The War Of The Worlds

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The story is told in the first person by a writer. In 1985 astronomers notice ten puffs of smoke coming from the side of the planet. As they later discover, these explosions are ten missiles which are fired off at the earth. The planet is older than the earth and so the colling process is more advanced, the inhabitants therefore have to find another planet in order to escape destruction. The first falling star lands near Woking, outside London, and makes an enormous pit in the earth with it s impact. It has the shape of a huge cylinder. Ogilvy, an astronomer, goes to the pit and notices, that the circular top of the still hot cylinder is beginning to unscrew and he knows that something alive is inside. As the story of the projectile is written in the newspapers, a crowd of curious people collects round the pit. A man, who descends into the pit, is killed by a strange creature that is looking out of the lid of the cylinder. This creature has got a huge head-body, about four feet, with a face in front and round the mouth are sixteen whip-like tentacles. The onlookers run away quickly and after these events a deputation with a white flag goes forward to communicate with the Martians, they are killed by a heat ray of the Martian and all the countryside around is ablaze. In London, they don t take the Martian invasion seriously. In the following hours the sound of hammering can be heard from the pit and at about midnight, the second cylinder lands near Woking. The army is organised and they fight the cylinder and the writer and his wife, who where sitting in their house first, hire a dogcar and escape to Leatherhead when they hear the sounds firing and see all the houses collapsing. He leaves his wife with his cousin in Letherhead and drives back to Woking at night. A thunderstorm is beginning and he sees the third falling star. He then sees the Martians advancing in their Fighting Machines. These are monstruous tripods, walking engines of glittering metal with long flexible tentacles and a kind of arm which carries a metallic case from which comes the Heat-Ray. They go striding over the country howling and hooting to each other. The writer s cart is overturned and his horse killed, but he escapes and continues to his house. While hiding there he is joined by an artilleryman whose regiment has been wiped out. The next day the writer tries to go to Leatherhead to join his wife, but the railways have been destroyed and the roads are filled with refugees. Near the Thames he is involved into a battle between the army and the Martians and the writer is nearly killed, but he manages to escape. At the battle one of the tripods is destroyed by a shell. More cylinders land and the Martians are busy transferring everything from them to the original pit in Horsell Common. Here they prepare their next attack. After this battle at the Thames he meets a curate while he is resting under a hedge. This clergyman is a very hysterical man who believes that the end of ...

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