Pain and savagery Mostly pain This is the Island of Doctor Moreau I admit I was kinda caught up on LIKING the whole idea of man beasts or beast menthan the execution here As an old SF tale, it readslike the dark side of Darwin meets the dark side of Victorian s Are we not beasts Where s our civilization now lolBut in point of fact it s all about the pain I think Wells was in a lot of pain as he wrote this It s igore the pain this, ignore the pain that, be a MAN, dam Pain and savagery Mostly pain This is the Island of Doctor Moreau I admit I was kinda caught up on LIKING the whole idea of man beasts or beast menthan the execution here As an old SF tale, it readslike the dark side of Darwin meets the dark side of Victorian s Are we not beasts Where s our civilization now lolBut in point of fact it s all about the pain I think Wells was in a lot of pain as he wrote this It s igore the pain this, ignore the pain that, be a MAN, damnit Snip, snip, cut, cut SEE All better now Grrrrrr, growl but I have to admit I like the monkey man Reminds me of some in laws This book stems from an idea that is at the same time thought provoking, insane and very tangible That is probably the reason why it is so scary It is a classic of the victorian era, but for some reason probably not as famous as many other fictions of the gothic movement and indeed not as well known as a few other novels by H.G Wells such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man or The War of the Worlds But it definitely deserves to be read again today.The plot is rather simple a castaway This book stems from an idea that is at the same time thought provoking, insane and very tangible That is probably the reason why it is so scary It is a classic of the victorian era, but for some reason probably not as famous as many other fictions of the gothic movement and indeed not as well known as a few other novels by H.G Wells such as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man or The War of the Worlds But it definitely deserves to be read again today.The plot is rather simple a castaway by the name of Prendick ends up on an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean and meets the infamous Dr Moreau and his assistant Dr Moreau is known for having practiced vivisection experiments some years before in London and, as a result, was excluded from the scientific community Prendick later discovers that Moreau has been carrying on with his experiments and has created some monstrous beasts, while trying to turn animals into some wretched semblance of human beings This discovery is planted and built up with some amount of suspense right from the first pages until it is fully exposed around the middle of the novel, in the chapter entitled Doctor Moreau Explains The second part of the book is a nail biting account of the catastrophic series of events that follow the dreadful discovery.Obviously, The Island of Dr Moreau is in the same vein as Gustav Meyrink s The Golem or Shelley s Frankenstein it can also evoke earlier figures like Shakespeare s Prospero and Caliban in The Tempest, or even Shylock s most famous lines in The Merchant of Venice It is about the hubris of men attempting to imitate God and create a human being with the help of science The result is invariably dreadful and deadly Wells original treatment of this theme rests upon the idea of vivisectional experiments carried on animals in an isolate place mammals are surgically and chemically modified to look and behave as much as humans as they possibly can But the mental distress caused by this novel lies of the fact that these attempts are always cruel, disastrous and abortive The Isserley of Under the Skin is a distant relative of Moreau s creatures.In some way, this book presages WWII s Nazi s scientific testings or even today s plausible out of line genetic engineering initiatives Wells closes the book with these words the manufacture of monsters an perhaps even quasi human monsters is within the possibilities of vivisection But,deeply, perhaps, the horror lies in the fact that this fiction shows how feeble and unreal our human values are including religious ones , and how easily men can fall back below animality 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 inby howls of protest from reviewers, who found it horrifying and blasphemous They wanted to know 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 lifeWhile 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 Much creepier than I expected and much smarter, The Island of Dr Moreau, as with so much of H.G Wells science fiction, addressed the ethical pitfalls of a scientific eventuality far too early to be anything other than prophetic, yet it still manages to beentertaining than preachy Edward Prendick finds himself shipwrecked on an island with Doctors Montgomery and Moreau The former a follower of the latter, who just happens to be a mad vivisectionist Beyond these scientists, Prendick fi Much creepier than I expected and much smarter, The Island of Dr Moreau, as with so much of H.G Wells science fiction, addressed the ethical pitfalls of a scientific eventuality far too early to be anything other than prophetic, yet it still manages to beentertaining than preachy Edward Prendick finds himself shipwrecked on an island with Doctors Montgomery and Moreau The former a follower of the latter, who just happens to be a mad vivisectionist Beyond these scientists, Prendick finds himself intensely weirded out by the other inhabitants of the island, frightening man animals created by Dr Moreau Moreau captures the island s animals and painfully turns them into half men, then forces them to live by strict standards that he believes will overcome their bestial natures Moreau s primary commandment is that they cannot eat meat This is, of course, a recipe for suspense and horror, for how can one expect Leopard Men or Puma Men to curb their need for meat, when the humans conducting the experiments cannot curb their own bestial natures It simply can t be done.Prendick finds himself becoming a participant, although not entirely willingly, in Moreau s society of vivisection And once the animals finally rebel, as we know they must, he becomes the last man on the island, watching the tortured animals return to their natures and throw off Moreau s pseudo society.Even now, one hundred and thirteen years after it was written, The Island of Dr Moreau is spooky enough to work as an effective horror sci fi story, but its still relevant thematic depth is what makes Moreau essential to anyone who loves books Genetics eugenics , animal experimentation, psychology, colonization, imperialism, patriarchy, scientific chauvinism, religion, and ethical imposition are seriously and intelligently explored Wells implied conclusions may be unsettling at times, but The Island of Dr Moreau will make you think China Mieville says that Moreau is a kind of fantasy echo of Shakespeare s The Tempest Could there be higher praise than that Popular historian and utopian novelist H.G Wells is sometimes thought of as the anti Gibbon whereas Edward Gibbon devoted himself to studying a culture s decline and fall , H.G Well s celebrates the march of progress, showing how our culture, despite many obvious setbacks, moves on toward greater and greater achievements But Wells, although an optimist by nature, was also a gifted literary artist, and when he seized upon an idea with disquieting implications, he did not hesitate to explor Popular historian and utopian novelist H.G Wells is sometimes thought of as the anti Gibbon whereas Edward Gibbon devoted himself to studying a culture s decline and fall , H.G Well s celebrates the march of progress, showing how our culture, despite many obvious setbacks, moves on toward greater and greater achievements But Wells, although an optimist by nature, was also a gifted literary artist, and when he seized upon an idea with disquieting implications, he did not hesitate to explore them The Island of Dr Moreau, perhaps the greatest and most disturbing of his scientific romances, is an example of his uncompromising art at its best.The plot is straightforward The shipwrecked Edward Prendick ends up on an island presided over by the once notorious but now discredited surgeon Dr Moreau, who has dedicated his life to transforming animals into humans by a series of painful operations Hissuccessful failures all his works are failures have formed a society on the other side of the island, where with the doctor s help they have created an ethical system that men like them should follow, and a religion too, in which above all else Dr Moreau and his laboratory the House of Pain are both reverenced and feared.The book has many themes, the most obvious of which are the morality of both animal experimentation or vivisection, as it was called in Well s time and the use of pain in experimentation, but also touches upon the twin processes of evolution and degeneration, the nature of religion, the character of a man who would play God, and yes even the character of God himself and the deplorable semi human beings that he creates This last theme is perhaps the reason why an older Wells once referred to this book as an exercise in youthful blasphemy To give you an idea, here is a bit of the most blasphemous portion of the book, in which Dr Moreau explains himself to PrendickSo for twenty years altogether counting nine years in England I have been going on and there is still something in everything I do that defeats me, makes me dissatisfied, challenges me to further effort Sometimes I rise above my level, sometimes I fall below it but always I fall short of the things I dreamThese creatures of mine seemed strange and uncanny to you so soon as you began to observe them but to me, just after I make them, they seem to be indisputably human beings It s afterwards, as I observe them, that the persuasion fades First one animal trait, then another, creeps to the surface and stares out at me But I will conquer yet Each time I dip a living creature into the bath of burning pain, I say, This time I will burn out all the animal this time I will make a rational creature of my own They go I turn them out when I begin to feel the beast in them, and presently they wander there They all dread this house and me There is a kind of travesty of humanity over thereThere s something they call the Law Sing hymns about all thine They build themselves their dens, gather fruit, and pull herbs marry even But I can see through it all, see into their very souls, and see there nothing but the souls of beasts, beasts that perish, anger and the lusts to live and gratify themselves Yet they re odd complex, like everything else alive There is a kind of upward striving in them, part vanity, part waste sexual emotion, part waste curiosity It only mocks me.And now, said he, standing up after a long gap of silence, during which we had each pursued our own thoughts, what do you think Are you in fear of me still 3 to 3.5 starsA quick classic Good, but not great.It feels like this was Wells treatise on science playing God thinly veiled in a story It is about 2 3 textbook dissertation about the possibilities and ramifications of body modification species merge The other 1 3 is the actual story of action and mayhem on Dr Moreau s island Many times this story made me think about Frankenstein I mean, are there any stories of mad scientist creators where their insane experiments that throw caution to t 3 to 3.5 starsA quick classic Good, but not great.It feels like this was Wells treatise on science playing God thinly veiled in a story It is about 2 3 textbook dissertation about the possibilities and ramifications of body modification species merge The other 1 3 is the actual story of action and mayhem on Dr Moreau s island Many times this story made me think about Frankenstein I mean, are there any stories of mad scientist creators where their insane experiments that throw caution to the wind end well If you want to complete your list of sci fi classics, be sure to check this out If you are hoping for some super creepy, scary, blood chillingly dark adventures, I am thinking you might be a bit let down Not for everyone, but if you like speculative fiction based on weird science, this will be right up your alley Before, they had been beasts, their instincts fitly adapted to their surroundings, and happy as living things may be Now they stumbled in the shackles of humanity, lived in a fear that never died, fretted by a law they could not understand their mock human existence, begun in an agony, was one long internal struggle, one long dread of Moreau H.G Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau The Island of Doctor Moreau is H.G Wells 1896 classic tale of a mad scientist creating nearly two hundred h Before, they had been beasts, their instincts fitly adapted to their surroundings, and happy as living things may be Now they stumbled in the shackles of humanity, lived in a fear that never died, fretted by a law they could not understand their mock human existence, begun in an agony, was one long internal struggle, one long dread of Moreau H.G Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau The Island of Doctor Moreau is H.G Wells 1896 classic tale of a mad scientist creating nearly two hundred hybrid beings resembling humans by way of vivisection on animals, a work judged by critics at the time as too blasphemous and too disturbing to warrant publication Hey, why not take such harsh reaction as a great reason to read this short novel sooner rather than later.Let me tell you folks, The Island of Doctor Moreau is one humdinger of an adventure story to keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to last, with elements of Frankenstein, The Fugitive, Lost and Survivor The entire novel is a written account of events as recorded by Edward Prendick, an Englishman educated in biology at university Young Prendick survives days on a dingy following a shipwreck and is picked up by another ship scheduled to make a first stop at an obscure Pacific island While onboard, Prendick is brought back to health by a passenger with a background in medicine, a man by the name of Montgomery.Turns out this gruff, one time Londoner is joined by his strange, bestial servant, M ling And Montgomery also has a host of animals aboard The frequently drunk Captain doesn t like the grotesque M ling or the animals on his ship and lashes out at Montgomery Prendick tells the Captain to shut up a huge mistake he confesses in retrospect When they near the island, the Captain forces Prendick off his ship and back on his dingy Montgomery takes pity on the naturalist and brings him along to his island Prendick eventually meets Doctor Moreau and becomes, by degrees,aware of the many horrifying experiments conducted over the course of years in island isolation.And many are the questions raised by those experiments and the underlying methods and ideas concocted by Doctor Moreau The most obvious question pertains to the very act of dissecting live animals for the purposes of experimentation Nowadays, of course, we oppose such practice but back when the novel was written vivisection was still a hotly debated topic However, we still debate related biological issues such as gene splicing which is a specific example of the longstanding concerns hovering around the dangers of science.Prendick s interactions with such diverse creatures as Leopard Man, Saint Bernard Dog Man, Ape Man, Swine Woman, Silvery Hairy Man and a Bear Bull cry out for our reflection on the differences between savagery and humanity, nature and civilization, order and chaos, freedom and control And what about Doctor Moreau s explanation on how the experience of pain, a characteristic of our animal nature, has held humans back in their development, how, in order to become less animal andfully human, pain must be transcended Recall the popularity in England in the late nineteenth century of the philosophy of utilitarianism as articulated by such thinkers as John Stewart Mill, a philosophy placing a premium on seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.Charles Darwin s theory of evolution was very much in the public mind and H.G Wells certainly took Darwin seriously Among other aspects, The Island of Doctor Moreau is aligned with Darwinian theory respecting how humans are different not in kind from animals but only in degree.In keeping with the animal nature in man, H.G Wells forces Edward Prendick to deal with those base qualities even before stepping foot on Doctor Moreau s island There s the crisis in the dingy where Prendick and two other men are dying of thirst and hunger The drawing of lots is proposed to determine who will die so two may live Prendick refuses to participate, brandishing a knife to ward off attack The other two men draw lots and when the stronger seaman loses he refuses to abide by the rules The two grapple and tumble overboard to their death A second foreshadow that drunken captain declares himself the law and master ruling over all on his ship If he says Prendick is to leave his ship then Prendick will leave his ship, even if it means the certain death of the young man no question of humanity, decency or ethics comes into play.Control of the Beast Men on the island centers around Pavlov style conditioned reflex reinforcement Obey the law and actlike humans or it is back to the House of Pain, that is, Doctor Moreau s operating table Also added into the mix to enforce control and human like behavior is chant and prayer One can imagine the reaction to the novel from pious nineteenth century religious folk In order to assert his own control and order, at one point Prendick even appeals to the existence of Moreau s second body in the sky looking down on the Beast Men once the doctor s physical body is dead The philosophical dimensions of the tale go on and on and on.Fast paced adventure and a slew of lively probing questions along the way There are many excellent reasons why this classic work is included as part of SF Masterworks.H.G Wells, 1866 1946 I think Vegans will like this book because they would say this is what happens if you start to eat dairy and wear leather, suede, pearls, silk or fur Eventually you will think nothing of eating pepperoni pizza and monkey brains And from eating animals it will be a short step to thinking it s okay to experiment on them for better cosmetics And from that it s only natural that you will end up creating a horrible race of Beast People by vivisection on an isolated island in the South Pacific Wel I think Vegans will like this book because they would say this is what happens if you start to eat dairy and wear leather, suede, pearls, silk or fur Eventually you will think nothing of eating pepperoni pizza and monkey brains And from eating animals it will be a short step to thinking it s okay to experiment on them for better cosmetics And from that it s only natural that you will end up creating a horrible race of Beast People by vivisection on an isolated island in the South Pacific Well maybe not everyone will do that but enough people will go on to become crazed vivisectionists that we should ban dairy and suede right now and also Kellog s cornflakes as they contain lanolin which comes from wool bearing animals like lamas or alpacas or goats It can be tough being a Vegan and avoiding things you may not realise you should avoid but it is all good if it prevents you from going to an isolated island in the South Pacific and creating a race of horrible Beast people by vivisection.I asked my friends what they thought of this book as we all had to read it and here is what they say My scientist friend said she was reading along and all the time saying this could not be done they would all have died within 15 minutes because of infection he would be struck off this could possibly be done but only now, not in 1895 and you cannot hypnotise an animal into learning language however rudimentary, this book is silly So she thought this book brought science into disrepute.My friend who is doing religion thought it was pretty cool though He said that Dr Moreau God and H G Wells was therefore able to attack God without mercy Dr Moreau is called a mad experimenter, creating the race of Beast People in horribly painful operations and not caring about their lives afterwards, except to tell them about some random Law which they must follow or they will die And that is exactly what God did, according to the Bible, according to HG Wells, according to my friend.Wow, some pretty deep thoughts there I will stick to my Vegan interpretation and say that in my opinion this book says you should not eat meat or dairy or any animal products but you do not have to wear sandals as they now do very stylish Vegan shoes H.G Wells is undoubtedly an exceptional human being Apart from the fact that The Island of Doctor Moreau is clearly part of the Victorian science fiction tradition, it contains all elements of a timeless study of the human condition, as well as a reflection on issues that areworrying now than they were in the 19th century.Do scientists have to follow ethical rules, or are they entitled to indulge in experiments that satisfy their curiosity, regardless of the consequences In the traditi H.G Wells is undoubtedly an exceptional human being Apart from the fact that The Island of Doctor Moreau is clearly part of the Victorian science fiction tradition, it contains all elements of a timeless study of the human condition, as well as a reflection on issues that areworrying now than they were in the 19th century.Do scientists have to follow ethical rules, or are they entitled to indulge in experiments that satisfy their curiosity, regardless of the consequences In the tradition of a kind of pre catastrophe Frankenstein, Doctor Moreau himself answers the question without any doubt I asked a question, devised some method of getting an answer, and got a fresh question Was this possible, or that possible You cannot imagine what this means to an investigator, what an intellectual passion grows upon him To this day, I have never troubled about the ethics of the matter While Wells leaves it to Moreau s creatures to punish him for this detached attitude, I am reminded of a real scientist who reflected upon the question himself, and understood the ethical dilemma of unrestrained science When Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagadvad Gita to express his pain over his contribution to the development of the atomic bomb, he illustrated the path towards responsible science I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds The need to understand the consequences of scientific curiosity is the implicit message Only if we manage to act responsibly with our inventions, hope in the future will be possible Interestingly, Wells ends his story with the notion of hope, not because there is any reason for it, but because it is not possible to live without it This closes the circle of Pandora s box, opened out of curiosity, unleashing all the terrors of the world, but leaving hope for humankind to be able to bear its fate.Apart from the obvious question of science and ethics, I found another story line in the short novel equally interesting What makes us human Main character Prendick paraphrases Descartes idea when he notes He was a human then for he could talk Being able to communicate thoughts, feelings and ideas certainly makes us human, and it makes us storytelling animals, readers, Goodreads users Over and over again, we repeat our stories, we reread them and re interpret them, and I find it almost heart breaking to follow the Beast Men s ritualistic repetition of the story they commit to The Law, told with authority, transmitted as a poem to recite It evokes the development of Margaret Atwood s Crakers, who also need religious origin stories and powerful poetical words to become fully human Her MaddAddam develops the idea of humanity as a community based on mythical storytelling to perfection, but Wells reflected on the same theme, as did Oppenheimer, when he chose to quote a timeless Indian classic to express his feelings of distress regarding the creation of modern horror.Looking around my house on this typical Swedish sunless summer day, I can only agree with the definition of humanity as a bunch of voracious story consumers My eldest son is on the living room sofa, reading Zola s Germinal , and I am vaguely jealous that he gets to do it for the FIRST time The magic of it My middle child is on his bed, reading a fabulous golden hardback version of Star Wars, the trilogy, and the story behind this reading adventure is well worth reflecting on he found it in a bookstore, and begged me to buy it, despite the fact that he had already seen the movies, and we have as a rule that you read first and watch then But since he DIDN T KNOW there was a thick novel, he asked for permission to reverse the procedure Verdict on his part so muchdetail in the book My youngest child is at the kitchen table with a pile of books that she seems to be reading simultaneously She is in the middle of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and well into the fourth or fifth of Anne of Green Gables Oh, to be going back to Avonlea with her Another memory of childhood reading bliss So, I can hear my Middle School students pointing out that I am digressing from the digression right now, but my point is that The Island of Doctor Moreau brought it back to me why I read in the first place, why it makes me feel happy even when the content of the book scares and worries me There is something unifying, peaceful and fulfilling in sharing books over cultural, generational and language borders, and it gives me hope for the future, even in times of violence.I will let Prendick have the last words, since he inspired this digression There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever isthan animal within us must find its solace and its hope I hope, or I could not live Not to go on all Fours that is the Law Are we not Men Not to suck up Drink that is the Law Are we not Men Not to eat Flesh or Fish that is the Law Are we not Men Not to claw the Bark of Trees that is the Law Are we not Men Not to chase other Men that is the Law Are we not Men H.G Wells 1896 novella The Island of Dr Moreau may have been a science fiction fantasy precursor of William Golding s 1954 classic Lord of the Flies Both works explore the theme of the fragility of humanity Not to go on all Fours that is the Law Are we not Men Not to suck up Drink that is the Law Are we not Men Not to eat Flesh or Fish that is the Law Are we not Men Not to claw the Bark of Trees that is the Law Are we not Men Not to chase other Men that is the Law Are we not Men H.G Wells 1896 novella The Island of Dr Moreau may have been a science fiction fantasy precursor of William Golding s 1954 classic Lord of the Flies Both works explore the theme of the fragility of humanity and civilization and the unguarded impetus towards chaos inherent in us all.Or it s a fun book about a guy stuck on an island with beast people.The character of Dr Moreau himself can be seen as an extension of Dr Frankenstein, willfully toying with the mysteries of creation for his own scientific curiosity and blithely uncaring about his experiments until he is forced to deal with it In this sense, Wells work is fundamentally tied to modern writing about the morality and ethics of genetics and with the integrity of our science and technology and how it affects nature.Published a couple of years before Joseph Conrad s brilliant Heart of Darkness, this also provokes thought about the intellectual climate of the end of the 1800s to lead such talented writers towards these questions.Sometimes this can be painfully dated and the language is in that stilted Victorian prose, and there are some gaps in the plot, but this is a seminal work that should be read for fans of speculative fiction