While I enjoyed the center portion of the book because of the suspense of waiting for something to happen, the overall book was disappointing. I am suWhile I enjoyed the center portion of the book because of the suspense of waiting for something to happen, the overall book was disappointing. I am sure this is partially to do with the era in which it is written - similarly horror movies from the early years were scary then but are redundant now - and partially because the movie "The Haunting" gave me somewhat of an expectation for physical horror and suspense.
The overall reading experience was good. However, the beginning was a little drawn out for such a short book. I found myself in more enjoyment by page 40-ish. Many of the portions of the movie were completely different from this book. Changes include (view spoiler)[ the reason they are there which is more forthcoming in the book. They are actually told that the house is haunted and that they're there to study possible phenomenon. Versely, the movie has them invited under the pretense of a sleep study that goes wrong. Then other changes include the cast of characters, the reasons Nell is being called to from beyond, the back story of Hugh Crane and his family, and the daily activities while they are there (hide spoiler)]. There are enough differences to say that if you saw the movie, you can't say you have heard this story.
The end of the book was slightly anti-climactic. I really wanted more to happen. If nothing more, somehow I was expecting a story twist that explained more about why Nell was being called to by the house... like she belongs, or was already a spirit, or whatever. The actual ending was not horrible but in contrast, was less interesting. With what they did, I would have expected at least to see Nell (view spoiler)[become a ghost after she runs her car into a tree rather than be forced to leave - which is what the group is trying to force her to do. Instead, the book just ends after she runs into a tree... they don't attempt to get a reaction from the onlookers or even from the house or Hugh Crane after the fact (hide spoiler)]. I felt almost like I was missing pages...
For the movie references in this review - this is the movie-version of the story that I saw: ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book was wonderfully sorrowful. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that the story explored the way that fear turns to sadness and empathy turns to repuThis book was wonderfully sorrowful. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that the story explored the way that fear turns to sadness and empathy turns to repulsion. This story is wrought with scientific impossibilities but that is not really the point and so it has a way of not mattering. The story of a scientist gone mad is a common plot and this one definitely falls in to that category. Interestingly, Moreau is not really a main character, though. The story is told from a retelling perspective from the character Pendrick. I find it extremely interesting that the story is told from such a step-away perspective. Had the story been told from a current perspective, I think that it might have had a more chilling feel to it. But because this is Pendrick later, we already know that he survives. We also get, from this, a very thoughtful version of his story. He has had time to think about things and gain some perspective before going back through the events.
I also think that this could be important on another level. (view spoiler)[ I have read several other reviews and discussions and am probably way off base since this doesn't come up in other discussions, but it seemed to me that it could be very possible that none of this ever happened. (mind you this is just one of many alternate ways of looking at the story and not one I fully back...) But let me explain...
• Pendrick claims to be an abstainer. But they never really explain that part of his back story much other than to explain why he and Montgomery don't seem to get a long well since Montgomery is a lush. But I think it is something important from his backstory. We never know why he isn't a drinker. Maybe there is a reason. • He knew a little bit of Moreau before he came to the island. He could have been terrified by the wildlife and possibly suffered dementia. He could have had a number of different things happen that manifested into an amazing, impossible, tale half in reality and half in nightmare. • This would seem all without merit on my part except that the animals reverted at the end. Before he left the island, the animals reverted to their animal selves. Like it never happened.
Anyway, the above theory isn't important to the story, just a side note. This book has a whole philosophical subplot without opening up possible alternate theories. There is the whole humanity issue, what makes us human. There is the morality issue, harming and hurting another living creature, and turning it into something other than what nature intended. There is the whole nature vs nurture argument and what makes someone what they are - their genes and their instincts or how and where they are raised, their environment, and their outside circumstances. What makes someone loyal to their friends and colleges even when they go off the reservation.
I find it strange that Montgomery seemed to back Moreau so whole-heartedly but was obviously self-medicating and never really agreed with what went on there. So the question of why he stayed is an important one. Moreau seems without human quality, and a total lunatic with a God complex, but for some reason he has the loyalty of Montgomery. I also found it strange that they gave Pendrick a room right next to the House of Pain. If the complex was just too small to get away from it, that is one thing, but I got the impression that there were other rooms besides the one next-door to the cries and wails of the puma. It makes me wonder if Moreau is a more sadistic character and enjoys harming others for reasons other than science experiments.
I also find it very interesting that Pendrick's perspective of fear and loathing changed dramatically when he discovers that these beasts were not once human, but are beasts remade in our image. Somehow, this is OK where the other is not. (hide spoiler)]
Needless to say, this book opens many questions and many possible discussions. Very interesting read. Totally understand why it is a classic. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys sci-fi or horror. This was my first time reading an HG Wells novel. I will absolutely read more....more
I began this book with high hopes. It's not something I'd ever have picked up on my own (I hate court dramas from every entertainment source) but it wI began this book with high hopes. It's not something I'd ever have picked up on my own (I hate court dramas from every entertainment source) but it was chosen in book club so i gave it a try. I really liked the movie as a kid, even though i hate court drama, because of the kid and his part in the drama. The same seemed true of the book. The first chapter was amazing and every time the kid came in the chapter read great! The issue came at the in between where the lawyers and cops, FBI, etc., were arguing over the kids and discussing their rights to pry information from them. This was so boring that it, unfortunately, completely overshadowed the story to me. I began feeling heavy dread whenever I thought about reading more. That feeling turns reading into homework to me and sucks all of the fun of of the experience.
This book isn't difficult. It's not hard to get through and if i really had to i could probably read it fairly quickly and easily. But the boring stuff was so much so that i didn't even want to retain what i was reading. I wanted to skim until the kid came back.
I really flip-flopped on whether I was going to try to finish this book or not. My decision to quit gave so much relief that i instantly knew it was the right decision....more
I read this book in Jr. High and rather enjoyed it. It took me forever to read through the whole book because I wasn't a big reader back then, but I eI read this book in Jr. High and rather enjoyed it. It took me forever to read through the whole book because I wasn't a big reader back then, but I enjoyed the scariness of the story though there were some parts that dragged on for me at that age.
This was the first horror-book I had ever read. I had already seen the movie, so I am sure that helped me along a stitch......more
This is one of the few books that I actually read when assigned at school. I will admit that as a teen I skipped around a little, but I can say with cThis is one of the few books that I actually read when assigned at school. I will admit that as a teen I skipped around a little, but I can say with confidence that I read 95% of the book and really enjoyed it.
*Adding this review now- because I didn't realize I skipped it in my "read" list when I first setup my account. :) ...more