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Wells, H.G. The war of the worlds.

WELLS, H.G. The war of the worlds. Read by Sean Barrett, 6 cds. 6.33 hrs. ISIS Audiobooks. 2006. 0-7531-2470-x. $64.95. Vinyl; plot notes. JSA

Herbert George Wells (1866-1946) was a writer ahead of his time. The War of the Worlds was inspired by an Italian astronomer who wrote of the "canali" he saw on Mars in 1894. The word was mistranslated as "'canals," suggesting manmade structures on the red planet. Wells combined his pessimism about human nature with uncanny prescience about future militaristic developments such as lasers, robots, and poison gas. Many will know the story from films and from the tale of the 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast that panicked America.

Narrator Barrett gives the novel a full-voiced reading, bringing to life the curate, the narrator's brother, female characters, and the artilleryman as well as the dying keen of the alien invaders. He captures perfectly the impassive delivery of the narrator of the invasion, a "writer of philosophy" who merely observes. This is a classic dark tale of slaughter, the uselessness of organized religion, the great gift of bacteria, and the thin veneer of civilization. Janet Julian, English Teacher (retired), Grafton, MA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Julian, Janet
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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