I have recently listened to the H.G. Wells collections advertised on audible which consists of 5 of Wells’ infamous novels. Let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised. I am not somebody who, when deciding on books to read, instantly jumps at Science Fiction. In fact, SciFi is definitely down on the bottom of my list. But on saying that, there are a few of Wells’ novels that I’ve always wanted to read and I do own them, but I loved the idea of this collection, plus David Tennant narrates on of the novels, so that was an instant YES! The novels included are, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The First Men in the Moon, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. I had obviously heard of some more than others, but thought if I’m going to listen to one, then I’m going to dive in.
The War of the Worlds was the one I was most looking forward to out them all because that was the one I had heard the most about. How it had first been told over the radio and panic had been spread (which was another reason I wanted to listen to these through audiobook form). Also because I had seen the movies. I did enjoy this book, how it’s told in a first persons account and how the imaginary is so well put together. It surprised me how much I did enjoy it and it was for this reason I kept putting it off. I listened to part one and two in the same day, purposely doing things that required me listening to it, housework etc, or simply doing a sudoku so I could still listen. Plus David Tennant voice didn’t hurt.
The Time Machine was another one I had heard about, but I didn’t really know much about it, if I’m being honest. I liked that they changed voices for each novel, so it gave you a new jump to the story, instead of it felling like they all just run into each other. I loved this novel!!! I got through it in one sitting and I was disappointed by how short it was, as I could’ve carried on listening to it. Again, it’s written in a first person character perspective and that’s the style Wells seems to go with I was noticing. The main characters name, the time traveller, was never actually said in this book, he was just referred to as “Mr..” unless I missed it, which was interesting
The First Men in the Moon was one that I knew nothing about what so ever before going into it and probably because of this, it took be a little by surprise. I did enjoy this book, and there was definitely a well known style that I was recognising with Wells, but I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the other two. I don’t know why, but I’m more likely to forget this one, and had to double check on Goodreads what my review was. It could’ve been me at the time, listening to SciFi after SciFi, I could’ve just not clicked with that particular narrator or it could’ve just been this particular novel.
The Invisible Man seemed a little different to some of Wells’ other works, in regards to his writing style. This one took on the perspective of multiple character perspective, although only one at a time and he never went back to that character. This one I think he needed to, in order to grasp the story of The Invisible Man, because how else would he do so. I did enjoy this one, it was different and it’s strange how it all came together. I had a rough idea with this book and I had people telling me and talking to me about it, so I went into this one with a little bit of expectation.
The Island of Doctor Moreau is another one I had never heard about but this one surprised me the most. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I got so much more. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and it had this dark aspect to it, which became even darker when you’ve got someone else reading it to you. Maybe I enjoyed this one lot more because of that aspect, as it wasn’t just screaming SciFi out at me, but whatever it was I did enjoy it.
All five of the novels that are included in the H.G. Wells collection are all different to each other and you can see why Wells has become such a stable within the Science Fiction world. These novels were written such a long time ago and they still hold up in the world today, and clearly can be read and enjoyed by anyone, including those reader who are not the biggest lovers of Science Fiction. What I loved and I wished that audible and other audiobook sites did a lot more is how each new novel had a new narrator, that way each novel is fresh and is clear. Even if it’s possibly alternated. There’s a clear writing style when it comes to Wells’ work and writing style, which works for his novels. After reading these novels, I’m definitely going to read some more Science Fiction, although I’m always open to read/listen to new books of any kind and genre. But honestly, this experience has just opened my eyes even more.
What books have changed your options and opened your eyes?