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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Bantam Classics) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0553214321 ISBN-10: 0553214322 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Bantam Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics; Reprint edition (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553214322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553214321
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The Island of Dr. Moreau takes us into an abyss of human nature. This book is a superb piece of storytelling.”
V. S. Pritchett

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

This is the third H.G. Wells book I've read recently.
E. David Swan
I loved these books growing up - read every one of them and I wanted to be Cherry Ames.
Lois A. Rose
I was intrigued by the story's telling and plot while reading it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although it is less often read than such Wells novels as THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, the basic story of THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU is very well known through several extremely loose film adaptations. Pendrick, a British scientist, is shipwrecked--and by chance finds himself on an isolated island where Dr. Moreau and his assistant Montgomery are engaged in a series of experiments. They are attempting to transform animals into manlike beings.
Wells, a social reformer, was a very didactic writer, and his novels reflect his thoughts and theories about humanity. Much of Wells writing concerns (either directly or covertly) social class, but while this exists in MOREAU it is less the basic theme than an undercurrent. At core, the novel concerns the then-newly advanced theory of natural selection--and then works to relate how that theory impacts man's concept of God. Wells often touched upon this, and in several novels he broaches the thought that if mankind evolved "up" it might just as easily evolve "down," but nowhere in his work is this line of thought more clearly and specifically seen than here.
At times Wells' determination to teach his reader can overwhelm; at times it can become so subtle that it is nothing short of absolutely obscure. But in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, Wells achieves a perfect balance of the two extremes, even going so far as to balance the characters in such a way that not even the narrator emerges as entirely sympathetic. It is a remarkable achievement, and in this sense I consider MOREAU possibly the best of Wells work: the novel is as interesting for the story it tells as it is for still very relevant themes it considers.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By CB on March 22, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this on Kindle simply because it looked interesting and was $0.00. Once I began to preview the book to determine whether or not I was going to keep in on my Kindle or delete it...I couldn't put it down! The language is somewhat dated however, it adds to the story line and keeps the events back in the time they should be rather than allowing them to creep into today's timeframe. It is so interesting to read something that was written that long ago and let your imagination decide how it may pertain to today's life in the form of genetic, hybrid and biological engineering. The fictional events on The Island of Dr. Moreau seem as though they could be going on in the local university biology research lab and hidden from the public eye. Typically I'm not into science fiction reads but this may be a turning point for me. I enjoyed this book a great deal and have recommended it to several friends to read. Enjoy!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is certainly an interesting work, though not nearly as exciting or gripping as The Time Machine or War of the Worlds. For some reason, I had the notion in mind that this short novel was a "most dangerous game" type of story where the protagonist is hunted, but this is of course not true. Dr. Moreau is a scientist--a quite mad one, actually--whose life's work involves vivisection; in essence, he takes a plethora of animals and, through surgery and mental indoctrination of some sort, attempts--with varying success---to endow them with humanity. The result is a twisted menagerie of beasts who share both human and animal traits of myriad sorts. They can understand human speech, in fact, which has allowed the doctor to indoctrinate them into a worldview wherein he is the god whose laws must be obeyed. While the story of the protagonist, Prendrick, is interesting, from his initial shipwreck to his "rescue" and eventual escape, his main purpose in the story is to describe the inhabitants of this macabre island. As one may imagine, this isolated, fragile society eventually breaks down and the beasts regress more and more into their animal instincts, to the great detriment of the "god" Moreau and his rather pitiful assistant Montgomery.
Metaphors and broad, deep-reaching themes abound in this tale. While one can certainly make out an obvious theme concerning man's desire to play God and the negative consequences of such efforts by science, there are deeper and more mysterious conclusions one can draw about Wells' view of humanity itself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JMack VINE VOICE on February 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have recently become a fan of Wells' writing for the unique voice with which he tells a story in addition to his unique tales. References to "The Island of Dr. Moreau" seem to surface frequently in pop culture, so I felt compelled to read this book. Some might go so far as to argue that this is Wells' best book. I may not disagree.

While the book was written before the advent of genetic engineering as we know in the 21st Century, it could be applied. Wells seems to have intended the book as a commentary on the theories of Darwin and evolution. When Edward Prendick finds himself on a remote island, he recalls rumors of Dr. Moreau. But only when he sees his handy work does the horror begin. Using manipulative techniques that include primitive grafting, Moreau made the animals more human. Yet the ultimate question of the book is whether Moreau could make the animals into human, removing any trace of animal from them.

This is certainly a case of the book being better than the movie as the book makes Wells true intent evident. Like many of Wells' works, it is also a powerful social commentary that makes great reading.
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