Orson Welles' 1938 radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds has done much to obscure the original work. Written at the turn of the 19th century, before "science fiction" existed as a genre, H.G. Wells' creation was a new departure in literature. The author's deep devotion to social reform led him to use the idea of an extraterrestrial invasion to theorize about a possible violent upheaval in society - instead of "Martians" think "Bolsheviks." Wells' book is a social prophecy, and doubtless that humanistic concern contributed to it becoming one of the seminal classics of science fiction.More
Alexander Spencer performs H.G. Wells's nineteenth-century science-fiction classic with precise, well-calculated pacing. At first, when the sighting of a meteor shower over London is reported, Spencer’s delivery is deliberate, matter-of-fact, and measured, but as the story progresses and the terror of the alien invasion grows, his account becomes appropriately intense. Spencer narrates descriptions of the Martians, their destructive, deadly weapons, and their unspeakable acts with growing horror. As the truth of what the invaders have in mind dawns on the speaker, Spencer becomes breathless, his voice rising in pitch and volume. Spencer’s spot-on storytelling skills enhance Wells’s tale of intergalactic devastation and chaos.
"To bring an entire novel to life without any dull spots is quite an achievement.¿" (Science Fiction Review)
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Brilliant, tight and prescient.
A measured but emotional reading
- Tad Davis