H. G. Wells, the third son of a small shopkeeper, was born in Bromley in 1866. After two years' apprenticeship in a draper's shop, he became a pupil-teacher at Midhurst Grammar School and won a scholarship to study under T. H. Huxley at the Normal School of Science, South Kensington. He taught biology before becoming a professional writer and journalist. He wrote more than a hundred books, including novels, essays, histories and programmes for world regeneration. Wells, who rose from obscurity to world fame, had an emotionally and intellectually turbulent life. His prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction such as The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897) and The War of the Worlds (1898). Later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress, whose anticipations of a future world state include The Shape of Things to Come (1933). His controversial views on sexual equality and women's rights were expressed in the novels Ann Veronica (1909) and The New Machiavelli (1911). He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'. Wells drew on his own early struggles in many of his best novels, including Love and Mr Lewisham (1900), Kipps (1905), Tono-Bungay (1909) and The
Wells's classic sf story has been retold frequently since its original publication in 1898. It has also been updated several times, from Orson Welles's panic-inducing 1938 radio broadcast to the 2005 film starring Tom Cruise. This adaptation maintains the original setting and time period as aliens from Mars invade 19th-century England. Townspeople gather to look on, first in wonder and then in terror as the aliens destroy or devour everyone in their path. The story follows a nameless narrator who travels across the ravaged countryside searching for his wife and trying to survive what seems to be the end of humanity. Verdict Despite the prevalence of War versions available in various formats, graphic novels seem to be a rarity. The art here captures the mood well and lends an air of excitement to the narrative, whether depicting explosive moments of warfare or the tense stillness of the narrator hiding in abandoned buildings. The story is mature but not terribly graphic. Recommended for young adult readers, particularly those who claim to hate reading.-Peter Petruski, Cumberland Cty. Lib., Carlisle, PA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.