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Appropriateness of The War of the Worlds


Embassy
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I haven't read the book The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. My son is begging to read it. I have read another H. G. Wells book and it was not suitable for an 8 year old due to the cursing and violence. Can anyone tell me if The War of the Worlds has material that would be objectionable to an 8 year old? If he does read it I would read it along with him, but I don't have time to preread it right now.

 

Thanks!

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We didn't read it, rather, a year or two ago, checked out an audio copy from the library; it was a copy of the original broadcast. It was a bit scary at times, but fun! I don't remember any cursing/swearing in it, just that it could be intimidating for younger ears, but that depends on your child too.

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I can't imagine an 8yo reading the whole thing. I read it long ago and don't remember any vular language.

 

Here's an excerpt:

 

Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance. The peculiar V-shaped mouth with its pointed upper lip, the absence of brow ridges, the absence of a chin beneath the wedgelike lower lip, the incessant quivering of this mouth, the Gorgon groups of tentacles, the tumultuous breathing of the lungs in a strange atmosphere, the evident heaviness and painfulness of movement due to the greater gravitational energy of the earth—above all, the extraordinary intensity of the immense eyes--were at once vital, intense, inhuman, crippled and monstrous. There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty. Even at this first encounter, this first glimpse, I was overcome with disgust and dread.

 

Suddenly the monster vanished. It had toppled over the brim of the cylinder and fallen into the pit, with a thud like the fall of a great mass of eather. I heard it give a peculiar thick cry, and forthwith another of these creatures appeared darkly in the deep shadow of the aperture.

 

I turned and, running madly, made for the first group of trees, perhaps a hundred yards away; but I ran slantingly and stumbling, for I could not avert my face from these things.

 

There, among some young pine trees and furze bushes, I stopped, panting, and waited further developments. The common round the sand pits was dotted with people, standing like myself in a half-fascinated terror, staring at these creatures, or rather at the heaped gravel at the edge of the pit in which they lay. And then, with a renewed horror, I saw a round, black object bobbing up and down on the edge of the pit. It was the head of the shopman who had fallen in, but showing as a little black object against the hot western sun. Now he got his shoulder and knee up, and again he seemed to slip back until only his head was visible. Suddenly he vanished, and I could have fancied a faint shriek had reached me. I had a momentary impulse to go back and help him that my fears overruled.

 

Edited by Ellie
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I read it with my (then) 8yo last year. There are a fair number of burned bodies, occasionally described in an emotionally wrenching manner, and an annoying companion of the narrator meets a brutal end. It's not a novel I would share with most 8yo's, though I don't regret reading it with DD the Elder. If given my druthers, it's a novel I would save until discussing the British Empire, as the novel is an effective condemnation of Britain's appalling conduct in Tasmania.

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Thanks for your help! Think we will wait a couple years on that book. Now he is looking at The Mysterious Island by Verne. I'm guessing that one will be fine.
Yes, but only after 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. :) I particularly like the Wesleyan edition of Mysterious Island. It's one of only two unabridged translations, but it is larger than editions of the other translation and the picture quality is better. All of the original illustrations are included. Edited by nmoira
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Yes, but only after 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. :) I particularly like the Wesleyan edition of Mysterious Island. It's one of only two unabridged translations, but it is larger than editions of the other translation and the picture quality is better. All of the original illustrations are included.

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll see if my library has that one. He finished 20,000 Leagues under the Sea earlier this school year so it sounds like it would be a good fit.

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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll see if my library has that one.
If not, Stump is also a good translation, and is unabridged.
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Thanks for your help! Think we will wait a couple years on that book. Now he is looking at The Mysterious Island by Verne. I'm guessing that one will be fine.

I liked that one less than I liked WOTW. The "science" was crazy off, there was racism, sometimes the verbage was...I don't even have words to describe it. I prefer the 60s movie adaptaton, lol.

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I liked that one less than I liked WOTW. The "science" was crazy off, there was racism, sometimes the verbage was...I don't even have words to describe it. I prefer the 60s movie adaptaton, lol.
Mysterious Island has probably suffered at the hands of translators more than any other work by Verne, and that's saying something.
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