Book Review: The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells

Charles Prendick is rescued from a shipwreck by a strange man, Montgomery, who through various mis-steps he follows to the island where Montogmery works as an assistant to an even stranger scientist, Moreau.

Prendick discovers Moreau is carrying out bizarre, sadistic experiments, using the island as his personal kingdom to stamp his version of humanity on those around him. Prendick becomes more desperate as the suffering continues and he tries to relate to Moreau's creations, while they become more animalistic.

This is a story of a scientist playing god, who believes his own intentions are good and will not listen to other's opinions. Prendick shows the reactions of the society Moreau has rejected, his increasing horror as he spends more time on the isolated island, dealing with what Moreau has created and rejected as imperfect.

Although I haven't seen the latest film adaptation I can see why the story was chosen: the descriptions let you imagine exactly the scenes Wells' is setting out, the island is small and has various set-like parts, including the cabin Prendick uses, and with modern special effects Moreau's creatures would be more than lifelike.

You can read The Island of Dr. Moreau online from Bartleby or Project Gutenberg

Title: The Island of Dr. Moreau
Author: H G Wells
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 0-75280-852-4
Published Date: 1896
Pages: 129

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Review by Paul Silver, 2004