so glad to hear that, Donna. I was such a fan of the original film that I thought I might not like the book. And holy moly! I bet your grandmother had a great story to tell about her listening experience!

  3. The Tom Cruise film is awesome! Probably the best film I have ever seen him in. The city destruction scenes are breathtaking - but I don't know how faithful it is to the original because I've never read it.

  4. I've seen the new one. It's pretty good.

  5. I haven't read it--just watch the Cruise movie version. I'll have to remedy that! :)

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  6. I've seen both films but never read the book.

  7. Whoa! I'm pleasantly surprised at all the positive feedback on the Cruise version. Maybe we'll do a back to back comparison this weekend! All War of the Worlds all weekend. My daughter might kill me, heh.

    @Donna - From what I've read of the film it's very different from the book and I think original film is closer to the book.

    In the movie, Cruise is a divorced Dad transporting his children to his ex for a weekend visit when the aliens land (or attack?). In the book, the unnamed narrator is married with no children and he observes the Martian ship landing and (at this point in the novel) sends his wife away to stay with relatives. Also the settings are different. In the novel, the Martians land south of London; in the films they're after us Yanks ;)

  8. @Matt - I think I'll definitely check out the 2005 film. Thanks for the feedback.

    @Angela - So far I'm enjoying the novel. It's split into two sections. My daughter thought the second half was tougher to get through so we'll see if my opinion is the same when I get there.

    @L.Diane - I'm curious as to which film you like more.

  9. Great post! I love that version. Haven't seen it in a few years. That was high tech stuff back then. I actually gave mention of Wells and what people in the 1950s thought of this kind of stuff. I'm glad I stopped by today and said hello.

  10. Psst You'll want to check my blog tomorrow ...

  11. Hi Stephen and welcome! I'm looking forward to your query critique at Matt's.

    @Donna - Oo, I'm intrigued!

  12. Hi Suzie,

    I haven't read Well's book--and wonder if I would do so to encourage my own kid?! You are a great Mom!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog today. I appreciate your support.