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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

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Give Me Black Letters On White Pages
What's with the type setting here. I don't even know If I'd enjoy this book because I cannot read it with this ridiculous font and type setting.

Can I have my money back?
Published 5 months ago by Mark Gabriel


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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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1.0 out of 5 stars Give Me Black Letters On White Pages, Nov. 4 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What's with the type setting here. I don't even know If I'd enjoy this book because I cannot read it with this ridiculous font and type setting.

Can I have my money back?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting end-of-tale insight..., Oct. 26 2011
By 
Ronald W. Maron "pilgrim" (Nova Scotia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
While this HG Wells novel is one of the least read by present day sci-fi enthusiasts, due to the high implausibility of the story involved, it does give us an interesting insight into human behavior at the end of this somewhat gruesome tale. Our hero is, at first, quite uncomfortable around the man-beasts which are present on the island, but, over time, he grows more used to their uniqueness and animalistic behaviors. When transported back to the mainland, at the stories end, he now finds that people, in their everyday activities, cause him the same unease he felt when he arrived at the island. He no longer can trust them as he once did. HG Wells identified the animal characteristics that we all possess and, at times, are in full repression of. In truth, humans are an untrustworthy lot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Men and beasts, Aug. 25 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
The mad scientist has been with us since the early 1800s. And while H.G. Wells didn't create the mad scientist stereotype, he certainly gave it a boost in his harrowing novella "The Island of Dr. Moreau" -- beast-men forced to live like humans, a crazy scientist carrying out mad plans, and a bland Englishman stuck in the middle of it.

After he is shipwrecked, the English gentleman Edward Prendick is rescued by a passing boat. The man who saved him, Montgomery, is taking a number of wild animals to a remote deserted island, where the creepy Dr. Moreau does some kind of research on the animals that are brought there. Naturally, Prendick is suspicious of Moreau's activities.

It doesn't take long for him to stumble across the products of Moreau's work -- grotesque hybrids of animal and human, who are surgically turned into humanoids and ordered not to act in animalistic ways. And with the laws of nature being horribly perverted, it's only a matter of time before Dr. Moreau's experiments lash out.

It's pretty obvious from this book that H.G. Wells was nervous about the ramifications of meddling in nature -- be it vivisection, evolutionary degeneration, or even just the idea that scientific progress could be used for horribly evil things. As a result, "The Island of Dr. Moreau" is perhaps his darkest, most horrific book.

The first couple chapters are rather stuffy in the 18th-century style, with Prendrick fussily noting everything that's happened to him. But the creepiness begins to enter once he arrives on the island, and explodes into weird, almost dreamlike scenes once he encounters the Beast Folk, culminating in the slow decay of everything on the island.

Prendrick is also perhaps the weakest link in the book. When the only other humans on the island are.... well, a mad scientist and his sidekick, you need a protagonist who really grips your imagination. But he's honestly kind of bland, to the point where any number of the beastly folk have far more presence and power than he does.

"The Island of Dr. Moreau" is a dark, eerie cautionary tale about science run amuck, and only its bland protagonist keeps it from fully engaging.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Book About Following the Rules, Jan. 19 2011
By 
Jeffrey Swystun (Toronto & Mont Tremblant) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This classic from 1896 is thrilling from the very first page. It begins with three men afloat aboard a dingy after the sinking of their ship. One is the narrator, Edward Prendick, who eventually finds himself on another ship sailing to a nameless and isolated island. The island is populated by strange creatures and an enigmatic leader who he finds to be Dr. Moreau. This name is known to him as a scientist of ill repute run out of London years prior.

Prendick soon learns of Moreau's more recent experiments and the island's animal-turned human population. Wells' imagination provides a terrifying but engrossing menagerie including the Leopard Man, the Hyena-Swine, the Swine Folk, the Ape Man, Bull Men, Horse-Rhinoceros, Wolf-Bear, Ocelot Man, Dog Man and the Monkey Man.

It is at this point that the book finds its meaning as Prendick is introduced to the Law governing the behavior of these beings: "Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men? Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law. Are we not Men? Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law. Are we not Men? Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not Men? Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not Men?"

This intonation creepily delivered by the beast-people raises the moral and ethical question that Moreau never considered, "Should we manipulate science, genetics, and biology?". All Moreau is interested in is 'can we?' without full entertaining the implications and impact of his efforts. In addition to this theme of progressive science, Wells raises the differences between man and animal, class distinctions, and religion as central organizing principle of a society.

This is what makes it a great read. It can be consumed for its thrills and chills or one can analyze it much deeper (or in my case, both). I am glad I finally got around to reading it and believe it would make for a great book club discussion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I hope, or I could not live", Sept. 11 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
As with many of H.G.'s stories, it is a tail told by a narrator. Also at first, you may not notice his slipping in of social underpinnings.

Pendrick, our narrator starts out trying to tell how he was disenshipped and disappeared at sea for a year to turn up alive. His explanation is so fantastic that no one believes him. However after we read his account, we do.

He spent the bulk of his time on an isolated island with the mysterious Dr. Moreau, Moreau's right hand man Montgomery, and a menagerie of unique people. Where did they come from and what are they doing on this island? As the story unfolds, Pendrick realizes he is the next either on the operating table or for supper or maybe something more sinister.

This story has shades of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". However, I can swear that I work with the very same creatures every day. Moreover, I will never look at my cat in the same way.

Somehow, I missed the movie version of this book, so I cannot compare them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I hope, or I could not live", Sept. 10 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
As with many of H.G.'s stories, it is a tail told by a narrator. Also at first, you may not notice his slipping in of social underpinnings.

Pendrick, our narrator starts out trying to tell how he was disenshipped and disappeared at sea for a year to turn up alive. His explanation is so fantastic that no one believes him. However after we read his account, we do.

He spent the bulk of his time on an isolated island with the mysterious Dr. Moreau, Moreau's right hand man Montgomery, and a menagerie of unique people. Where did they come from and what are they doing on this island? As the story unfolds, Pendrick realizes he is the next either on the operating table or for supper or maybe something more sinister.

This story has shades of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". However, I can swear that I work with the very same creatures every day. Moreover, I will never look at my cat in the same way.

Somehow, I missed the movie version of this book, so I cannot compare them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I hope, or I could not live", July 29 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
As with many of H.G.'s stories, it is a tail told by a narrator. Also at first, you may not notice his slipping in of social underpinnings.

Pendrick, our narrator starts out trying to tell how he was disenshipped and disappeared at sea for a year to turn up alive. His explanation is so fantastic that no one believes him. However after we read his account, we do.

He spent the bulk of his time on an isolated island with the mysterious Dr. Moreau, Moreau's right hand man Montgomery, and a menagerie of unique people. Where did they come from and what are they doing on this island? As the story unfolds, Pendrick realizes he is the next either on the operating table or for supper or maybe something more sinister.

This story has shades of William Golding's "Lord of the Flies". However, I can swear that I work with the very same creatures every day. Moreover, I will never look at my cat in the same way.

Somehow, I missed the movie version of this book, so I cannot compare them.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Island of Dr. Moreau, May 30 2004
By 
T. L. McCullough (Phoenix, AZ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Unfortunately, this book was not near as good as I had hoped - while the basis for "The Island of Dr. Moreau" is a good one, I don't feel that it was executed as well as it could have been. Wells simply did not go into enough detail of the goings-on of the island - only a brief look into Moreau's experiments was given, and the story really could have been better if Wells had gone into what happened after the Beast Men's "rebellion" of sorts. It's almost as if the reader does not get the full effect of what transpires on the island - only a brief overview of the happenings, and then it's over, leaving the reader to wonder "what happens next?". Although, still, the idea itself is quite original and intriguing - I only wish the author would have elabourated on it.
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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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