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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

H. G. Wells
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 12, 1996 0486290271 978-0486290270 11 and up 6 and up
Enormously inventive tale about a mad surgeon-turned-vivisectionist on a remote island who performs ghoulish experiments that transform animals into men. 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.

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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Dover Thrift Editions) + Frankenstein (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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once again, do NOT WATCH THE MOVIE FIRST!! April 30, 2001
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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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars missing the Introduction 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick and Interesting June 28, 2001
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A true classic of the genre. February 8, 2002
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men and beasts April 25, 2011
The mad scientist has been with us since the early 1800s. And while H.G. Wells didn't create the mad scientist stereotype, he certainly gave it a boost in his harrowing novella "The Island of Dr. Moreau" -- beast-men forced to live like humans, a crazy scientist carrying out mad plans, and a bland Englishman stuck in the middle of it.

After he is shipwrecked, the English gentleman Edward Prendick is rescued by a passing boat. The man who saved him, Montgomery, is taking a number of wild animals to a remote deserted island, where the creepy Dr. Moreau does some kind of research on the animals that are brought there. Naturally, Prendick is suspicious of Moreau's activities.

It doesn't take long for him to stumble across the products of Moreau's work -- grotesque hybrids of animal and human, who are surgically turned into humanoids and ordered not to act in animalistic ways. And with the laws of nature being horribly perverted, it's only a matter of time before Dr. Moreau's experiments lash out.

It's pretty obvious from this book that H.G. Wells was nervous about the ramifications of meddling in nature -- be it vivisection, evolutionary degeneration, or even just the idea that scientific progress could be used for horribly evil things. As a result, "The Island of Dr. Moreau" is perhaps his darkest, most horrific book.

The first couple chapters are rather stuffy in the 18th-century style, with Prendrick fussily noting everything that's happened to him. But the creepiness begins to enter once he arrives on the island, and explodes into weird, almost dreamlike scenes once he encounters the Beast Folk, culminating in the slow decay of everything on the island.

Prendrick is also perhaps the weakest link in the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars silly book
silly book

years ago I saw the movie or a knock off of the book(40s?). the movie was crueler than the book.
I couldn't remember very much and wanted to read it.
Published 3 months ago by al j
4.0 out of 5 stars Great novella, very creepy
This is a great novella--I highly recommend. It is a short, easy ready but definitely worth it. It has intense periods of suspense similar to novels of the same time period like... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lorelei
4.0 out of 5 stars starving student eats tonight
A writing class required this H G Wells classic.
Who knew Wells wrote this. I was surprised.
Writing class is going to be interesting.
Published 5 months ago by cull watts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but terrible novel!
I read first The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine by G. Wells and liked them very much. And when I decided to read The Island of Dr. Moreau. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Leyla Atke
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sci-Fi Classic
The Island of Dr Moreau is pacey and dramatic. H.G. Wells brings up a lot of thought-provoking scientific and ethical issues.

Full review here:[...]
Published 10 months ago by Imran Lorgat
4.0 out of 5 stars Are we not men?
The question that "The Law" posits in this novel -- "Are we not men?" -- drives us to question so many, many assumptions we have about ourselves as human beings. Read more
Published 12 months ago by J. Marlin
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, Quick Paced Story
As far as H.G. Wells stories go, it's decent. I like how it's not long or drawn out it gets straight to things and then things happen at a good pace, moving through things quickly.
Published 14 months ago by Koby
5.0 out of 5 stars A deeper look at what defines the line between man and beast....
This book is the first Wells novel I ever read, and it had me
on the edge of my seat throughout the whole ride. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Myuro500
4.0 out of 5 stars The Island of Dr. Moreau
Awesome book, a "must read" for any literature junkies. Well written and interesting. I loved this book and would recommend to anyone looking for a good book
Published 20 months ago by Christine
5.0 out of 5 stars The Island of Doctor Moreau
H.G. wells, one of the fathers of science fiction creates a beautifully sadistic world in the island of Dr. Moreau, sadly enough is mirrors our own. Read more
Published on April 16, 2011 by Michael
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