The War of the Worlds : from H.G. Wells to Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, Jeff Wayne and beyond

Beck, Peter J. (2016) The War of the Worlds : from H.G. Wells to Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, Jeff Wayne and beyond. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. 498p. ISBN 9781474229883

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The War of the Worlds proved instrumental in forging H.G. Wells’s reputation as a new young writer making his way and mark in the challenging literary world with a series of scientific romances. The War of the Worlds, a pathbreaking alien invasion novel, highlights Wells’s role in conceiving and exploring what came to represent the central themes of science fiction. Its enduring appeal to readers has proved a function of Wells’s skills as a magician, an illusionist, capable of encouraging audiences to suspend their disbelief by mixing doses of fantasy with substantial portions of real life. The War of the Worlds possesses a strong sense of time and place centred upon late Victorian Surrey and London. Yet the storyline, touching upon omnipresent themes like imperialism, war, and the impact of science and technology, has proved extremely adaptable. Thus, over time it has been adapted for a wide range of audio-visual and literary formats retelling Wells’s original story to suit the prevailing moods of the day and the geographical locations of the target audience. Within this context, this book provides a biography of The War of the Worlds as a book, and particularly its extremely successful afterlife, with particular reference to the Hollywood films of George Pal (1953) and Steven Spielberg (2005), Jeff Wayne’s music show, and Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast.

Item Type: Book
Research Area: English language and literature
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Peter Beck
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2016 10:28
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2017 08:27

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