I am by no means a science fiction fan, so my expectations were rather low for The Island of Dr. Moreau, but I was much more than pleasantly surprised. This was a thrilling, well written and intriguing tale that I had to force myself to put down.
A luckless gentlemen finds himself on a sinking ship and ends up in a dinghy with two others who go overboard in a battle over who should be tossed to sea. Alone in a leaky boat, he is rescued by another boat carrying an odd assortment of animals and passengers. He is then tossed from that boat and reluctantly rescued by the man in charge of the animals and finally lands on an island. Thinking he can breathe a sigh of relief, it isn’t long before he realizes he would have been better off bailing water out of his little boat at sea.
Edward Prendick is the hapless gentleman who finds himself in bizarre and worsening predicaments on the mysterious island. His questions are avoided by his rescuer, Montgomery and the enigmatic Dr. Moreau. His instincts tell him he has landed in a dangerous place and as he ventures out on his own, he encounters sights much worse than he’d imagined. Not a man of great physical prowess, Prendick must figure out how to rescue himself and get off of the island and away from its atrocities.
The reluctant assistant to the evil Dr. Moreau, Montgomery has turned to alcohol to avoid the reality of life on the island. A mysterious past prevents Montgomery from returning to civilization and he finds himself at the side of mad and sadistic scientist. His empathy for Prendick and the creatures of the island is evident, yet his alcohol infused existence prevents him from taking any action.
Moreau is a man with no feeling for others. He even comments that pain of others has no effect on him as it does to Montgomery and Prendick. He believes his experiments are justified and has no plans to slow down his efforts. This is one scary dude and someone I’d never want to be alone with.
Wells’ views on vivisection are quite evident and I’d love to chat about this and his other views. Such an interesting life as teacher, artist, and writer would leave little lags in our conversations. I can understand where his active life allowed for much inspiration in his writing and hope he’d share some of his ideas.
My rating for The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 10 out of 10.
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