The first classic I picked up for the 2015 Classic Challenge was picked with another classic in mind. I read The Time Machine in sixth grade and was thinking how I enjoyed it but how little I remembered of the classic. I decided it would be better to read something I hadn’t read before so instead of a repeat in the classic category I would stay with the author. The War of the World by H.G. Wells is a classic that has created a rememberable radio show and epic movies but as any creative work they are nothing like the book.
I was surprise when I learned this novel is a sharp satire about British Imperialism. There is a comparison Wells makes about not judging the Martians to harshly and remember how ruthless our own species have been. He mentions, “The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants.” It is a theme that never goes away. It will always remain a classic. It is surprising that a novel label Science fiction a hundred years ago now reads stockily realistic. Much of the Martian’s science, Heat Rays and Gas, that destroys Victoria England seem very real reading today.
If you decide to pick up this classic don’t expect an action sequence every few pages. Action is few and far between the narrator questioning the human race and the self.