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The Island of Dr. Moreau

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  71,217 Ratings  ·  2,818 Reviews
Written in 1896, The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of the earliest scientific romances. An instant sensation, it was meant as a commentary on Darwin’s theory of evolution, which H. G. Wells stoutly believed. The story centers on the depraved Dr. Moreau, who conducts unspeakable animal experiments on a remote tropical island, with hideous, humanlike results. Edward Prendick, ...more
Paperback, 203 pages
Published May 14th 2002 by Modern Library (first published 1896)
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Anna Definitely not. The goriest bits are blood, mentions of "open wounds," sever animal cruelty, and the vivisection, which is never described in full,…moreDefinitely not. The goriest bits are blood, mentions of "open wounds," sever animal cruelty, and the vivisection, which is never described in full, only alluded to.

If you read this book for a book club, you might also be interested in the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. The short story is very similar to this book and very thrilling with little to no gore involved. You could compare the two stories and the two antagonists quite well, drawing parallels between the main themes of each story and how they related to the time period they were written for. (The Island of Dr. Mareau was originally written as social commentary on the practice of vivisection.)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Raeleen Lemay
Jun 07, 2015 marked it as tbr-physical  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, classics
The fact that I suddenly have a huge urge to read this has NOTHING to do with the fact that I've been binge-watching Orphan Black. Nothing at all.
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: SciFi and/or Horror Geeks
Shelves: sci-fi, mieville50
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 Prendick finds himself shipwrecked on an island with Doctors Montgomery and Moreau. The former a follower of the latter, who just happens to be a mad vivisectionist. Beyond these scientists, Prendick fi
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 than they were in the 19th century.

Do scientists have to follow ethical rules, or are they entitled to indulge in experiments that satisfy their curiosity, regardless of the consequences? In the traditi
Léonard Gaya
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 known as a few other novels by H.G. Wells (such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man or The War of the Worlds). But it definitely deserves to be read again today.

The plot is rather simple: a castaway
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
En tan sólo cinco años, H.G. Wells escribió este libro, "El Hombre Invisible", "La Guerra de los Mundos" y "La Máquina del Tiempo", lo que demuestra la potencia creadora de la que era capaz este gran autor a la hora de sentarse a escribir.
Cada una de estas novelas son innovadoras, brillantes, futuristas. Contemporáneo de Julio Verne y tan inteligente como el escritor francés, se hizo famoso por sus libros de anticipación científica acompañados de una aventura bien llevada de mano de la literatur
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-80s-sf
“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 Fish or Flesh; 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?”
"You gotta fight for your right to paaaaarty!"

Sorry for a spoiler so early on but yes, The Beastie Boys are to be found on the unnamed – but titular – Island of Dr. Moreau. Sort of.

Interestingly The Island
Jason Pettus
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Book #16: The Island of Dr Moreau, by HG Wells (1896)

The story in a nutshell:
Along with French author Jules Verne, the British HG Wells is considered one of the
Paul Bryant
I think Vegans will like this book because they would say this is what happens if you start to eat dairy and wear leather, suede, pearls, silk or fur. Eventually you will think nothing of eating pepperoni pizza and monkey brains. And from eating animals it will be a short step to thinking it’s okay to experiment on them for better cosmetics. And from that it’s only natural that you will end up creating a horrible race of Beast People by vivisection on an isolated island in the South Pacific. Wel ...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Buddy-read with the Bitchin' Kristin.

Set to commence October 1...

Look at me, getting all classic in my spooktober this year... (for those of you new to this, I am a HUGE Halloween fan. The month of October in Ninjalandia is dedicated to all those things which go bump in the night - and day.)

W, is for Wells

3 Stars

Okay, so I am officially the worst buddy-reader ever, Kristin hasn’t even started this yet! However, owing to the insanity that is spooktober, and the fact that I am starting another b
MJ Nicholls
The Island of Doctor Moreau? Please! Who among us hasn’t gambolled in fields with apecats, badgies, cockpigs, donrets, elephocks, ferrats, gerbats, horsharks, iguanomones, jagutans, kookakeys, llamoles, monkelots, narwhelks, ostringos, pandicoots, quaileeches, rhinilgais, shaardvarks, tigeels, uintapmunks, volemice, wombulls, xanthraffes, yakapes and zebrams? In your back garden (or if you live in a city, in the countryside—a mythical place where grass exists), trillions of micro-organisms are c ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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."

4.5 stars. This was a quick yet engrossing read. Think Frankenstein meets Lord of the Flies. I found it incredibly sad, but with important and fascinating commentary regarding the implications of science and religion on humanity and morality. Overall, this story certainly gives the reader a lot to 'dissect.' See what I did there? I'll show myself out.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Much reviews have been written on this book, so I just say some personal bits.

This was one of those books which has a point hard to get over to continue reading. Some books are just like that to me: a point where a trouble starts, or an argument is had, or something. It's not a long book, but quite intense.

I think the chapter on just hearing the sound of the puma's suffering (it had already suffered during a long sea travel in a too-small cage) was quite distressing - I hate even reading of the
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
'What could it all mean? A locked enclosure on a lonely island, a notorious vivisector, and these crippled and distorted men?'
This is the actual plot without any details. The details make this a very disturbing story. I forgot just how disturbing.
It is interesting how this was an adventure when I first read it. Not a happy one, but still an adventure before anything else. Now, it is a horror story.

However you choose to see it, it will still be a horrifying account of Prendick's stay on the i
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I started this in early August, but it took me a while to finish it. One of the reasons is it's a profoundly unsettling book. I'm a scientist by training, and I take the ethics of science pretty personally. Dr. Moreau crosses so many ethical/moral lines in his experimentation, it's not even funny. Some things just should not be done, even if it's to advance scientific knowledge. I am also a inveterate lover of animals, and I felt a horrible rage at the way Dr. Moreau was torturing animals. I fee ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooksiown
Edward Prendick is marooned at Sea after his ship and crew capsizes over. He is then rescued by a man named Montgomery who spirits him away to an island to transport wild animals there. When Edward sees the inhuman perversions on the island and meets the mad scientist Dr. Moreau, he fears that he would be next under the doctor's knife and tries to escape from the island. Will he survive? Read the Island of Dr. Moreau and find out for yourself.

This is the first book I have ever read by H.G. Wells
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
This book can make you lose sleep. It is an easy yet a very engaging read. It is engaging because it is disturbing. While reading, I thought I would like to see any of the movie adaptations. After reading, I decided not to look for it. The images in my mind are enough scare for this novel to remain as one of my favorite classic sci-fi masterpiece.

In this book, I learned about vivisection or the surgery conducted for experimental purposes on a living organism, typically animals with a central ner
Gregor Xane
Many will dismiss Wells' tale as a racist's fever dream, a parable that blames the failings of English imperialism on subjects who were just too beastly to be properly civilized. And it would be easy to do so. Wells was a vocal proponent of Eugenics, and the text of this book does contain passages like the ones I've reproduced below.

First, Moreau tells of how he used the delicate art of vivisection to carve a 'negroid type' out of an ape he had on hand:

“Then I took a gorilla I had; and upon that
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The Island of Dr Moreau’ is well and truly firmly rooted in the Victorian / Edwardian tradition of the scientific / Sci-Fi novel and genre of which Wells was very much one of the key founding fathers. This novel was written against a backdrop (at the time the novel was written) of concern regarding vivisection – which amounted in some quarters to moral outrage and to the formation of the proto anti-vivisection movement.

In this novel Wells explores the possibility of, and the very real potentia
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you have a ghoulish fascination for the macabre, the unspeakable, the unusual? and a VERY strong stomach then this book is for you.
The story is fantastical and politically incorrect. Vivisection is always going to be a tricky subject matter. Don't let it put you off reading this.
H.G.Wells is a great writer and his imagination appears boundless. The creatures he has imagined in this book are weird and wonderful a mixture of beasts humanised but will nature win out or will 'The house of pain' e
I really don't know why I keep thinking that Wells' stories aren't any good. Before much reading time had passed I was talking to the Spouse about how much more plausible and realistic the story was than I thought it was going to be. And also, his structure is good, how he brings the reader in, how information is revealed, how our narrator changes his opinion as he understands more. The story never went where I expected it to, either.

Who anticipates being surprised by a hundred year old story th
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
H.G. Wells truly could see into the future...this book is truly a foreshadowing of some of the bioethical debates going on right now. But the question to my GR friends is: what is more bestial...beasts who must follow 'The Law' or men who put beasts into that position? It seems to me that is a question that still echoes into our age.
Rick F.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Island of Dr. Moreau is the third HG Wells novel I have read this year. The Time Machine and The Invisible man are the others. I have enjoyed all three so very much, each are so engaging and far far ahead of their time. The Island of Dr. Moreau is very much the achetype of a perennial classic. Why? Simply because it becomes more and more relevent as the medical achievments CATCH UP to his theories! With all the recent advances in gene therapy, cloning ect, what seemed to many in late 19th Ce ...more
Nandakishore Varma
The story was known to me much before I started reading it - and that, I think, is the reason for my 3 stars. I was expecting an SF/ Horror novel. H. G. Wells is, however, asking deep questions on what we mean by humanity and what separates us from the beasts. The island itself is a metaphor for our inner selves where beast and human roam free, transform into one another, and occasionally become monsters.
* 3.5/5 stars! :)
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 1800-1900
What is it with islands and dark philosophical fables? The Tempest; Robinson Crusoe; Lord of the Flies; Circe’s island in The Odyssey; the Crete of the Minotaur; the land of the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos in Gulliver’s Travels—all these find echoes or anticipations in The Island of Dr Moreau. So do various non-island philosophical fictions, among them Frankenstein and Animal Farm. The main themes of the novel are the dangers of scientific hubris and the dividing line between the human and the ani ...more
Feb 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
There must be few educated people alive today who are unaware of the theory of evolution of species, even if they do not know the technical details or if they reject it out right. It is difficult in such a society to imagine the startlement, even shock, many people experienced when Darwin's ideas became widespread for the first time. This book is H.G. Wells' reaction to those ideas. Wells studied biology under Huxley, a great Darwin apologist, and makes his protagonist another such student - one ...more
«—Ha vuelto a salvarme —respondí. 
—Eso depende. Pronto verá que esta isla es un lugar infernal.»

He aquí un libro oscuro y perturbador. La idea de ciencia desquiciada que propone esta historia bien se podría adaptar tanto a la fecha de publicación como a nuestra época, sin tener que cambiar más que la ropa de los personajes. Es meritorio de parte del autor el haber creado una historia tan versátil y atemporal, además de amena y atrapante. Ahora quiero leer sus otros libros.

En una intrigante i
I thoroughly enjoyed this old chestnut that was written with such a delicious, mounting sense of dread and horror! The story is supposed to be the account of Edward Prendick, who was found unconscious and adrift in a dinghy belonging to the Lady Vain which had been lost by collision with a derelict on February 1, 1887 somewhere in the south Pacific. Eleven months and four days later, he was again found adrift in a small boat and when questioned, related an unbelievable story about an island wher ...more
Feb 14, 2010 rated it liked it
This book will always be indelibly associated in my mind with an ailing, bloated Marlon Brandon mumbling through his part as the title character while being followed around by a tiny, identically dressed dwarf. I'm sorry, H.G. Wells, that's just the way it is.

This is a pretty good sci-fi horror story, especially considering it's so old and peppered with casual racism. It's not quite as good as The Time Machine, but it's similar in a lot of ways. What is Wells' obsession with all his books being
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitap bir gemi kazası sonucu okyanusta tek başına sürüklenen Prendick'in, Doktor Moreau'nun gizemli adasına gitmesini ve orada geçirdiği on bir ayı anlatıyor. Kitaptaki gizemler adım adım çözülürken kendimizi Wells'in garipliklerinin içinde buluyoruz.

Ben kitabı ilk kez okuduğum için Margeret Atwood'un sunuşunu en sona bıraktım. Sunuş içerik hakkında oldukça fazla bilgi içerse de kitaba farklı açılardan bakmak için oldukça yararlı. Bir yanım gizemleri koruduğum için mutlu olsa da bir yanım keşke
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In 1866, (Herbert George) H.G. Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government schol ...more
More about H.G. Wells...

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