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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral values meet man made MONSTERS!
H.G Wells really knew how to write a sci-fi book with insight and style; The Island of Dr. Moreau has tons of both. Truly, Wells was far ahead of his time.

The story starts off with Robert Prendick sailing across the Atlantic, possibly in the Caribbean, heading back to England. The captain of the ship, drunk and out of his mind, has Prendick thrown overboard...
Published on Aug. 26 2006 by Loki Xombi

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3.0 out of 5 stars THE BEAST BEGINS TO CREEP BACK!
Like Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, another mad scientist (oh, all right--obsessed biological researcher) tries to create his own humanoid menagerie remote from society. Fired with Evolutionary fervor a youthful HGW presents smug civilization with a shocking portrayal of genius gone amuck--a direct warning of the dangers of pseudo-scientific zeal. Edward Prendick is...
Published on July 14 2001 by Plume45


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral values meet man made MONSTERS!, Aug. 26 2006
By 
Loki Xombi "Nox" (Alberta, ED Canada) - See all my reviews
H.G Wells really knew how to write a sci-fi book with insight and style; The Island of Dr. Moreau has tons of both. Truly, Wells was far ahead of his time.

The story starts off with Robert Prendick sailing across the Atlantic, possibly in the Caribbean, heading back to England. The captain of the ship, drunk and out of his mind, has Prendick thrown overboard. Alone, in the ocean, with no chance of survival, Prendick gives up hope and waits to die. Remarkably, a small ship arrives just in time, and they bring Prendick aboard. Among the crew of his rescuers is a small man, covered in fur, with sharp teeth and off-colored eyes. Strange as this man might be, Prendick is to weak to press the crew for an explanation on where this man has come from.

The rescue party takes Prendick to a small island known to most as The Island of Dr. Moreau - the famous chemist/biologist/geneticist (as far as such men existed back in those days). Arriving on the island, Prendick finds this to be a small and not overly amazing place to inhabit while he waits for another ship from England to arrive and take him the rest of the way home. In the meantime, he is to be the good doctors guest, and is attended to by the doctor's odd, grunting, meowling servants.

Prendick eventually discovers that the people inhabiting and working on the island, are in fact animal human hybrids. They were designed to be the best of both worlds: combining human intelligence with the abilities and skills of the animal kingdom. After his frightening discovery, Prendick stumbles into a commune of deformed and mildly crazy half human, half animal men living in the caves and cliffs of the island. These animal-men have a very peculiar religion based on the negation of all things animalistic: thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not eat meat...and so on. All the while, they worship their master and God, Dr. Moreau.

Eventually, all @#$% breaks loose on the island, and Prendick is left to fend for himself against hords of powerful, crazed, and blood thirsty beast-men.

This was a great novel that dives into the questions surrounding human morality, genetic engineering, and the ideas of the soul.

I highly recommend this title.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Wells' Finest Novel, Feb. 5 2004
By 
Gary F. Taylor "GFT" (Biloxi, MS USA) - See all my reviews
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Although it is less often read than such Wells novels as THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, the basic story of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU is very well known through several extremely loose film adaptations. Pendrick, a British scientist, is shipwrecked--and by chance finds himself on an isolated island where Dr. Moreau and his assistant Montgomery are engaged in a series of experiments. They are attempting to transform animals into manlike beings.
Wells, a social reformer, was a very didactic writer, and his novels reflect his thoughts and theories about humanity. Much of Wells writing concerns (either directly or covertly) social class, but while this exists in MOREAU it is less the basic theme than an undercurrent. At core, the novel concerns the then-newly advanced theory of natural selection--and then works to relate how that theory impacts man's concept of God. Wells often touched upon this, and in several novels he broaches the thought that if mankind evolved "up" it might just as easily evolve "down," but nowhere in his work is this line of thought more clearly and specifically seen than here.
At times Wells' determination to teach his reader can overwhelm; at times it can become so subtle that it is nothing short of absolutely obscure. But in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, Wells achieves a perfect balance of the two extremes, even going so far as to balance the characters in such a way that not even the narrator emerges as entirely sympathetic. It is a remarkable achievement, and in this sense I consider MOREAU possibly the best of Wells work: the novel is as interesting for the story it tells as it is for still very relevant themes it considers.
It is also something of an oddity among Wells work, for while Wells often included elements of horror and savagery in his novels, MOREAU is not so much horrific as it is disturbingly gruesome and occasionally deliberately distasteful. This is not really a book than you can read and then put away: it lingers in your mind in a most unsettling way. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Island of Doctor Moreau, Nov. 3 2003
By 
Vivisection is the practice of performing medical experiments on live animals. In The Island of Doctor Moreau, H.G. Wells tells the story of a mad doctor who does just that but also does something more. He tries to make them into people!
Robert Prendick ship is wrecked and he is rescued by a man named by Montgomery, who turns out to be a assistant to the infamous Dr. Moreau. Little does Prendick know of the horrors that await him on the island that he is being taken to. on the island he meets the Beast Men: the results of Moreau's grotesque and terrifying experiments. Eventually, the Beast Men rebel against Moreau and Montgomery, killing them and leaving Prendick alone on the isle. One day, he manages to escape and is rescued once again and is brought back to society. People think he is insane and he is permanently scarred from his experience on the Island.
From action packed chases through a tropical jungle, to Prendick contemplating his situation on the island, this book is an extremely good read. It really makes your think how far man should be allowed to meddle with the course of nature. Some other good books by this author would be War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. They are both science fiction novels, like this one.
Ages 12 and up
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4.0 out of 5 stars "None escape..." (4.5 stars), Oct. 4 2003
By 
Michael Crane (Orland Park, IL USA) - See all my reviews
I never expected to enjoy this book so much. It didn't really seem like something I would enjoy. I admit that I'm not the biggest fan when it comes to science fiction. I ended up reading "The Island of Dr. Moreau" by H.G. Wells for a fiction class in college. The results were unbelievable, as I ended up really loving it.
Edward Prendick is stranded on an island with a mad scientist, Dr. Moreau, and his assistant, Montgomery, who are performing horrendous and terrible experiments that lead to beast-like creatures that talk and behave like men. As the days go by, Prendick sees horrifying things that he will never be able to forget. This is Edward Prendick's story, and the account that you are about to witness is chilling and unforgettable.
I really enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed it because it proves to be a book with different layers and hidden meanings. Sure, on the surface it appears as your everyday science fiction novel filled with thrills and excitement. However, there's a deeper meaning behind it all. What is that? Well, I'm not about to divulge that to you! That's part of the fun in reading this. The great thing about this story is that you can still enjoy it even if you don't feel like figuring out Wells' hidden meaning behind it all. It appeals to advanced readers and to those who are not as advanced. There's a little something for everyone.
"The Island of Dr. Moreau" is a very engaging and well-written classic. Wells doesn't hold back when it comes to dishing out deep symbolisym and exciting action. If you're looking for an interesting read, I highly recommend that you check it out. A great story that can be read over and over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic on the plasticity of living things, June 6 2003
By 
Daniel J. Hamlow (Narita, Japan) - See all my reviews
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There are two things I associated with H.G. Wells. One is The Time Machine, which of course was the primary inspiration for my all-time favourite TV show, Doctor Who. The other is The Island Of Dr. Moreau, which like the Time Machine, I saw as a pioneer literary work in science fiction.
After being picked up from the dinghy of the Lady Vain by a trader ship, Edward Prendick goes to a small unchartered island in the Pacific, where he finds some very strange looking natives, including a serving man with furred pointed ears. The island is run by Dr. Moreau. Could this be the same Dr. Moreau who had to leave England in a hurry because of a scandal involving experimentation on dogs?
The contrast between man and animal is one theme here, as seen in the natives' laws: "Not to go on all Fours; that is the Law. Are we not men?" or "Not to claw Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not men?" No we are Devo. Sorry, wrong reference. Prendick is also called a "five man," as in five fingers. What makes men different from animals? Reasoning, language, being bipedal, trimmed nails, and sophisticated in manner, although that last point is certainly debatable.
However, most people are so keen to see this as a pioneering sci-fi literary miss the intellectual background. After Darwin's theory of evolution started to crack the foundations of Victorian and religious thinking. It seemed that we were closer to apes than to God. However, humanism also reared its head again, and Moreau becomes another Dr. Frankenstein in playing God. Small wonder why Wells later called this a "an exercise in youthful blasphemy," though it's interesting that he initially became a disciple of pro-evolution scientist Thomas Huxley--in the novel, Prendick himself claims to be a student of Huxley.
So far, this book has been remade into at least four movies, none of which have faithfully adapted it. There was even a Dr. Who story, Timelash, which borrowed heavily from it, and the theme of man usurping God's place at his own peril comes through.
This book has some relevancy today, as stated in the afterword by Brian Aldiss: ï¿The spirit of Dr. Moreau is alive and well and living in these United States. These days, he would be state-funded.ï¿
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly modern and thoughtful, Feb. 17 2002
By 
sporkdude "sporkdude" (San Jose, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
Wells' imagination is almost scary. Despite being written over one hundred years ago, Wells presents a tale chilling and relevant to this day. A great story in it's own right, it delves deeper into human technological and biology conflicts that have only intensified in recent years. With the onset of cloning, gene therapy, and genetic modifications, the issues spark debate to this day.
It starts off with Pendrick, shipwrecked, eventually arriving on the Island of Dr. Mareau and discovering strange beasts. These strange beasts were not natural though, but instead modified animals made up to look and act like humans. Without giving away the plot, the book then moves into action, while moving into such themes as insanity, animals versus humans, and the existence and treatment of god.
This book works as a simple fun filled novel with intrigue, suspense and action. It's strange to have a book of such magnitude provide so much simple enjoyment. Even without the deep literary and social meanings, this book stands out by itself. The only flaw is the somewhat antiquated language.
Of course, as a sort of added bonus, the insights and issues brought up provide a great addition. Such a book could easily be debated in literary and scientific circles. If such a book was used in my English classes, as opposed to such crud and Faulkner and Jane Austin, I might have actually enjoyed class.
The Island of Dr. Maruea is the best mixture of plot and intellectual enjoyment I read since Animal Farm.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Far-reaching work quite relevant today, Sept. 1 2001
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This is certainly an interesting work, though not nearly as exciting or gripping as The Time Machine or War of the Worlds. For some reason, I had the notion in mind that this short novel was a "most dangerous game" type of story where the protagonist is hunted, but this is of course not true. Dr. Moreau is a scientist--a quite mad one, actually--whose life's work involves vivisection; in essence, he takes a plethora of animals and, through surgery and mental indoctrination of some sort, attempts--with varying success---to endow them with humanity. The result is a twisted menagerie of beasts who share both human and animal traits of myriad sorts. They can understand human speech, in fact, which has allowed the doctor to indoctrinate them into a worldview wherein he is the god whose laws must be obeyed. While the story of the protagonist, Prendrick, is interesting, from his initial shipwreck to his "rescue" and eventual escape, his main purpose in the story is to describe the inhabitants of this macabre island. As one may imagine, this isolated, fragile society eventually breaks down and the beasts regress more and more into their animal instincts, to the great detriment of the "god" Moreau and his rather pitiful assistant Montgomery.
Metaphors and broad, deep-reaching themes abound in this tale. While one can certainly make out an obvious theme concerning man's desire to play God and the negative consequences of such efforts by science, there are deeper and more mysterious conclusions one can draw about Wells' view of humanity itself. While this is certainly not a racist novel, one can conceivably see it as a warning against racial mixing, particularly in terms of the notion that the lower and more "bestial" traits will eventually win out over any "higher" traits imbued into a mixed creation, a common idea at that time. However, I tend to see the strange human-animal creations of Dr. Moreau as a microcosm of mankind itself. There is evil (or bestiality) present in all men which has the danger of erupting to the surface at any time; no set of external factors can make a truly good man. Society will always have a minority who are bestial in nature and who cannot be redeemed despite the best efforts of that society's members to form a perfect world. The tale is a rather unusual one for Wells, it would seem, particularly in terms of this seemingly negative interpretation of society itself. There are no good guys in this tale; every character is a victim; the experimentation (social as well as physiological) of Dr. Moreau is an unadulterated failure. Perhaps the conclusions I have drawn from reading this story are my own alone. The Island of Dr. Moreau, however, clearly shows the depths of Wells' thinking and his deep interest in society and its ills, and it challenges the reader to think about the negative consequences of genetic and social engineering. As always, H.G. Wells shows himself to be a far-reaching thinker and a man truly before his own time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Writer!, Aug. 11 2001
How could anyone possibly give an H.G. Wells book, anything less than 5 stars? This may sound silly but I often wondered if Mister Wells had a time machine! His stories were/are years ahead of the time he wrote them. Some of his stories make one wonder if he indeed had a peek into the future! Doctor Moreau! A strange man, alienated from British society because of his illegal experiments. (More like weird experiments!) This rather small book, tells the tale of our mad (?) Doctor, inhabiting a secret island where he can continue with his experiments. He has found a way to breed man/animal creatures creating some of the weirdest species ever! Eventually, a stranger finds himself on Doctor Moreau's tropical island with no way off! As the story unfolds, the man finds out about the Doctors experimentation with animals and is horrified tremendously! He thinks the Doctor is a nutter to put it bluntly and is extremely scared of the unknown. The Doctors work is undoubtedly flawed though because his 'creatures' are a tad unhappy and therefore need to be controlled by the good doctor. The 'happy conclusion' tells us, don't fool with mother-nature sir, or else! I recommend ALL books written by Mister Wells. He was an extraordinary man, way before his time!
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3.0 out of 5 stars THE BEAST BEGINS TO CREEP BACK!, July 14 2001
Like Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, another mad scientist (oh, all right--obsessed biological researcher) tries to create his own humanoid menagerie remote from society. Fired with Evolutionary fervor a youthful HGW presents smug civilization with a shocking portrayal of genius gone amuck--a direct warning of the dangers of pseudo-scientific zeal. Edward Prendick is the sympathetic but passive protagonist who barely survives a series of horrors: shipwreck and ordeal by lifeboat, only to be spit up on a hostile island, uninvited and suspiciously, barely tolerated.
Idealistic Prendick gradually discovers many bizarre secrets on this tropical island, for the man called Dr. Moreau (note that HGW has chosen a Frenchman to represent deranged mentality) acts both as God and father figures for his beast people. Even his failed physician, Montgomery, struggles to resist the natural urge to mingle and evolve downwards, which means reverting to lower life forms, which combine the worst of two species. Only late in this gripping novel does Prendick emerge as a proactive hero--passionate for humanity and ultiamtely self-preservation. HGW raises serious social issues in this book: the deliberate infliction of pain, morality re man's relationship with lower orders, vivsection, animal rights, alcohol abuse, and of course his psychological mania: obsession with pure knowledge at all cost.
Does Science (the white man's burden?) have the right or duty to play God and attempt to improve or rearrange Creation? Will all three men eventually revert to a lower type of anthropomorphic existence, casting aside the shackles of humanity, sinking into an inevitable moral morass on a par with Moreau's surgical freaks? Some uneven pacing aside, this book is one suspenseful and chilling package of moral challenges for the last (and this) century, served up for the true sci fi cultist's dining pleasure!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Animals Look Hungry, Jan. 6 2001
By A Customer
Science-fiction has a tendency to get out of hand. In some instances science-fiction is more an attempt at being weird, ora showing off of fancy machines. But in the case of Dr. Moreau, Wells is keeping things simple.
The Doctor has developed a method of cross-breeding. He comes up with things like half-dog/half-man or part-sheep/part-monkey. A portion of his hybrids have intelligences nearing our own. It will be asked whether they creatures are friendly or not. Some are not. Rebellion and mutany are on some of their minds, without the doctor knowing about it. Eventually, a young man bumps into the island and is stuck there. He is shown to his horror a wild minded scientist who builds monsters. He does not trust the scientist, and neither the creatures. For all he knows, the Doctor may be plotting to make a hyrbid of him!
Lastly, the Doctor himself is on the island because his work is illegal. In small circles it is known, but his reputation is bad. Who can say where he got his ideas from? They may be esoteric. Either way: mainstream science cannot allow it. The Doctor then moves to the island in secret to carry on his work.
The story is not meant as an epic or something awfully scary. It is only a small tale of science jumping into something it cannot control. Like the story of Frankenstein. In any case, I liked it and so will you!
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The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells (Mass Market Paperback - Sept. 6 2005)
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