A couple of weeks ago, in the regular list of [notable radio programmes](http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2009/07/turn-off-the-tv-radio-picks-july-18-24/) I prepare each week, I plugged Radio 2’s relay of a recent live performance of **[Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds](http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00lqpl7)**. That mention spurred me to listen once more to the album. This prog rock opera contains some of the most well-known riffs and melodies, but what really makes it is Richard Burton’s narration — and even more so, HG Wells’ original story.
It’s not for nothing that the original novel has become known as one of the greatest in the history of science fiction literature. It has a real sense of terror occurring in the most mundane of places — Martians landing in Woking, of all places. And while the anonymous journalist who is our narrator makes his way to a similarly ravaged London, it’s the effect on individuals that still resonate.
The ending, though? The ending sucks.
(Despite the novel being over 100 years old, I should warn you now — _there be spoilers ahead…_)