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4.4 out of 5 stars123
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 January 2006
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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on 7 October 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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on 4 February 2003
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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on 2 January 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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 14 October 2015
This book was recommended to me, and I’m jolly glad I finally got around to reading it. While a short book, at around 180 pages (depending on the edition), the story, first published in 1896, has proved a theme which has been taken up numerous times in literature, comics, music, film and television since.

The story is that of Edward Prendick, whose journey on the ‘Lady Vain’ ends abruptly with the loss of the ship in 1887. Some survived, but Prendick is not found until nearly a year later. Where he had been, and how he could have survived, remained somewhat of a mystery. That was partly because he had not wanted to try to explain what had happened to him, and we now read of his adventures in the form of papers released by his nephew and heir.

The story of Prendick’s journey to and survival of life on the island of Doctor Moreau is also a tale of humanity; what it means to be human, and the ease with which what we would consider humanity’s traits can be lost, especially when moral compasses are not maintained. The issue of vivisection and the work which Doctor Moreau is undertaking on his island was a hot topic at the time of publication of this book, and Wells’ work raised further discussion on the subject, and the creation of societies dedicated to opposition of work involving these techniques.

This is a brief but important work, and deserves to be considered a classic, along with Wells’ other more well-known works. I found it a thoroughly engaging (and in places disturbingly ghastly) read, and one which is highly thought-provoking as well. The issues it raises are just as valid today as they were over a hundred years ago, and the characters just as likely to be found in modern society.
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Quite literally once read this is a book that is never forgotten, and I must admit that I love to come back to this every now and then for a good and thoughtful read. Lest we forget, this book has been influential; after all we all know what is meant when the name Doctor Moreau is mentioned.

You could start a business up with publishing articles and books on just this one story, because although relatively short people have spent much time analysing this for deeper and more complex symbolism and meanings, and with our present world we can also see this as a warning of genetic engineering.

Narrated by Edward Prendick, this is his account of when he went missing for nearly a year. From being thought drowned and thus dead after the boat he was on sunk, just under a year later he is found floating on the ocean and rescued. The story that he leaves here is one of true horror, cruelty, unregulated science and madness. When Edward is saved from the sinking of the boat he was on little does he expect to end up on an island where madness reigns, for he is about to meet Doctor Moreau. Moreau was once an established scientist as such, but was driven from England due to his experimentation. Now this vivisectionist has an island, where he can carry on even more horrific experiments than he ever could where there were others about.

Although an allegory of Imperialism and racism written when Great Britain held a vast empire, there is a lot more to this story. On the surface this is an easy book to read, but this is clever, underlying this is a lot to contemplate as this is very philosophical. Taking in sadism and pain, what it actually means to be human, evolution, fear, compassion, etc. this has a lot to offer any reader.

As we read Edward’s account we become disgusted and horrified, but is it that far from what can and does happen? Could this be the future? Personally I think that this book would be a great choice for book groups as it holds so much in its pages that is worth discussing.
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on 7 April 2004
This book is so wonderful, I'm surprised I haven't worn holes through the pages of my copy, I've read it that much. Anne marries her beloved Gilbert and they settle down into a little fishing village, where she stays in a bubble of perfect happiness. She makes new friends, matronly Miss Cornelia, withdrawn, enigmatic Leslie, and the delightful, generous Captain Jim of the Lighthouse. But the sweet life she lives threatens to collapse as tragedy strikes, a tragedy that will move any reader to tears. Anne struggles on, through her grief, supported with tender sympathy by her husband and friends. Though it left an unmendable mark on her heart, "There was something in her smile that wasn't there before, and was never absent from it again," Anne discovers, once more, how to laugh.
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on 15 January 1999
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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 14 October 2015
This book was recommended to me, and I’m jolly glad I finally got around to reading it. While a short book, at around 180 pages (depending on the edition), the story, first published in 1896, has proved a theme which has been taken up numerous times in literature, comics, music, film and television since.

The story is that of Edward Prendick, whose journey on the ‘Lady Vain’ ends abruptly with the loss of the ship in 1887. Some survived, but Prendick is not found until nearly a year later. Where he had been, and how he could have survived, remained somewhat of a mystery. That was partly because he had not wanted to try to explain what had happened to him, and we now read of his adventures in the form of papers released by his nephew and heir.

The story of Prendick’s journey to and survival of life on the island of Doctor Moreau is also a tale of humanity; what it means to be human, and the ease with which what we would consider humanity’s traits can be lost, especially when moral compasses are not maintained. The issue of vivisection and the work which Doctor Moreau is undertaking on his island was a hot topic at the time of publication of this book, and Wells’ work raised further discussion on the subject, and the creation of societies dedicated to opposition of work involving these techniques.

This is a brief but important work, and deserves to be considered a classic, along with Wells’ other more well-known works. I found it a thoroughly engaging (and in places disturbingly ghastly) read, and one which is highly thought-provoking as well. The issues it raises are just as valid today as they were over a hundred years ago, and the characters just as likely to be found in modern society.
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This book was selected for discussion in my book group and I am looking forward to our debate.

I am writing this review in advance of reading Margaret Atwood's comments and any other comments to give my initial personal comment on this book.

I know about the movies of this story and I also read a couple of Wells' books when I was at school. I have always wanted to read more but have never had the time - something else always seems more enticing. H.G. Wells and Jules Verne are both early exponents of science fiction and I suppose you might see them as impossibly dated. The characters in H.G. Wells all seem very English and Victorian and a bit "sepia-tinted".
However, science fiction does have a habit of making the reader think more about social, political and ethical issues by taking the reader to fantastical places (both actual and metaphorical).

Dr Moreau is a vivisectionist, i.e. someone who experiments on animals. While film makers like to think he is a kind of Frankenstein creating terrifying monsters that will go out of control or a made scientist intent of world domination, the book portrays him merely as a scientist in a disinterested search for the possibilities of making animals into human beings. The reason for such a weird pursuit is not really explained and maybe the science described is wrong, but what is interesting even for today's readership is that genetic modification and cloning both of plant and animal tissue is ongoing scientific activity. There are plenty of ethical issues surrounding this.

What is interesting here is the idea that while Dr Moreau can make animals stand up, develop speech and articulate rules and ideas, he cannot remove their essential inner beast.

This is a short novel, a novella really, in which a man through his ship being wrecked ends up a guest on the island of Dr Moreau and his assistant Montgomery some where in the South Pacific. There he lives for a year with these misshapen people, initially terrified that were once human but were victims of Dr Moreau's experiments but then learning that they were in fact animals who had been made human.

It is an exciting but also deeply thought-provoking read.
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