“No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the time less worlds of space…”
It doesn’t really matter what part of Jeff Wayne’s musical masterpiece The War of the Worlds I hear – these days it’s usually only snippets – but this quote, the opening line of both the musical and the original book by H. G. Wells, will always cross my mind, leaving me with an overwhelming desire to just sit and listen to this fabulous music.
I can’t describe why I love it like I do. It’s something that is in a completely different world than anything else that I have ever listened to. The music, the dialogue, and the singing – they evoke so completely the imaginative part of my brain.
The War of the Worlds is a musical that I have loved since as early as I can remember – which sounds particularly old considering I am only 22 – it’s something that I used to study to – especially, I have fond memories of being in school during our second year of A Levels and having to crank out some Religious Studies coursework in the course of about a week due to a change in the way we were doing the exams. It was a good class – only four of us – but this was cool. We were in the computer room that joined to the classroom, and after an intense War of the Worlds session we ended up listening to Dark Side of the Moon. How more awesome can doing Religious Studies coursework be?
It wasn’t until university that I actually read the original book. I wasn’t sure if I would get along with H. G. Wells’ writing style, but like the musical, this book transported me to a completely different universe [and to other books by Wells that I just didn’t expect to like, let alone love] – albeit parts of the book were interlaced with the music in my head as I read on. I didn’t actually expect the ending of both the book and the musical to be different, I had always assumed that they would have been the same – one just set to music. I suppose, if you think about it, it’s an awesome audiobook – could you imagine something like Harry Potter being put to music in that manner?
I had thought that I had previously written about War of the Worlds on my blog, but apparently not.
The image on the right is the image from H. G. Wells’ Wikipedia page. It’s the official Wells, I would guess, because it’s wiki and it’s the source of most information these days, however, I generally think that he should like this:
So why is this? Perhaps it’s because I’m a little obsessed with Lois and Clark at the moment, but more than that, this was the incarnation of the author that I had ever seen – and he looks… well grandfather-ly, and warm, and genuine. The real Wells looks a little stoic… but perhaps that’s the socialist in him, but regardless of this small fancy, Wells created more than just a world full of invading aliens [just what would he think of Superman?] he enabled the creation of Jeff Wayne’s musical wonder… which leads me back to Wells in the first place. Nothing like circles to confuse.
Finally, for those of you who are interested in reading the book there are electronic versions, free to find on the interweb, such as here?
I think I’ll leave it there today. Are you impressed that I even put pictures in this blog? :)