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Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama

An Audible Original Drama
Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.38

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Immerse yourself in The War of The Worlds

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Listen to an immersive audio drama

Discovery of the Martians

  • The Eve of the War
  • Discovery of the Martians
  • The Eve of the War
  • Heat Ray
  • The Eve of the War
  • Opening

Behind the scenes with the cast of Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds

Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton and Jeff Wayne on recording Audible's musical drama
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Publisher's Summary

One of the world’s most recognisable sci-fi stories, H. G. Wells’ The War of The Worlds established numerous conventions for the genre, including the threat of an invasive extraterrestrial species, space travel and intergalactic conflict, inspiring directors, gamers, producers and writers alike with its sobering story of struggle and survival. 

Marrying the suspense, drama and urgency of Wells’ original novel with Jeff Wayne’s rousing and flamboyant score, Audible’s new and exclusive dramatisation uses action, narration, original music and evocative sound design to immerse listeners in a world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate. 

Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama stars Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Adrian Edmondson, Theo James and Anna-Marie Wayne. 

Also featuring: Rachel Atkins, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Josh Bond, Nicholas Boulton, Philip Bulcock, Jessica Dennis, Stephen Fletcher, Pete Gold, David Holt, Roger May, Harry Myers, Richard Reed, Mark Straker, Ben Whitehead and Sarah Whitehouse.

©2018 Music Masters: Sony Music Entertainment

©2018 Existing compositions: Universal Music Publishing Group, Jeff Wayne Music (Publishing) Ltd

©2018 Newly composed music: Jeff Wayne Music (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The science-fiction classic undergoes a fantastic modernization, thanks to Jeff Wayne's energetic score and a cast of talented narrators. Michael Sheen capably steps into the character of the unnamed journalist and imbues his narration with steady calm as he recounts the Martian invasion of England. A varied cast coupled with subtle sound effects keeps the drama feeling fresh and dynamic. The musical score complements the story by punctuating the arrival of the Martians and other thrilling moments but also highlights the story's isolating atmosphere. Score and narration combine with high production values, resulting in a unique audio drama that enhances the original story." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best of both novel and album

Noone would've believed, in the last years of the 19th century that H.G. Wells would change the existing genre of "Invasion fiction" by adding the terrifying inhuman Martians.
Noone would've dreamed that 80 years later a musical composer Jeff Wayne would use that story to make one of the most dramatic and intense albums of music.
And now the two meet in a stunning audio drama.
The beauty of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, An Audio Drama is not only the addition of music but also a reexamination of the characters. In the book the protagonist is unnamed, simply being the author. However this version adds a name George (as H.G Wells himself was called that) and most interestingly his wife Carrie who narrates a portion of the story.
Together with the music and excellent acting this is the best telling of the tale.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great adaptation but could have been better

The original musical was the first album that I ever owned. At the tender age of 8, it came down to a choice between War of the Worlds or a slinky for my birthday and I certainly have never regretted that choice. I have listened to it more times than I can even guess to count.

This would have been 5 stars all the way for me but for 2 things.

1. It took me a long time to get used to the motifs from the original album being used in different parts of the story but I did eventually slip away from that expectation.

2. Anna-Marie Wayne's over acting almost killed those chapters for me. There were moments that I had to force myself not to skip through that part.

Apart from that, this was a very clever adaptation which I would recommend to anyone who knows the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Great idea in theory..

I firstly want to say that the performances given by Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton and the others were fantastic. Michael Sheen is a phenomenal narrator! With that being said.. Overall, the music was quite jarring and distracting from the story and narration. I did like the added sound effects BUT the music from the musical for some reason took me out of the story half of the time. I think it was the long instrumental parts which felt like it didn't belong (although some of the instrumental parts really helped move the story along). In the end, I can see what they were trying to do.. but it didn't have the pay off.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DDD
  • 16-10-2019

Not the original! No songs!

I was expecting a remastered version of the original. But wait as I may, no songs! The songs are what made my childhood memories and the flashy sound effects did not make up for the nostalgic character of the original.

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  • Ian
  • 29-09-2019

Also most as good as the original

Loved this updated version, the suitable changes didn’t impact the overall story but the modernised music smashed it

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Outstanding performance by an Amazing team

Fans of the original musical will enjoy new content including Carrie's journey to the Steamer and The Journalist's journey through dead London.

This was so enjoyable. I wish I could listen to it all again. Amazing performances by Sheen, Egerton and Wayne.

If you're wondering whether this version offers anything new on the existing musical versions, then please have a listen. It follows the novel a lot closer and details so much more than previous musical versions.

As a fan of all WotW versions, this is now my favourite.

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Great production

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great cool oooolwaaah ironclad yeah

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great adaptation!

I was wary at first but this turned out to be as good as the original! The songs aren't performed but the performances of the actors more than make up for that.

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Music Lacked Finesse

The story narration and sound effects are great. The biggest let down is how effectively the music is integrated into the story. It feels wedged in between parts of narration so much that it was jarring at times. Definitely check this out if you are a fan of the original story or the Jeff Wayne album but don’t expect anything spectacular.

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Out of this world!

An amazing adaption of the musical. Grew up with it and saw the live version. This adaption is fantastic. Puts yourself in the story. Richard Burton would have been proud. Next a movie adaptation?

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  • Simon
  • 29-11-2018

Stunning Interpretation of Jeff Wayne's Classic!

If like me you still get a small frisson thinking of the words, No-one would have believed . . . they drew their plans against us, then put this right on your wish list! I can still remember the sheer awe I felt as a young lad when I started to listen to the cassette tapes I had received for my birthday and Burton's chilling opening words came out of the speakers like it was yesterday. Forty years on and this new version had me absolutely captivated from start to finish.

It's the same story, just completely remixed and with a lot of additional sound and detail. That sound is fantastic, like many of the great bands the bass is high in the mix giving it full expression and the use of stereo is superb. Definitely one to be listened to with quality headphones and preferably not in noisy areas to get the very best out of it. There are great riffs from that glorious score, thunderous explosions and more subtle sounds too. The overall soundscape is the best I have experienced in an Audible production.

The voice acting is top quality. Anna-Marie Wayne, who is Jeff's daughter of course, as Carrie and Michael Sheen as the journalist give outstanding performances and the supporting cast don't let them down by any stretch of the imagination.

I never thought that anything could match the original. This is different and stands in its own right but those forty years were suddenly a mere instant in time and I was transported back through the decades to that same feeling of excitement that the younger Simon felt. If you can, just don the headphones, turn off the lights, shut your eyes and crank up the volume!

Absolutely superb!

110 of 121 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony Swinton
  • 29-11-2018

Just brilliant

I love the classic version with Richard Burton but this is just brilliant with added dialogue it adds so much more to a classic
I downloaded the pre order as soon as it became available and listened in one sitting
I will be sure to listen to this book again
It is in my top 5 audio books

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • AJ Poulter
  • 22-05-2019

Great, but…

I love Jeff Wayne’s ‘The War of the Worlds’, and I love the source material from the great H.G. Wells - so in balance I should’ve completely loved this fusion of the two. And I kind of did. Except that for me it somewhat fell between two stools. There was far too much music for an audiobook (though to be fair it didn’t claim to be one); but not enough of the music in a single contiguous block to let you enjoy it as music. I do recommend it still as it was very good - but for most listeners there will be either too much or too little music. Or possibly both.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • tony foggin
  • 29-11-2018

Brilliant Jeff Wayne does it again!!

I hope Jeff Wayne never gives up with his adaptations of his wonderful classic. What a cast as well. Michael Sheen sounds very much like the late great Richard Burton. Brilliant cast. I wonder if Jeff Wayne had a hand in choosing them also. JUST BRILLIANT!! Highly Recommended

37 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • RSLEGION
  • 30-11-2018

A Gripping way to listen to H. G. Wells classic

Jeff Wayne's The Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a classic and must hear musical now this Musical Drama accompanies The Musical Version very well, I found it very gripping and at the end found I wanted more. The Musical Drama has the great instrumental music from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version along with great sound effects and audio acting. A gripping new way to tell the classic H.G. Wells story.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 29-11-2018

Amazing

An amazing array of talent and very well put together. This is War of the Worlds as it should be heard.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Karl
  • 05-12-2018

Very, Very Good!

Short review: Superb production of the book and the musical blended into a sweet mixture. If your a fan, you should buy it!

Longer review:

I'm writing this review having only listened to two chapters. I could have well done this after only one. It reminds me of an idea I had a only a little time ago: I already knew the book was superb, having read it numerous times, I already knew that the musical version was utterly superb, having literally grown up listening to it countless times over the years. Create a uber-masterpiece from the two masterpieces! Have the narrative blended with the goodness of the music Jeff Wayne created, but use more, if not all of the book.

And they did it.

But who would take the narrator/journalist role? This above all was most important, but who? When I listened to the sample, I actually thought they'd used Richard Burtons' voice somehow, then read that Michael Sheen had done it. Absolutely perfect! Adrian Edmonson is brilliant! I'm getting to know the rest of the cast as I go, but I know that they WILL be exceptional performances. You have to get something like this right, and I feel they've nailed it sweetly.

Some slight niggles though, but this is mainly due to the use of the newer musical versions' music, the dance beat style portions just didn't feel right. Having said that I will say I eventually began to like the newer musical version, very well produced!

Some of the books' greatest fans may not like this production much as they may say there is too much music for it to be called an audio book as such, and so its called a audio drama/book maybe? Maybe not a musical in the true form? Well they seem to use a good portion of music, and have used pieces in different places too. Nicely done!

AND the BBC TV version of the book is just around the corner. Finally set IN THE RIGHT COUNTRY AND TIME PERIOD.

Thankyou for the time taken to read this giddy fans mumblings. Thankyou to the good people behind this production.

Now go buy it!

Very Best Regards,

Karl Hart

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-12-2018

Wow of the worlds!

Absolutely loved this! big fan of Jeff Wayne's WOTW and this just tops it! this needs to be turned into a film! The Cast are mesmerising especially Michael Sheen and Anne Marie Wayne. Got it for free but would had paid double for it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • DHeppell_UK
  • 29-11-2018

Oooo Laaaa

If you like the original musical version by Jeff Wayne, then this is a must, the mix of Story, Drama and Music, is Nostalgic and brilliantly retold.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-12-2018

The Combination I've Always Wanted

Finally a brilliant combination of the full oringinal story and haunting musical. An incredible achievement

2 of 2 people found this review helpful