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The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896)

by H. G. Wells, H. G. Wells

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,805127964 (3.62)1 / 373
  1. 110
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Both books share a similar blend of science fiction and horror.
  2. 20
    The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (sturlington)
    sturlington: Mad scientists.
  3. 31
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (Michael.Rimmer)
  4. 20
    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (allenmichie)
  5. 20
    Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Mad doctor's breeding program on a remote island. What could go wrong?
  6. 10
    Under the Skin by Michel Faber (HighlandLad)
  7. 10
    The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: Bioy Casares uses "The Island of Doctor Moreau" as a model for his own "The Invention of Morel", also set on a island, but a much stranger one...
  8. 11
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (mcenroeucsb)
  9. 11
    Next by Michael Crichton (mcenroeucsb)

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English (120)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All (127)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
"You cannot imagine the strange colourless delight of these intellectual desires. The thing before you is no longer an animal, a fellow-creature, but a problem."

Edward Prendrick is rescued after being shipwrecked, but unfortunately gets on the captain's bad side and abandoned on a remote island where Doctor Moreau and his assistant Montgomery conduct their experiments away from the disapproval of the scientific establishment.

The dated style stopped me from empathising with any of the characters and only the screams of the leopard on the operating table drew me in towards them. I think I have read at least one story based on The Island of Doctor Moreau, and they did a much better job of getting the readers to empathise. ( )
  isabelx | Aug 29, 2017 |
Quiet clever but a bit too disturbingly creepy (creepily disturbing?) for me.

Would have been a 3.5 (the last few paragraphs are excellent) but there be no halves on individual ratings. ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
If you can make an animal into a person, how long do you think it will be before someone can make a person decent?

Edward Prendick survives a shipwreck and is rescued by a supply ship headed for The Island of Dr Moreau. Prendick is cast overboard by the supply ship and is thus stranded on the island where he discovers a mad scientist (surgeon actually) has been at work for many years. The locals are huge fans of vivisection. Things go downhill when Brando is cast as Moreau.

I mostly enjoyed rereading this novel, and I definitely understood more of the issues than when I read it as a kid. At the time HG Wells wrote this famous tale, there was much debate in Europe regarding degeneration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degeneration_theory), evolution, and vivisection. Wells himself thought that humans could use vivisection for evolutionary purposes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_of_Individual_Plasticity). And what better way to discuss these issues than in a science fiction novel.

There were two main issues that stopped me enjoying this novel more. The first issue is common to all of the HG Wells novels I have recently reviewed, and that is the dated style that drains a lot of the tension out of the narrative. The reader is always left at arms-length from the story. The second issue is a narrative device that is still commonly used today: book-ending. Book-ending (a term I've probably made up) is where the actual story is wedged between an external narrative that is used to recount the story proper. This does two things that annoy me: it adds needless narrative and characters; and it destroys any suspense or mystery. The latter is the worst part. In The Island of Dr Moreau we already know that Prendick survives the island and his experiences have left him emotionally scarred and unable to live among people, because his nephew introduces the tale after finding the manuscript when Prendick dies.

Regardless, this is a creepy tale that is worth reading even if you just want to learn to recite 'Are We Not Men'. ( )
  TysonAdams | Jun 20, 2017 |
I vaguely knew what this book was about and I knew I wouldn't really care for it so I avoided reading it for a long time. However, the audiobook was available from my library as a free download and it was on the 1001 list so I decided to give it a try.

A survivor of a ship wreck, Edward Prendrick, is picked up by a ship which is returning with supplies to the Island of Doctor Moreau. On board is Dr. Montgomery who assists Moreau and he restores Prendrick to consciousness. When the ship reaches the island the captain refuses to take Prendrick any further so he is forced on Moreau and Montgomery. Prendrick learns that Moreau creates human animal hybrids by performing vivisection (i.e. surgery while the animal is conscious) on various animals. Prendrick is sickened by this but, given his circumstances, he is unable to interfere. He wonders if he will ever leave the island or will he go insane as Moreau and Montgomery seem to have done.

Very disturbing subject matter. I suppose Wells meant it to be as antivivisectionism was quite a movement in the late 1800s. ( )
  gypsysmom | Mar 26, 2017 |
"It was the only thing I wanted - to find out the extreme plasticity in a living shape"
By sally tarbox on 24 March 2017
Format: Audible Audio Edition
When rescued shipwreck victim Edward Prendick falls foul of the ship's captain, he finds himself forcibly put ashore with the other passenger and his menagerie of animals. On a remote island, Edward is given shelter by the mysterious Dr Moreau. But who are the strange 'humans' who he sees around, and what does Moreau want with his assorted livestock?

Quite a horrible read, especially in the earlier part, with its focus on vivisection. Later it degenerates (in my view) into a bit of a second rate adventure story and failed to hold my interest. Harking back to Shelley's 'Frankenstein', there is, of course, a subtler sub-text, raising such questions as how far should scientific experimentation go, and what defines a human.

Won't forget the plot-line in a hurry though not the greatest read. ( )
  starbox | Mar 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wells, H. G.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wells, H. G.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian WilsonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Michele, RossanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, MasonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kindt, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLean, StevenNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parrinder, PatrickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"I do not propose to add anything to what has already been written concerning the loss of the Lady Vain."
Das Schreien klang draußen noch lauter. Es war, als hätte aller Schmerz der Welt eine Stimme gefunden. Und doch - hätte ich gewußt, daß im Nebenzimmer solcher Schmerz zugefügt wurde, und wäre er stumm ertragen worden, ich glaube - so habe ich mir seither gedacht -, ich hätte es ganz gut aushalten können. Erst, wenn das Leiden Ausdruck findet und unsere Nerven erbeben macht, quält uns das Mitleid.
[Kapitel 8, letzter Absatz - S. 41 in der Ausgabe Das Neue Berlin 1988]
All diese Geschöpfe trugen trotz ihrer menschlichen Form und trotz der Andeutung von Kleidung in sich, in ihre Bewegungen, in den Ausdruck ihrer Gesichter, in ihr ganzes Wesen hinein verwoben, das unverkennbare Zeichen eines Tiers ...
[Kapitel 9, 15. Absatz - S. 45 in der Ausgabe Das Neue Berlin 1988]
Aber, wie gesagt, ich war zu aufgeregt und - das ist wahr, wenn auch jemand, der die Gefahr nie gekannt hat, vielleicht nicht daran glaubt - zu verzweifelt, um zu sterben.
[Kapitel 13, 1. Absatz - S. 68 in der Ausgabe Das Neue Berlin 1988]
"Bis auf diesen Tag hab' ich mich um die Ethik der Angelegenheit noch nie bekümmert. Das Studium der Natur macht den Menschen schließlich so gewissenlos, wie die Natur selbst ist."
[Zitat Dr. Moreau in Kapitel 14, 28. Absatz - S. 79 in der Ausgabe Das Neue Berlin 1988]
Vorher waren sie Tiere gewesen; ihre Instinkte waren ihrer Umgebung angepaßt, und sie selbst so glücklich, wie lebendige Wesen nur sein können. Jetzt stolperten sie in den Fesseln der Menschlichkeit dahin, lebten in einer Angst, die niemals starb, von einem Gesetz gequält, das sie nicht verstanden; ihre halbmenschliche Existenz begann in Qualen, war ein einziger langer, innerer Kampf, eine einzige lange Furcht vor Moreau - und wozu? Die Nutzlosigkeit regte mich auf.
[Kapitel 17, drittletzter Absatz - S. 102 in der Ausgabe Das Neue Berlin 1988]
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Haiku summary
Doctor Moreau
made animals human
but this goes wrong

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553214322, Mass Market Paperback)

A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:43 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Dr. Moreau, a scientist, finds an isolated island that gives him the freedom to create hideous creatures with human intelligence.

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Average: (3.62)
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014144102X, 0141029153, 0141389397

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100534, 1400111145

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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