The Island of Doctor Moreau

The Island of Doctor Moreau

Book - 2010
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Edward Prendick is shipwrecked and finds himself stranded on an island in the Pacific. Here he meets the sinister Dr Moreau, a vivisectionst driven out of Britain in disgrace. And soon strange events cause Prendick to uncover the full horror of Dr Moreau's activities on the island.

THE ISLAND OF DR MOREAU mixes discussion on the divide between humans and the animal kingdom and chilling macabre horror in an unrivalled fashion. Its question on how far science should go is one that rings true today as it did when it was first published.

Publisher: London : Gollancz, 2010.
ISBN: 9780575095168
0575095164
Branch Call Number: SF
Characteristics: 186 p. ; 21 cm.

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Ranked among the classic novels of the English language and the inspiration for several unforgettable movies, this early work of H. G. Wells was greeted in 1896 by howls of protest from reviewers, who found it horrifying and blasphemous. They wanted to know more about the wondrous possibilities o... Read More »


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" ' The telling irony of DR.MOREAU is that, at the same time the men feel disdain for Moreau's beasts and a superiority over animals in general, the narrator, Prendick, recognizes the " beastly" qualities of men. Men get drunk, they act foolishly, they cheat, they leave each other to die, they tell lies, they prowl and sneak about.' "

a
Andrew Kyle Bacon
Feb 14, 2018

I feel strange reviewing this book, as I think it is better than I give it credit for. This feeling might stem from the fact that I only recently read Dracula for the first time, which was a horribly thrilling novel, and this in no way invoked the terror or discomfort of that book. In terms of its prose, The Island of Dr. Moreau is a well-crafted book, with an engaging and interesting narrative, that I can safely called a "page turner." My problem with it lies with the fact that I never bought into its premise, which greatly affected by enjoyment of the story.

a
audrey321
Jan 18, 2018

The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of my favorite classics. This was the third novel I have read by H.G. Wells, but I would never be able to pick a favorite. Wells is a great author who creates unique, intriguing plotlines. I like the fact that he writes challenging text but still leaves out unnecessary words, descriptions, and explanations. He can describe an image in just half a page while using an entertaining style of writing. When he once described a group of strange beasts, all he had to say was that “at any rate they were an amazingly ugly gang, and over the heads of them, under the forward lug, peered the black face of the man whose eyes were luminous in the dark” (Wells 30). The words Wells uses are particularly entertaining and he avoids redundancy. A flaw of his works is a lack of characters who really stand out. The Island of Dr. Moreau has brief chapters which I love and a certain mood that attracts me. His books are also fairly short which is more enjoyable and less time consuming for me.
This novel deals largely with moral rules and ethical issues. The story presents one ethical character, Prendick, who abides by every rule, views vivisection as pure evil, avoids hurting people, and even abstains from alcohol. This character is put in high contrast with Moreau, a remorseless man who doesn’t abide by normal rules, practices vivisection, and doesn’t mind hurting people. The reader is forced to think about ideas concerning morality like whether or not the beasts are a moral abomination or whether the ethical issue of Moreau’s vivisection really matters.
(Spoilers!) The story begins with the main character, Prendick, being stranded at sea, starving and desperate. He is rescued by a man named Montgomery on a ship with a few strange creatures on board. The man is friendly, but the island that the ship arrives at seems dangerous. It doesn’t take long for Prendick to discover that the other man on the island, Moreau, is a vivisectionist who experiments on animals to create the odd, half human creatures that live on the island. Of course, Prendick is terrified by this information, and a few chapters are spent hiding from Moreau and desperately avoiding him. Moreau eventually finds him, calms him down, and brings him back to their huts. He gives Prendick a lengthy explanation about his “triumphs of vivisection” (87), and it becomes clear that Moreau isn’t sane when he goes on to describe sympathetic pain as “a thing [he] used to suffer from years ago” (93). Still, Prendick eventually realizes that Moreau has no reason to hurt him and stays in the huts with the two men. The only danger to him now is the beast folk, who begin to gradually become less civil. They start to break the law that Moreau holds them to and dead prey animals begin to show up on the island. Soon they are out of control and savage. They kill Moreau in an attempt for anarchy and Prendick tries to take charge after that, but it’s not long before they kill Montgomery too. This event leaves Prendick alone on the island with savage beast people, but they mostly just avoid each other. He eventually does make it back home after a boat washes up on shore. Obviously, he isn’t able to be the same again. He ends up skittish around people and scarred for life, but he’s lucky to be alive. The elaborate chain of events in this story is suspenseful, intriguing, unique, and a little bizarre.

t
trevordunfordswife
Nov 24, 2016

Creepy and Pertinent

I read this for the first time many years ago when I was 12 or 13. It creeped me out then and when I picked it up recently again it creeps me out still. Ugh. I felt so sorry for those poor creatures that I simply did not want to believe what I knew to be the truth. Best read on or around Hallowe'en. Sad and depressing because we have not come so far in our attitudes toward animals - or our treatment thereof. A read albeit short read.

Cynthia_N Oct 31, 2016

I didn't realize that this book was originally published in the 1890s! The horrors on the island stand the test of time. Good read!

BklynRakishaK Aug 02, 2016

Though I am not a frequent reader of science fiction, the suspense and dark realities revealed in H.G. Wells' peculiar, speculative novel truly made me think about humans, animals, and how different we really are. Despite its setting miles from civilization on a fictional island, The Island of Dr Moreau really pulled me into the Victorian era and its attitudes about science and evolution.

m
Ming_Choi
Jul 26, 2015

I enjoyed this book. This skillfully combines social satire, horror and terror very well.

l
lonewolf8
Jul 10, 2015

A suspenseful novel with very little in the way of actual action when it does happen. The human characters of Dr. Moreau and Montgomery are not evil, but they are not particularly likeable either. The main character is easily frightened and seems to be in a state of constant panic. It is a wonder he even survived the entire ordeal.

b
becker
Oct 24, 2013

If you enjoy reading Classic literature, this was a quick read and an interesting reflection of the scientific advances of the time

unbalancedbutfair Apr 27, 2013

I don't really know what I was expecting when I picked up this book but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It was written in a different time so despite being fairly short, it takes time to get through it. Time that I count well spent. It is everything that good sci-fi ought to be. Both thought provoking and engrossing while approaching taboo subjects. I encourage you to try it, and at least get to the chapter where Dr. Moreau explains his side. I highly doubt that you will wish to stop at that point. And its ending is brilliant. Very well written.

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l
lonewolf8
Jul 06, 2015

"It's chance, I tell you," he interrupted, "as everything is in a man's life."

m
Ming_Choi
Jun 23, 2015

There is, though I do not know how there is or why there is, a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven. There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever is more than animal within us must find its solace and its hope. -- Ch. 22

m
Ming_Choi
Jun 16, 2015

To this day I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter. The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.
-- Ch. 14

KSJT Aug 29, 2011

"At any rate they were an amazingly ugly gang, and over the heads of them, under the forward lug, peered the black face of the man whose eyes were luminous in the dark."

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trevordunfordswife
Nov 24, 2016

trevordunfordswife thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

red_bear_869 Mar 05, 2013

red_bear_869 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

KSJT Aug 29, 2011

KSJT thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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m
Ming_Choi
Jul 23, 2015

A survivor of a shipwreck finds himself on an island where a mad scientist named Dr. Moreau is turning animals into human-like beings.

l
lonewolf8
Jul 06, 2015

Edward Prendick is stranded at sea when rescued and taken to a mysterious island run by Dr. Moreau. There, he learns of strange, and unsettling experiments being performed on animals transforming them and their intelligence.

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