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on February 10, 2015
The Island of Dr. Moreau is my favorite book. I am at the stage where I just buy copies with artistic covers and reread it for the sake of enjoying a timeless, modern, classic.

I think that the works of H. G. Wells should be mandatory study for anybody studying the sciences or applied sciences. The way that H. G. bends the impossible to appear as merely implausible is an important motivator for, especially, young scientists. These books, especially The Island of Dr. Moreau, examine morality, ethics, and scientific progress, all the while reminding us that all science is super-science.
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on November 9, 2015
Brand new book. Great.
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on November 4, 2013
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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on May 27, 2016
This edition lacks the introduction that is quite necessary to understand the novel in its entirety; but the novel is interesting nonetheless. Overall quick shipping and good price.
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on July 19, 2016
My first experience of this story was through "The Madman's Daughter", a retelling of the story. I think I would've appreciated that story more had I read this first since I found myself being reminded of it often through the names and plot points in the original; retrospectively, however, it was nice to see where it followed the original and it was nice seeing allusions in reverse.

While, like usual with novels at the time, it lacked in character depth I was still able to immerse myself in the story and enjoy the descriptions of the island and the creations through Pendrick's eyes. I was particularly fond of the philosophical discussion of pain and the like between Moreau and Pendrick - that really drove the Gothic horror point home.

It's a shame I didn't read this before I read the modern retelling but perhaps like this I was able to enjoy it more. As short as it was the story did progress at a good pace and the end, where Pendrick took control of the island before making it out, was a great turn of events. Overall the story may have lacked excitement but it made up for it through description and theme.
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on November 15, 2015
Prima facie, this science fiction novel by H. G. Wells is about Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat and left on the island home of the notorious Doctor Moreau, who vivisects animals to create humanoids out of them. Shocking as that theme might be, the novel actually deals with some very interesting themes, from the concept of pain to the question of human identity.

A grotesque bestial manservant named M’ling; terrifying howls from a puma; humans that look like hogs; an Ape-Man, a Leopard-Man, a Hyena-Swine, a Dog-Man; and a bizarre colony of half-human/half-animal creatures, led by ‘Sayer of the Law’, all denouncing bestial behaviour. It would be very easy to feel violated and judge or condemn the Frankenstein-like Doctor Moreau … but this story (and especially the chapter entitled ‘Doctor Moreau Explains All’) has such extraordinary ideas, it is worth fighting off the horror and going beneath the surface.

Explaining the reasoning behind his project, Moreau points out that, “the possibility of vivisection does not stop at a mere physical metamorphosis.” He talks about his goal of “superseding old inherent instincts”, he destroys accepted norms of what we call ‘moral education’ as “such an artificial modification and perversion of instinct” and he truly sees the sense of pain as something needless - cravings, instincts and desires being emotions that actually harm humanity, which is why he was driven to create a being that was above such archaic reins. At the heart of a grotesque experiment lay a heightened desire to create the perfect human being, free of all bestiality. Twisted and morbid, or lucid and fascinating?

What was also really very interesting was Prendick’s view of people when he finally returned to the safety of England, with the horrors of the island of Doctor Moreau firmly behind him. He may well have been shocked when the bestial natures of man-made humans on a remote island broke through, but in the heart of the city, on civilized humans, he saw a myriad of faces, some “keen and bright; others dull or dangerous; others, unsteady, insincere - none that have the calm authority of a reasonable soul. I feel as though the animal was surging up through them.” And that, right there, was an interesting blurring of the line between the insane Doctor Moreau and the rest of the so-called civilized world.
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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. Not his best book, but his darkest.

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. It's like a strange nightmare that you might have after watching the Chronicles of Narnia. And all this ultimately culminates in the slow decay of everything on the island.

Prendrick is also perhaps the weakest link in the book... which is not a good thing, considering he is the main character. 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. And they certainly elicit more sympathy.

"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. Not Wells' best, but an intriguing horror/SF story on its own.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 26, 2013
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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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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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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