The War in the Air Paperback
by H. G. Wells
Following the development of massive airships, naive Londoner Bert Smallways becomes accidentally involved in a German plot to invade America by air and reduce New York to rubble.
But although bombers devastate the city, they cannot overwhelm the country, and their attack leads not to victory but to the beginning of a new and horrific age for humanity. And so dawns the era of Total War, in which brutal aerial bombardments reduce the great cultures of the twentieth century to nothing.
As civilization collapses around the Englishman, now stranded in a ruined America, he clings to only one hope - that he might return to London, and marry the woman he loves.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 26/05/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141441306
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Review by daniel.links
It's dated in style, but the chirpy Cockney narrator bumbling through the end of the world is a gimmick that works surprisingly well. The plot manages to be both ridiculous and yet believable enough to be extremely unnerving in time. If you ignore some of the racial prejudice, bits of this book are surprisingly pertinent; the dangers of technology and the problems disruption to society via a major conflict could cause are admirably explored in this novel.