Four classic science-fiction stories: 20 hours of great listening. This collection of classic Wells tales includes The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, The War of The Worlds, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
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Good heavens! Don't believe the other reviewers about the narration. Alan Munro is by far the best of the three, I love his accent. Give me more of him. The narrator for Dr. Moreau and the Invisible Man was the same, but I saw his narrating style as being quaint and adequate for the time period. George Eustice's narration of War of the Worlds was totally within reason, and yes, there were some weird noises in the background. But hey, twenty hours of a great science fiction writer like H. G. Wells, gimme a break! WELL WORTH THE PRICE, PEOPLE! WELL WORTH THE PRICE.
H. G,. Wells is a notable author. I have been familiar with his work since Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man. War of the Worlds in 1956 was one of the scariest movies my child's mind ever grasped - scared the hell out of me for weeks! I was not familiar with the Dr. Moreau piece, except in a peripheral sort of way as I am not a fan of horror films, so I can't comment too much on that. As a matter of fact, I glossed it over for the next book. Maybe I'll go back to it one day. Now the Time Machine with Rod (What's his name) was a great flick, and until I read this collection, I was not aware of how closely the film followed the book.
Now for the big reveal. All of the film versions that I remember were updated adaptations of the original work. The Invisible Man? I had no idea that the main character was so demoralized by his self-induced fate that he decides to take it out on the entire world. He turned out to be Lex Luthor, for God's sake. Mean just to be mean. What an eye opener. He seemed harmless enough in the Abbott and Costello movie, and I left it at that. But Wells shows through excellent character development how this man (told in first person) begins to deteriorate slowly as he desperately tries to figure out what he did to get in that state in the first place. Wells was a writer of contemporary fiction a la 1890s, and the descriptions he gives of the environment and the people who come across the invisible man are sensible for the 19th century and when placed in that context it was gripping, to say the least.
War of the Worlds is another story that has been corrupted over the last century. Although 1956s version is FAR superior to the more modern costly digital disaster, neither of them puts the story in its time perspective. London - 1895. Horses and carts, No huge buildings, largely an agrarian population, and the ability to stand on a hill and look over the city. The descriptive passages were amazing. I felt the angst of this man as he struggles, along with everyone else, to figure out what the hell is going on. Instantly, the entire city is in turmoil, with no relief in sight. Although we know the ending, the narration of the desperate lengths the main character goes through, the descriptions of the bodies left everywhere, dogs chewing at corpses, people fighting and robbing each other for anything and everything, and this man doesn't know what has happened to his wife. No film version can adequately depict the two weeks that he hid in the collapsed cottage, with the Martians at arm's length just outside the rubble.
Lastly, the Time Machine was perfect. The film version was faithful, but the story fleshes out the character and the environment so much better. Can you imagine? Science fiction in the 19th century?
Let me say this. I have bought some low-budget books in my time that I was immensely gratified to have made such a little dent in my pocketbook. They were garbage. At the same time, I have paid the member price for other books that I would have happily ripped to shreds they were so bad. But once in a while, something comes along that makes it all better. This collection of H. G. Wells classics is one of those.