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The Island of Doctor Moreau

H. G. Wells

Book Overview: 

The Island of Doctor Moreau is a science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells, addressing ideas of society and community, human nature and identity, religion, Darwinism, and eugenics.

When the novel was written, England’s scientific community was engulfed by debates on animal vivisection. Interest groups were even formed to tackle the issue: the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection was formed two years after the publication of the novel. The novel is presented as a discovered manuscript, introduced by the narrator’s nephew; it then ‘transcribes’ the tale.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .with this new stuff,” said the white-haired man, nodding towards the enclosure. His eyes grew brighter.

“I daresay you are,” said Montgomery, in anything but a cordial tone.

“We can't send him over there, and we can't spare the time to build him a new shanty; and we certainly can't take him into our confidence just yet.”

“I'm in your hands,” said I. I had no idea of what he meant by “over there.”

“I've been thinking of the same things,” Montgomery answered. “There's my room with the outer door—”

“That's it,” said the elder man, promptly, looking at Montgomery; and all three of us went towards the enclosure. “I'm sorry to make a mystery, Mr. Prendick; but you'll remember you're uninvited. Our little establishment here contains a secret or so, is a kind of Blue-Beard's chamber, in fact. Nothing very dreadful, really, to a san. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was my first time reading this classic sci-fi morality tale, and it wasn't exactly what I expected. <--not in a bad way

I thought it was going to be this Island where Dr. Moreau was splicing and dicing genes and coming up with human-animal hybrids. And then this new guy was going to come along a

"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. I hope, or I could not live."

Unique, peculiar and interesting science fiction story by H.G.Wells

3 to 3.5 stars

A quick classic! Good, but not great.

It feels like this was Wells’ treatise on science playing God thinly veiled in a story. It is about 2/3 textbook dissertation about the possibilities and ramifications of body modification/species merge. The other 1/3 is the actual story of action a

Welcoming the body horror genre, paired with a classical mad scientists´ approach towards progressive research methods and creating special forms of new life, Wells shows how secret living biological weapons programs were done in the good, old, elitist days. Luckily, science has evolved and today´s

"Not to go on all-Fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men?

Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law. Are we not Men?

Not to eat Flesh or Fish; that is the Law. Are we not Men?

Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not Men?

Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not Men?"

H.G. Wells

Much creepier than I expected and much smarter, The Island of Dr. Moreau, as with so much of H.G. Wells' science fiction, addressed the ethical pitfalls of a scientific eventuality far too early to be anything other than prophetic, yet it still manages to be more entertaining than preachy.

Edward Pr

H.G. Wells is undoubtedly an exceptional human being!

Apart from the fact that "The Island of Doctor Moreau" is clearly part of the Victorian science fiction tradition, it contains all elements of a timeless study of the human condition, as well as a reflection on issues that are more worrying now th

This book stems from an idea that is at the same time thought-provoking, insane and very tangible. That is probably the reason why it is so scary. It is a classic of the victorian era, but for some reason probably not as famous as many other fictions of the “gothic” movement and indeed not as well k

Read 2016

I am giving this book four stars for the prophetic quality and not for its value as classic horror story. I read quite a few horror classics for my project to go through the history of sci fi/fantasy. I am not too impressed by the genre but I appreciate the effort, considering the period is

Popular historian and utopian novelist H.G. Wells is sometimes thought of as the “anti-Gibbon”: whereas Edward Gibbon devoted himself to studying a culture’s “decline and fall”, H.G. Well’s celebrates the march of progress, showing how our culture, despite many obvious setbacks, moves on toward grea

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