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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "HIS is the House of Pain..." (4.5 stars)
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...
Published on 7 Oct 2003 by Michael Crane

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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull in places
Whilst I enjoyed this book overall I felt in many areas it was a slog to get through as it appeared to focus on technological details of processes, chemical compositions etc in an effort for the author to demonstrate his scientific knowledge rather than developing the story. (Perhaps this was the literary style at the time of writing). As a result I felt that a lot of...
Published 17 days ago by TRACY LOUISE MARSHALL


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "HIS is the House of Pain..." (4.5 stars), 7 Oct 2003
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
5.0 out of 5 stars H.G. Wells at his very best, 16 Jan 2006
This review is from: The Island of Dr Moreau (Penguin Classics) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting read, 4 Feb 2003
By 
Kurt A. Johnson (Marseilles, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars "The aimless torture in creation ...", 8 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Island of Dr Moreau (Penguin Classics) (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". Just as in Swift, the strange island reflects the greater world in miniature. While Prendick escapes from the island physically, its taint stays with him and the closing description of his living exiled from humanity, even while in its midst, offers a horribly convincing picture of depression and alienation.
This Penguin edition has a useful introduction from the great Margaret Atwood, herself no stranger to well-wrought scientific nightmares.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An island of mystery and intrigue - Excellent, 2 Jan 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars H.G.Wells' darkest story, a classic., 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This is his darkest story,one of animal experimentation and the futility of man's struggle against nature and darwinism. H.G.Wells is a master of science Fiction. Our hero is shipwrecked on an island with the infamous Dr Moreau and the the story becomes darker and more terrifying, the feelings of claustrophobia increase with each paragraph. Read this book as it is a masterpiece and should be read by every science student. But whatever you do, do not watch the film, with Brando and Kilmer as it is terrible and will ruin the book
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More horror than science fiction, 12 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Island of Dr Moreau (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I first read this as an eleven-year-old and found it terrifying. Many years later I have re-read it and it's still disturbing. This is so unlike Wells' usual science fiction. It is not just horrifying, it is intensely thought-provoking in ways that I'm sure passed me by as a youngster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific, 12 Nov 2013
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As a fan of horror I thought I would find this story tame. It isn't. It's very very scary; made even worse when you realise the themes are as valid now as when it was written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be afraid: genetic engineering can do better, 30 May 2011
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This review is from: The Island of Dr Moreau (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
A sinister book that is absolutely true still today. At the end of the 19th century surgical attempts and experiments permitted some animals to be transformed into evolved forms of their species close to human beings. He is an animalistic Frankenstein, this Doctor Moreau.

These evolved animals could speak which is impossible since they could not have the phonatory, articulatory and brain capabilities necessary for language. But the idea enables the first level of the fable. And it is a fable at the time that could become a nightmare. Moreau's attempts were only surgical before anesthetics and antibiotics. It means it was highly improbable.

The next stage is that Dr Moreau, through some kind of hypnosis impresses into their minds a "religion" of sorts in two directions: first fear, the fear to go back to the house of pains, that is to say Moreau's own laboratory, to suffer some more in the hands of Moreau who is seen as the master, the only authority, a god of sorts in other words. The second trend is the learning by heart and the ceaselessly repeating of a catechism that implies they respect some rules because they are human. In fact it is the reverse of what they say in this catechism: by repeating these rules they can pretend they are human.

But strangely enough the ruin of this world will come from the very assistant of Dr Moreau. He will bring from his last voyage to Africa some rabbits he will free in the jungle and a man that had been picked up in the middle of the ocean more than half dead. The rabbits will multiply for sure but some of the monstrosities created by Moreau from carnivores will get a taste of that blood and that is one of the rules in the catechism that is thus broken. Once this rule is broken, why not the others, and once this rule is broken by one creature why not by other creatures. This creates a rebellion among the more or less controlled "society" of these monstrosities and against the humans who dominate them with whips, guns and fear.

This will be amplified by the escape of the latest animal, a leopard, from the laboratory before the transformation is complete. The hunt for that imperfect animal leads to the death of Dr Moreau and then the complete crumbling of the island.

The assistant becomes crazy and spreads alcohol among the beasts, burns the two boats that could provide an escape and some of the carnivores can attack and kill the assistant.

Pendrick, the rescued guest saved from a shipwreck, has only one solution: to escape after killing the carnivore that is most menacing. But to escape he needs a boat of some kind. His building a raft is not that successful but a current brings a small boat with two dead people aboard. He is able to recuperate the boat and escape. Within three days he is picked up by a ship.

But back with humans he finds he has developed a taste for solitude, mistrust for humans and that no one wants to believe him, not even the slightest allusions about this island.

But this book is still valid for us because with our surgical science and technology, with our anesthetics and our genetic engineering we can do exactly what Dr Moreau tried to do, but without the pain and without the drawbacks. We easily can clone for instance or graft one animal element onto the genes of a human being, or vice versa and develop animals with human physiological and physical characteristics, and vice versa, humans with animal characteristics.

In fact we can wonder at times if our neighbors are not genetically modified organisms when we see how animal-like their behavior may be when they bark or ululate or go for a taste of blood on an accident scene or on a crime scene.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I hope, or I could not live", 26 Feb 2011
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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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