The Island of Doctor Moreau

The Island of Doctor Moreau

Book - 1996
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Following a shipwreck a young naturalist finds himself on an island run by a mad scientist intent on creating a strain of beast men.
Publisher: New York : The Modern Library, [1996]
Copyright Date: ©1996
ISBN: 9780679602309
Branch Call Number: FIC Wells
Characteristics: xxix, 185 pages ; 20 cm


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Aug 16, 2020

essential reading - a beautifully written novel, not a sentence wasted, perfectly paced. short but dense with imagery and ideas, hauntingly profound, borderline nihilistic, in other words science fiction at its best, and, of course, written by the master of the form. (i have yet to read much of Wells' work, but it is hard to imagine better than this incredible book.) set a standard for modern fiction that broke writing free from the conventions of the late 19th century, and perennially relevant.

Jan 28, 2020

This was a dark, deeply disturbing novel. While I understand its literary significance and respect what it did for the horror genre, I personally didn't care for it at all. The main character was annoyingly self-righteous, Dr. Moreau was inhumanly evil (I get this was the point, but come on) and Montgomery was no more than a step-stool, unable to function without direction from his boss. I find it interesting that there is no trigger warning for animal violence for those who aren't familiar with the story. There are several scenes with the poor puma that I just can't get out of my head, to say nothing of the vivisection descriptions of what Moreau did to the other animals. Not only was the novel disturbing, but it felt like it went on forever- and that simply shouldn't be in a book that's under 200 pages. I'll have to give it to Wells for his cleverness and imagination, but this novel simply wasn't for me.


As a big fan of science fiction novels, I was excited to read The Island of Doctor Moreau, one of H.G. Wells’ more famous works. It illustrates the experiences of Edward Prendick, who, after being left to die at sea, was rescued by Dr. Moreau and his close friend, Montgomery. It goes on to tell us of his adventures, stranded on an island with a man vivisecting animals. And though I liked the novel, the story was disturbing, and, at times, frightening. I would recommend the book, but only to people who have read H.G Wells’ works before. I say this because this novel is very disquieting, but, if you have read his other novels, you should be used to his style of writing and his disturbing imagery. On a scale out of five, I would rate this book a three. Catherine, grade 9, of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

Jun 17, 2019

A gripping examination of what separates man from beasts and just how blurry those lines really are. Arranged in the format of a novella, this story is suspenseful and action-packed, making for a highly entertaining read.

May 27, 2019

Convo with Tyler, Atwood

Jan 29, 2019

When you read a book like this one, you will fully comprehend why it is considered a classic. H. G. Wells wrote with a style in which from the very opening page, the reader is draped in a prose of mystery, with a dash of suspense, which is maintained all the way to the end. He knows exactly what words go where and how to use them, all making for a wonderful, delightful, and excellent read.

H. G. Wells has stood the test of time for a reason. Oh how my imagination traveled with the words of this book, imagining the creatures, the island, Dr. Moreau, and all the rest. His writing style only made my imagination vivid and real.

H. G. Wells, this story, and books like this are an absolute treasure and delight to read. It reminds you how rich and deep a story can be, how words wonderfully come together to tell a wondrous story, and how a story can be so imaginatively told. Very few stories or authors can obtain this mastery.

Sep 12, 2018

this is one of Wells's best. check out the films made based on it. chilling. thought-provoking.

Andrew Kyle Bacon
Feb 14, 2018

I feel strange reviewing this book, as I think it is better than I give it credit for. This feeling might stem from the fact that I only recently read Dracula for the first time, which was a horribly thrilling novel, and this in no way invoked the terror or discomfort of that book. In terms of its prose, The Island of Dr. Moreau is a well-crafted book, with an engaging and interesting narrative, that I can safely called a "page turner." My problem with it lies with the fact that I never bought into its premise, which greatly affected by enjoyment of the story.

Jan 18, 2018

The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of my favorite classics. This was the third novel I have read by H.G. Wells, but I would never be able to pick a favorite. Wells is a great author who creates unique, intriguing plotlines. I like the fact that he writes challenging text but still leaves out unnecessary words, descriptions, and explanations. He can describe an image in just half a page while using an entertaining style of writing. When he once described a group of strange beasts, all he had to say was that “at any rate they were an amazingly ugly gang, and over the heads of them, under the forward lug, peered the black face of the man whose eyes were luminous in the dark” (Wells 30). The words Wells uses are particularly entertaining and he avoids redundancy. A flaw of his works is a lack of characters who really stand out. The Island of Dr. Moreau has brief chapters which I love and a certain mood that attracts me. His books are also fairly short which is more enjoyable and less time consuming for me.
This novel deals largely with moral rules and ethical issues. The story presents one ethical character, Prendick, who abides by every rule, views vivisection as pure evil, avoids hurting people, and even abstains from alcohol. This character is put in high contrast with Moreau, a remorseless man who doesn’t abide by normal rules, practices vivisection, and doesn’t mind hurting people. The reader is forced to think about ideas concerning morality like whether or not the beasts are a moral abomination or whether the ethical issue of Moreau’s vivisection really matters.
(Spoilers!) The story begins with the main character, Prendick, being stranded at sea, starving and desperate. He is rescued by a man named Montgomery on a ship with a few strange creatures on board. The man is friendly, but the island that the ship arrives at seems dangerous. It doesn’t take long for Prendick to discover that the other man on the island, Moreau, is a vivisectionist who experiments on animals to create the odd, half human creatures that live on the island. Of course, Prendick is terrified by this information, and a few chapters are spent hiding from Moreau and desperately avoiding him. Moreau eventually finds him, calms him down, and brings him back to their huts. He gives Prendick a lengthy explanation about his “triumphs of vivisection” (87), and it becomes clear that Moreau isn’t sane when he goes on to describe sympathetic pain as “a thing [he] used to suffer from years ago” (93). Still, Prendick eventually realizes that Moreau has no reason to hurt him and stays in the huts with the two men. The only danger to him now is the beast folk, who begin to gradually become less civil. They start to break the law that Moreau holds them to and dead prey animals begin to show up on the island. Soon they are out of control and savage. They kill Moreau in an attempt for anarchy and Prendick tries to take charge after that, but it’s not long before they kill Montgomery too. This event leaves Prendick alone on the island with savage beast people, but they mostly just avoid each other. He eventually does make it back home after a boat washes up on shore. Obviously, he isn’t able to be the same again. He ends up skittish around people and scarred for life, but he’s lucky to be alive. The elaborate chain of events in this story is suspenseful, intriguing, unique, and a little bizarre.

trevordunfordswife Nov 24, 2016

Creepy and Pertinent

I read this for the first time many years ago when I was 12 or 13. It creeped me out then and when I picked it up recently again it creeps me out still. Ugh. I felt so sorry for those poor creatures that I simply did not want to believe what I knew to be the truth. Best read on or around Hallowe'en. Sad and depressing because we have not come so far in our attitudes toward animals - or our treatment thereof. A read albeit short read.

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trevordunfordswife Nov 24, 2016

trevordunfordswife thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

red_bear_869 Mar 05, 2013

red_bear_869 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

KSJT Aug 29, 2011

KSJT thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Jun 23, 2015

There is, though I do not know how there is or why there is, a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven. There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever is more than animal within us must find its solace and its hope. -- Ch. 22

Jun 16, 2015

To this day I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter. The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.
-- Ch. 14

KSJT Aug 29, 2011

"At any rate they were an amazingly ugly gang, and over the heads of them, under the forward lug, peered the black face of the man whose eyes were luminous in the dark."


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Jul 23, 2015

A survivor of a shipwreck finds himself on an island where a mad scientist named Dr. Moreau is turning animals into human-like beings.


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