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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – January 12, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0486290270 ISBN-10: 0486290271

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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Dover Thrift Editions) + Frankenstein (Dover Thrift Editions) + The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (January 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486290271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486290270
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Considered one of the fathers of science fiction, H. G. Wells (1866–1946) brought enormous inventiveness and an underlying social vision and moral concern to his strange tales and bizarre imaginings. A student of Darwinian biology, he formed his romantic conceptions of the scientific world at an early age.
This novel, one of his first forays into the science fiction genre, concerns a mad surgeon-turned-vivisectionist who, in his laboratory on a remote island, performs ghoulish experiments in an attempt to transform animals into men, with monstrous results. It is one of Wells' earliest and most sinister personifications of the scientific quest to control and manipulate the natural world, and, ultimately, human nature itself.
First published in 1896, The Island of Dr. Moreau has intrigued and horrified readers for generations. It will gain legions of new fans in this inexpensive Dover edition.

Customer Reviews

At times, something of a horror story, at others a gripping novel of what could be.
George F. Greenwald
H. G. Wells is best known for The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, and The Island of Dr. Moreau.
Michael Wischmeyer
This book was a thrilling well-worded book that always keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Ethan Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Michael Legg on April 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is less known than Wells' other works like The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, but in many ways it exceeds these other, more popular works. This novel is a story essentially about the nature of humanity. What is it that makes us people? What, exactly, separates man from the beasts? Wells' insidious Dr. Moreau is the perfect character to explore these questions as he has no conscience. As you read this book you find yourself identifying more with the "beasts" than with the Dr. or his assistant; and you find yourself wondering whether or not the noble beasts are in fact more human than the human characters. This work is decades before its' time; as today genetic research and animal rights are garnering more attention and headlines. I believe Wells was somehow able to see these issues decades ago when he wrote this story; and it remains one of the most salient writings on the topic to date. I heartily endorse this book for any fan of science fiction. Enjoy!
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Gary Johnson on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is for the Dover Thrift Edition of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU.

The price is certainly attractive for this edition of H.G. Wells' classic short novel (just $2). However, you should be aware that this edition is missing the Introduction. Someone at Dover made a big mistake. The Introduction is part of the novel and it contains important information.

However, I'm guessing someone at Dover saw the Introduction ends with the name "Charles Edward Prendick" (as author of the introduction) and decided this wasn't written by H.G. Wells so it's expendable in a bare-bones edition. Not so fast. The introduction was indeed written by Wells. It's in the first person, with Charles Edward Prendick as the "I". Then for the remainder of the novel, Charles' uncle Edward is the narrator and central character.

Big mistake, Dover. This is supposedly an "unabridged" edition. However, the first two pages (the introduction) are missing. I did a quick search on Amazon of other editions of this novel, and all listings that have Amazon's LOOK INSIDE! feature include the introduction.

Wells novel: 5 stars, absolutely great!
Dover Thrift Edition: 1 star, unacceptable.

Avoid this edition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam E. Silbestein on June 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This novella is interesting as a piece of science fiction, the genre of which H.G. Wells is sometimes called the father. It was written a few decades after Darwin presented his theory of evolution. The concept of evolution produced a lot of anxiety among intellectuals of the time, including Wells, who looks at the implications of the theory here. He puts the narrator, Prendick, on a secret island populated by Moreau's man-beast creations. The events which follow continually blur the line between man and animal, just as evolution forces man to see itself in the context of other species. Oh yeah, the novella, like any good sci-fi book, is suspenseful, and a little scary. And it's not very long, so you'll have plenty of time to read all your other books too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is one of a relatively small number of stories that could all be considered prototypes of the "mad scientist" subgenre of the science fiction genre. (Some of the others are "Frankenstein", by Mary Shelley, "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", by Jules Verne, and "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde", by Robert Louis Stevenson.) As such, there are many elements of the story that to a modern reader may seem trite and overused; what is necessary for the reader to understand is that these concepts were NOT trite and overused at the time; this is one of the writers who CREATED these concepts, which are so powerful that they've been copied by later writers until they seem downright hackneyed. If a modern writer had written this story, I'd rate it two or three stars for a fairly competent style, by no higher because it adds nothing new to the genre. But as it is, it's one of the originals, and is worth reading if for no other purpose than to be able to see the references back to it in later novels, such as "Jurassic Park", by Michael Crichton.
If you're bored with the "mad scientist" subgenre, you probably needn't read this book. But if you're at all curious to see one of the books that originated the concept, this is an excellent early example of the idea. And if you are a fan of the genre, this book is definitely a must-read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wischmeyer on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Years ago I avidly read the thrilling fiction of Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, and H. G. Wells. All three authors created highly imaginative, sometimes frightening stories. H. G. Wells was the more modern author and with some revisions to reflect modern biology and medicine, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) could easily be a contemporary horror story.
In this tale Wells employed the narrative style characteristic of nineteenth century fiction. The story is told by the only survivor of three men drifting aimlessly at sea with little water and food. The rescued Edward Prendick finds himself on a ship with a most unusual cargo - a menagerie of animals - all destined for a remote island. Unexpectedly, as a fellow traveler disembarks along with the caged animals, Prendick is forcefully cast ashore on this strange island, the island of Dr. Moreau.
Wells allows Prendick (and the reader) to gradually unveil the horrifying mystery of Dr. Moreau's isolated laboratory. This exciting blend of science fiction, horror, and mystery is surprisingly suspenseful.
H. G. Wells is best known for The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. These four superb science fiction novels share the common theme of man overwhelmed by the potential of science for harm and evil. His entertaining stories are surprisingly provocative.
In his later years H. G. Wells became increasingly pessimistic about man's future. He refused to leave his home in Regent's Park during the German bombing of London. He died in 1946.
Hint: When searching for editions by title, check under Dr. Moreau and Dr Moreau and Doctor Moreau. These different spellings can yield different results.
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