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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Bantam Classics) [Mass Market Paperback]

by H.G. Wells
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)

Price: $4.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

May 1, 1994 0553214322 978-0553214321 Reprint
Ranked among the classic novels of the English language and the inspiration for several unforgettable movies, this early work of H. G. Wells was greeted in 1896 by howls of protest from reviewers, who found it horrifying and blasphemous. They wanted to know more about the wondrous possibilities of science shown in his first book, The Time Machine, not its potential for misuse and terror. In The Island of Dr. Moreau a shipwrecked gentleman named Edward Prendick, stranded on a Pacific island lorded over by the notorious Dr. Moreau, confronts dark secrets, strange creatures, and a reason to run for his life.

While this riveting tale was intended to be a commentary on evolution, divine creation, and the tension between human nature and culture, modern readers familiar with genetic engineering will marvel at Wells’s prediction of the ethical issues raised by producing “smarter” human beings or bringing back extinct species. These levels of interpretation add a richness to Prendick’s adventures on Dr. Moreau’s island of lost souls without distracting from what is still a rip-roaring good read.

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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.

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: 7 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Wells' Finest Novel 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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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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday's horror meets today's science lab 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best "Cherry's"... July 2, 2001
I started to read Cherry Ames when I bought one from a used bookstore a couple of years ago. I bought Cherry Ames, Army Nurse because of its cover(I know, I know). She looked very excited and happy there, so I had to join her. It was a great continuation of the first two books in the series, and gave a real look of how Army nurses trained back then. From her first time at the base, to training, to a special ending, I wouldn't change a thing about the book. It was good all around.
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22 of 27 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic, but pretty twisted
Old school science fiction. Interesting to read what people thought was possible with biology back then- with no talk of cloning or genetic mutations. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Deborah S.
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 15 days ago by al j
3.0 out of 5 stars SciFi before it was Cool
This is an interesting read, and a good book for about 80% of it. It chooses a particularly gruesome vehicle to explore humanity and that takes a lot of strength to stomach. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Christopher Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This book was a thrilling well-worded book that always keeps you on the edge of your seat. A great read
Published 27 days ago by Ethan Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
I actually read this three times. It is a great book. I recommend it to all who love to read.
Published 1 month ago by Ruth Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Wells conveys the curse of consciousness, the whip of religious morality, and the folly of benevolent creators with eerie calm.
Published 1 month ago by Dbelkau
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 1 month ago by Lorelei
5.0 out of 5 stars Cherry Ames books
I first read the Cherry Ames series as a young girl (many moons ago). I remember the stories being gentle and fun to read. Nice to see them in Kindle editions.
Published 2 months ago by 8 Redlegs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I didn't see the movie that was out a few years ago because it was panned, so I thought maybe it was a flaw in the story, not in the movie. Nope. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Scott F. Cross
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi
I had to read it for an English literature class and found it easy to read and enjoyable. It is clear to see why it has remained a classic.
Published 2 months ago by Jeph bahamundi
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