Classic Review: The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

The Island of Dr. Moreau
by H.G. WellsAlan Lightman (Goodreads Author) (Introduction)
3 out of 5 stars

Mr. Prendick is cast ashore on an island, where the evil scientist, Dr. Moreau, engages in animal vivisection and terrifying experiments. Gradually Mr. Prendick begins to realize that the other humans on the island are not all they seem to be. They have animal instincts and strange behavior, and Mr. Prendick has to fight for his life and find some way to escape this island of horrors.

The plot moves rather slowly, with more attention given to analyzing the morality and implications of Dr. Moreau’s work. A lot of time is spent scrutinizing different themes and ideas, like interesting explorations of what it really means to be human, but all the philosophizing does slow down the plot. However, when there IS any action, it is exciting and dramatic…. and violent. I did find the themes extremely interesting and well thought out.

I love the writing style! It really keeps your attention and leads you little by little into the horrible circumstances on the island. There are so many gruesome details that are described so powerfully, and that make it a thrilling read. Despite the impressive writing, I didn’t come away with any major personal impression. It’s a good story, and it’s well-written, but it’s not really my cup of tea.

I don’t usually like horror, but I didn’t mind this. It didn’t really scare me, but gave me a nice creepy feeling. I didn’t like all the descriptions of screaming and blood and gore though. And I didn’t really feel any suspense, since the story is fairly well-known in popular culture.

The characters are not that complex, so I didn’t relate to them very much. I felt sort of indifferent to Mr. Prendick, and didn’t feel that invested in his story.

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