God is this bad! It's very poorly and confusingly written. The second part is slightly improved and almost readable, but the first 60% or so was so awful that I had a difficult time not quitting the book altogether. Basically, if you don't have a detailed understanding of the geography around London, including all the small villages within a 30- or 50- or something-mile radius, you've no clue what's happening. It's all told in terms of going from one obscure village to another. Which is to say, there are a lot of irrelevant details, but not much useful descriptive detail. Plus, the writing is pedestrian at best. Hell, I've read more interestingly written things in the Journal of Chemical Physics
I'm believe the Martians landed somewhere to the southwest of London, but I was never sure of that. Apparently, the Martians launched 10 space probes toward earth, but only six landed, and they were all within a small target area clustered somewhere outside of London (southwest?). I've no idea what happened to the others. I've no idea what happened in much of the book, actually. Lots of things were frightening, grotesque, monstrous, etc. but I've no real idea why things were so.
I have no idea how this book became a classic. It gets 2*s because I managed to finish it, but as 2* books go, it was a hell of a lot worse than the egregious Wuthering Heights
. I've now read three books by H. G. Wells, and vow never to waste another minute on the crap he spewed out.