The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds

4.1 337
by H. G. Wells
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Kaplan guarantees that readers will improve their SAT score using guides—or get their money back.

Vocabulary is a critical part of studying for the SATs. Memorizing words that are written on flashcards can be difficult because they are not put in the context of a sentence. Kaplan’s SAT Score-Raising Classics make learning SAT vocabulary

…  See more details below

Overview


Kaplan guarantees that readers will improve their SAT score using guides—or get their money back.

Vocabulary is a critical part of studying for the SATs. Memorizing words that are written on flashcards can be difficult because they are not put in the context of a sentence. Kaplan’s SAT Score-Raising Classics make learning SAT vocabulary words easier and more enjoyable for students. Classic novels that are taught throughout high school can now be read while learning vocabulary words that frequently appear on the SAT exam.

Designed for easy use, these books feature the actual text on one side of the page, with the word definitions on the opposite side. In addition, the vocabulary words are in easy-to-spot bold typeface throughout.

Each Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic features:

  • The complete text of the classic novel
  • Hundreds of vocabulary words tested on the SAT exam
  • Definitions for each highlighted work on the facing page
  • A pronunciation guide
  • An index for easy reference

Kaplan’s SAT Score-Raising Classics series give readers get an invaluable learning tool and an enjoyable reading experience.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells's 1898 classic -- the first and still the definitive alien invasion story -- has been described by editor extraordinaire James Gunn as "not simply a novel but the beginning of a genre."

What is at first believed to be falling stars or harmless meteorites turns out to be cylindrical Martian ships filled with nightmarish, tentacled invaders and their robotic war machines. When curious Englanders come to inspect the massive containers imbedded in the still-smoking countryside, metallic appendages emerge from the pits to kill every living thing in their path with strange heat rays. Then as the surrounding townships slowly devolve into chaos, the Martians begin constructing giant tripod war machines to track down and kill -- or capture -- as many of the human "inferior animals" as possible. The nameless narrator, trapped in a house almost completely crushed by the impact of a starship, watches in horror as the seemingly unstoppable Martians build their mechanical armies, kill hundreds with poisonous gas -- and begin snacking on captured humans!

Wells has been called the father of modern science fiction for good reason. Landmark works like The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds are just as compelling and wildly entertaining today as they were more than a century ago. Fans and historians of the science fiction genre who have yet to read Wells's classic tale of Martian invasion should definitely add this title to their reading lists. Paul Goat Allen

From the Publisher
“The creations of Mr. Wells . . . belong unreservedly to an age and degree of scientific knowledge far removed from the present, though I will not say entirely beyond the limits of the possible.” —Jules Verne

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451687989
Publisher:
Atria Books
Publication date:
06/12/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
3,663
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Eve of the War

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 and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most, terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.

The planet Mars, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world. It must be, if the nebular hypothesis has any truth, older than our world; and longbefore this earth ceased to be molten, life upon its surface must have begun its course. The fact that it is scarcely one seventh of the volume of the earth must have accelerated its cooling to the temperature at which life could begin. It has air and water and all that is necessary for the support of animated existence.

Yet so vain is man and so blinded by his vanity, that no writer, up to the very end of the nineteenth century, expressed any idea that intelligent life might have developed there far, or indeed at all, beyond its earthly level. Nor was it generally understood that since Mars is older than our earth, with scarcely a quarter of the superficial area and remoter from the sun, it necessarily follows that it is not only more distant from life's beginning but nearer its end.

The secular cooling that must someday overtake our planet has already gone far indeed with our neighbor. Its physical condition is still largely a mystery, but we know now that even in its equatorial region the midday temperature barely approaches that of our coldest winter. Its air is much more attenuated than ours, its oceans have shrunk until they cover but a third of its surface, and as its slow seasons change huge snowcaps gather and melt about either pole and periodically inundate its temperate zones. That last stage of exhaustion, which to us is still incredibly remote, has become a present-day problem for the inhabitants of Mars. The immediate pressure of necessity has brightened their intellects, enlarged their powers, and hardened their hearts. And looking across space with instruments and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and gray with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.

And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that generation after generation creeps upon them.

And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

The Martians seem to have calculated their descent with amazing subtlety -- their mathematical learning is evidently far in excess of ours -- and to have carried out their preparations with a well-nigh perfect unanimity. Had our instruments permitted it, we might have seen the gathering trouble far back in the nineteenth century. Men like Schiaparelli watched the red planet -- it is odd, by-the-bye, that for countless centuries Mars has been the star of war -- but failed to interpret the fluctuating appearances of the markings they mapped so well. All that time the Martians must have been getting ready.

During the opposition of 1894 a great light was seen on the illuminated part of the disk, first at the Lick Observatory, then by Perrotin of Nice, and then by other observers. English readers heard of it first in the issue of Nature dated August 2. I am inclined to think that this blaze may have been the casting of the huge gun, in the vast pit sunk into their planet, from which their shots were fired at us. Peculiar markings, as yet unexplained, were seen near the site of that outbreak during the next two oppositions.

The War of the Worlds. Copyright © by H. Wells. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Read More

Meet the Author


H .G. Wells is considered by many to be the father of science fiction. He was the author of numerous classics such as The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The War of the Worlds, and many more.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 21, 1866
Date of Death:
August 13, 1946
Place of Birth:
Bromley, Kent, England
Place of Death:
London, England
Education:
Normal School of Science, London, England

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The War of the Worlds: A Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 337 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK! THIS IS THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK EVER. IF YOU LIKE THIS BOOK TRY THE TIME MACHINE IT'S BY THE SAME AUTHOR BY THE WAY.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wells did his job; the story captures you and keeps you interested. But the publisher didn't. This edition expressly deleted the footnotes; the British terms are not in the dictionary and there's nothing to help. I highly recommend the book; but I'd look for a different edition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this in 8th grade English class. Wonderful science fiction novel. Great description and use of vocabulary. Must read for everyone, especially sci-fi fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably my favorite of h.g. wells' books, the story and underlying message are both very powerful
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a classic alien story that I recommend 2 all readers :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am trying to find out if this book is good or not but i cant brcause the majority of these reveiws are people talking or roleplaying or whatever. Just stop!! If you are going to use this use it to write a reveiw on the book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a classic example of what real science fiction is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so old but great at the same time just like ender games i loved book and if u want me to lend ill be free to ps this book is awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book isnt like all classic literature it has its own completely diferent storyline for the time ir was written. It starts out slow but stick with it you will love it. If you like science fiction read immediately!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book, I am trying to read alot of the classic writers And I wanted to see how different the book was from the early movie version. I would recommend this book, for any one interested in Science Fiction.
TW35 More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. Interestingly different from the movies made based on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for all who enjoy a good dark story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reason the movie is different is because it takes place in the US wereas the book tales place in England
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so good so recomand if you like things that are not realstic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wells always does such a miraculous job allowing the reader to see into his characters mind and see the work through their eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still scary after all these years! A CLASSIC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally read it. One more classic down, thousands more to go. Not enough days in a lifetime!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always meant to read this before, I'm glad I got to read it on Nook now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really aswome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just bought the book for myself and i luuuuuuvvvvvvv it! I'm a teen so i think it will be great for advance teens like me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There have been so many re-tellings, both direct and indirect, of this story but it's fun to just sit back and enjoy the original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring and interesting at the same time!