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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Tor Classics) Unabridged Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 537 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0812567076
ISBN-10: 0812567072
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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.

Review

The Island of Dr. Moreau takes us into an abyss of human nature. This book is a superb piece of storytelling.”
V. S. Pritchett --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tor Classics (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Classics; Unabridged edition (September 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812567072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812567076
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (537 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By A Customer on November 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Admittedly, Anne's House of Dreams IS a pretty good book. Anne and Gilbert finally get married (FINALLY, after we've been waiting for the last four books) and go to Four Winds Harbor to spread their wings. They live in a cute little "house o' dreams" (hence the title) and meet all sorts of new people: Captian Jim, Miss Cornelia, Leslie, Owen Ford, etc., who are all, by the way, wonderfully characterized, as is L.M. Montgomery's signature.
The only real problems that I had with this book was that it had lost the flair of the other "Anne" books, and wasn't quite ready for the mischevious tinge that the following books, which are mainly about the Blythe children, bring with them. Like I said, kind of a bridge between the real Anne books and the books about her kids. I also missed the presence of the Avonlea people like Marilla, Diana, Mrs. Lynde, and so on. But for the most part, it met my expectations. You've got to remember that it had some pretty high standards that it's predecessors had set to live up to.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'll always have a special place for the earlier books, especially 'Anne of the Island', but nothing is unmatched to 'Anne's House of Dreams'.

I always have a certain problem when reading Anne books. Although I enjoy the plot and characters, I resent the melancholy, wistful feel to it everytime Anne goes into a new chapter of her life. There was the last chapter of the first book; 'A Bend in The Road', where the simple description and mood of the scene was so heart-wrenching that I almost cried. 'Anne of Avonlea' was just as sentimental as the previous book, with Anne realizing she cannot turn back time to when she was eleven. We, as readers feel the impact too. We have come to love each and every one character in Avonlea and we cannot stand to watch the years go by and be forced accept that the people are changing. 'Anne of the Island' cured that depressing tone slightly by bringing in cheerful college life but still retained the usual Avonlea village scenes into it. A romance brewing between Gilbert and Anne also helped distract readers from getting too upset about Anne growing up and leaving her childhood days forever. But nevertheless the proposal scene at the last chapter brought up those suppressed feelings out once again and left us smiling a bittersweet smile at the closing descriptions of the book.

But in 'Anne's House of Dreams', we are introduced to a whole new atmosphere. No longer is Anne running dreamily into magical forests and delighting in fairy brooks, listening to the whispers of the trees or playacting as a Fair Maiden with her childhood friends. The fairy-tale, static forests of Avonlea are replaced with a vast sea, salty breezes and spicy scents of seagrass in the air.
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