genre: science fiction
I had a vague sense of what this book was about - the classic story of man versus aliens. But I didn't know who won in the end and I had no idea that it was so...deep.
Our unnamed narrator is living a serene life in the British countryside when the arrival of a strange capsule captures the attention of his town. The contents of that capsule turn his life, and the lives of everyone nearby, into nearly instant upheaval. Life within our solar system is suddenly a completely different reality and survival against an unknown enemy is the goal.
I liked reading this story from a first person narrative. We see what he sees, but with the benefit of his retrospective knowledge. He's honest about himself and is frank about the rather gruesome details of the battle between Man and Martian. His language is firm and...educated, I like that he was able to explain his experiences and how he viewed them so succinctly. Sometimes, truthfully, this story was pretty terrifying. His thoughts about the ending of the human race really make you stop for a moment and try to imagine a world where such a thing is possible - and that mind-set shift when one goes from being the hunter to being the hunted.
I know why this story has lasted. Despite his constant labeling of towns and knolls and cities (which drove me crazy), this book flows with a certain fearfulness, an awareness that there is more to our reality than we think, and that the things that seem most far-fetched may be waiting for us around any corner.