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The Island of Dr Moreau (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Mar 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (31 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014144102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441023
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.1 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England, on September 21, 1866. His father was a professional cricketer and sometime shopkeeper, his mother a former lady's maid. Although "Bertie" left school at fourteen to become a draper's apprentice (a life he detested), he later won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London, where he studied with the famous Thomas Henry Huxley. He began to sell articles and short stories regularly in 1893.

In 1895, his immediately successful novel rescued him from a life of penury on a schoolteacher's salary. His other "scientific romances" - The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898), The First Men in the Moon (1901), and The War in the Air (1908) - won him distinction as the father of science fiction.

Henry James saw in Wells the most gifted writer of the age, but Wells, having coined the phrase "the war that will end war" to describe World War I, became increasingly disillusioned and focused his attention on educating mankind with his bestselling Outline of History (1920) and his later utopian works. Living until 1946, Wells witnessed a world more terrible than any of his imaginative visions, and he bitterly observed: "Reality has taken a leaf from my book and set itself to supercede me."

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Review

"Mason Harris provides the reader with essential connections between The Island of Doctor Moreau and the scientific and philosophical debates that raged in the Victorian world. This edition provides vital insight that allows the reader to slice through the shadows of Moreau's House of Pain and emerge into the true turn-of-the-century horror that H.G. Wells constructed. The appendices, including samples of Wells's scientific journalism, help bring focus to the complexity of the author's vision."--Eric Cash, editor of The Undying Fire: The Journal of The H.G. Wells Society, the Americas, 2001-2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

H. G. Wells' classic about the nightmarish excesses of biological experimentation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I do not propose to add anything to what has already been written concerning the loss of the Lady Vain. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on 7 Oct. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James Chester on 16 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read many of H.G. Wells' works, including many of his short stories, all of which were a joy to read, but this was by far the most enjoyable. It is thrilling in its intense sense of mystery and malignity that dominates the feel of the narrative from start to finish. There is a genuine sense of loathing for some of the creatures/characters that Wells presents and the excitement kept me gripped so that I could hardly put it down. I don't want to say too much in case I give any of the plot away but it is certainly in the top-ten of my favourite books!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 4 Feb. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Edward Prendick, an unfortunate shipwreck survivor, is plucked out of the ocean by the strange Dr. Montgomery, little does he know that he has dropped out of the frying pan and into the fire. When they arrive at their destination, Prendick finds that the whole island is filled with unnatural seeming people, and the least unnatural, but the most frightening is the lord and master of the island Dr. Moreau. There is a secret to this island, something terrifying, and Prendick is about to find out what it is, whether he wants to or not.
This book is one of the crowning examples of nineteenth century fantastic fiction. But, it is not merely an early science fiction story. Mr. Wells wrote this story as something of a lesson about scientists playing God, and creating monstrosities (not unlike Mary Shelley's Frankenstein). This book is an exciting adventure story, with a fascinating lesson. Even though the book was written in 1896, it is still an exciting read, one that I highly recommend to you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Flange on 8 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
I wish some of Wells' books had never been filmed and this is the chief of them - a dazzling grim satire on Victorian complacency about the beast within. The story is straightforward - Edward Prendick, Victorian gentleman-at-large, is rescued from shipwreck and taken to an island where animals are painfully rendered into the shapes of human beings by one of English literature's few genuinely mad scientists. Inevitably, the remade animals are pitiful things, neither fully beast nor fully human, and gradually their resentment of their "maker" builds.
Contrary to popular belief, Doctor Moreau is not a genetic engineer - instead, he's a refugee vivisectionist who creates parodies of people using a mixture of pain, surgery and conditioning. In one of those horrible cases where Wells inadvertently made a successful prophecy when he would have been luckier to have been wrong, Moreau seems a dreadful emblem of the worst of the 20th century - an utterly amoral experimentalist one part Mengele to one part Pavlov.
Amongst the details that make the book unforgettable is the clinical spirit in which Moreau explains and 'justifies' his experiments to Prendick - making Moreau a satire on Victorian ideas of evolution as a pro-human force that steadily (if slowly) makes the better out of the worse. Having learned his Darwin from no less a Darwinian than Thomas Huxley, Wells knew better than to equate evolution with progress, and saw more clearly than many of his contemporaries that evolution has no especial care for humanity as such but will reshape any form that comes along. Wells called the book "an exercise in youthful blasphemy" and said it was written in one of his moods when "the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "petebingham" on 2 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
Everybody knows how Wells' books were used as a vehicle for his political and social beliefs and/or manifestos. If, however, you choose to read them on base value and avoid getting too deep in Wells' metaphors and messages, his books can take on a whole new light.
This book (Dr. Moreau) is very moody and dark and probes deep into your conscience and thoughts. I dreamt about the characters and the island so many nights after reading the book. The doctor's ideas on surgery are frightful and disturbing as are the latter chapters on the beast-men's reversions back to animals.
You will not be able to put the book down, and nor should you attempt to.
Amazon wouldn't let me put 6 out of 5 for this book. I'm sure you get the idea!
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