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Search tags: the-island-of-dr-moreau
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review 2017-09-14 08:49
Beast, monster, man
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells

This went places I did not expect it to go.

 

For so short pages, I though it'd make a straight story of what we know would be the subject matter, with a tension building, a reveal and a violent resolution. Those elements where there, after a fashion, but not in the order or at the page number a reader would expect. I was surprised, and pleasantly so. For me, it was a truly horrifying read.

 

It takes a bit to get to the Island, setting up the atmosphere, and the MC's seeming passiveness or detachment, but also raising some interesting questions with the aftermath of that shipwreck. Things come to a head early and the story follows from those into unexpected paths.

 

Moreau could have made fast friends with Megele. After that lengthy explanation, when I though I had grasped his cold evil, there were still little pockets of surprise horror to make me shudder, like:

 

He told me they were creatures made of the offspring of the Beast People, that Moreau had invented. He had fancied they might serve for meat,

 

Gah! Every time I read it I'm swamped with a wave of... Ick!

 

I kept thinking back to Frankenstein. The moral burden is a lot less debatable here: Moreau is the indisputable monster. Actually, it's a bit like human nature is the monstrous part. Like the bit about the leopard?

 

It may seem a strange contradiction in me,—I cannot explain the fact,—but now, seeing the creature there in a perfectly animal attitude, with the light gleaming in its eyes and its imperfectly human face distorted with terror, I realised again the fact of its humanity.

 

And Prendick seems to subconsciously think it so too, given his sequels. I feel for the guy. Seriously, I was melancholy by the end. Talk about connecting.

 

Hats off to Wells for this one. Even if he need a synonym dictionary, because "presently" appeared more times than the characters' names combined.

 

 

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text 2017-09-14 03:20
Reading progress update: I've read 64 out of 160 pages.
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells

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

 

He finds this all grotesque and ridiculous. I think the implications are deeply ironic, and might turn interesting.

 

By the way, Wells seems obsessed with the word "presently"

 

 

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text 2017-09-14 03:01
Reading progress update: I've read 32 out of 160 pages.
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells

What could it all mean? A locked enclosure on a lonely island, a notorious vivisector, and these crippled and distorted men?

 

*eye-roll*

 

He did point out that he had been starved and weakened by the whole boat ordeal, so he has a pass. Mostly because there were some awesomely dry observations before this, like

 

and to tell the truth I was not curious to learn what might have driven a young medical student out of London. I have an imagination.

 

And creepy descriptions, and this bit of existentialist paragraph

 

I was set apart from those nameless ones with whom I had fled down a dark road and whose lack of identity I had shared all night in a dark room. I was named, known, recognized; I existed. It was an intense relief. I followed my leader gladly.

 

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review 2017-09-08 19:31
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells

My second read for the halloween bingo that has wacky science in it and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoy wacky science.

 

The story of Edward Prendick, who gets shipwrecked and ends up on the island of the mysterious Dr. Moreau, is a gripping and fastpaced and slightly disturbing read. I would put it in the survival horror genre, because poor Edward really has to deal with a lot of situations, where imminent death is looming right around the corner. Besides all the problems the main character has to struggle with, Wells explores the the world of science, how far a scienctist can (and should) go with his obsessions and what kind of responsibility arises from his decisions.

 

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Gordon Griffin and he brought the desperation of Edward Prendick to life. Classics seem to work extremely well for me on audiobook and this has been no exception.

 

I´ve read The Island of Dr. Moreau for the "Classic Horror" square and since it´s been first published in 1896, it more than qualifies for this catgory.

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-07 00:00
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Island of Dr. Moreau - H.G. Wells If you can make an animal into a person, how long do you think it will be before someone can make a person decent?

Edward Prendick survives a shipwreck and is rescued by a supply ship headed for The Island of Dr Moreau. Prendick is cast overboard by the supply ship and is thus stranded on the island where he discovers a mad scientist (surgeon actually) has been at work for many years. The locals are huge fans of vivisection. Things go downhill when Brando is cast as Moreau.

I mostly enjoyed rereading this novel, and I definitely understood more of the issues than when I read it as a kid. At the time HG Wells wrote this famous tale, there was much debate in Europe regarding degeneration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degeneration_theory), evolution, and vivisection. Wells himself thought that humans could use vivisection for evolutionary purposes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Limits_of_Individual_Plasticity). And what better way to discuss these issues than in a science fiction novel.

There were two main issues that stopped me enjoying this novel more. The first issue is common to all of the HG Wells novels I have recently reviewed, and that is the dated style that drains a lot of the tension out of the narrative. The reader is always left at arms-length from the story. The second issue is a narrative device that is still commonly used today: book-ending. Book-ending (a term I've probably made up) is where the actual story is wedged between an external narrative that is used to recount the story proper. This does two things that annoy me: it adds needless narrative and characters; and it destroys any suspense or mystery. The latter is the worst part. In The Island of Dr Moreau we already know that Prendick survives the island and his experiences have left him emotionally scarred and unable to live among people, because his nephew introduces the tale after finding the manuscript when Prendick dies.

Regardless, this is a creepy tale that is worth reading even if you just want to learn to recite 'Are We Not Men'.
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