The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
The Island of Dr. Moreau (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

The Island of Dr. Moreau (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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by H. G. Wells
     
 

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When first published, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) shocked and horrified most of its readers and reviewers. Wells effectively employs disturbing elements to explore both the implications of evolutionary theory and to satirize modern society's religious institutions and its pride in its "civilization" - all through a story filled with suspense and

Overview


When first published, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) shocked and horrified most of its readers and reviewers. Wells effectively employs disturbing elements to explore both the implications of evolutionary theory and to satirize modern society's religious institutions and its pride in its "civilization" - all through a story filled with suspense and adventure, capable of being read in a single page-turning sitting.

As with the other early "scientific romances" that initiated Wells' literary career, The Island of Dr. Moreau successfully integrates serious ideas into a story driven not only by fast-paced action but also by Wells' gift for placing the fantastic parts of the story in the realistically depicted world of his audience. Thus Wells offered the growing field of science fiction an important model as well as one of its most highly regarded examples.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781411428904
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Series:
Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
673,514
File size:
426 KB

Meet the Author


Social philosopher, utopian, novelist, and "father" of science fiction and science fantasy, Herbert George Wells was born on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, Kent. His father was a poor businessman, and young Bertie's mother had to work as a lady's maid. Living "below stairs" with his mother at an estate called Uppark, Bertie would sneak into the grand library to read Plato, Swift, and Voltaire, authors who deeply influenced his later works. He shoed literary and artistic talent in his early stories and paintings, but the family had limited means, and when he was fourteen years old, Bertie was sent as an apprentice to a dealer in cloth and dry goods, work he disliked.

He held jobs in other trades before winning a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School of Science in London. The eminent biologist T. H. Huxley, a friend and proponent of Darwin, was his teacher; about him Wells later said, "I believed then he was the greatest man I was ever likely to meet." Under Huxley's influence, Wells learned the science that would inspire many of his creative works and cultivated the skepticism about the likelihood of human progress that would infuse his writing.

Teaching, textbook writing, and journalism occupied Wells until 1895, when he made his literary debut with the now-legendary novel The Time Machine, which was followed before the end of the century by The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds, books that established him as a major writer. Fiercely critical of Victorian mores, he published voluminously, in fiction and nonfiction, on the subject of politics and social philosophy. Biological evolution does not ensure moral progress, as Wells would repeat throughout his life, during which he witnessed two world wars and the debasement of science for military and political ends.

In addition to social commentary presented in the guise of science fiction, Wells authored comic novels like Love and Mrs. Lewisham, Kipps, and The History of Mister Polly that are Dickensian in their scope and feeling, and a feminist novel, Ann Veronica. He wrote specific social commentary in The New Machiavelli, an attack on the socialist Fabian Society, which he had joined and then rejected, and literary parody (of Henry James) in Boon. He wrote textbooks of biology, and his massive The Outline of History was a major international bestseller.

By the time Wells reached middle age, he was admired around the world, and he used his fame to promote his utopian vision, warning that the future promised "Knowledge or extinction." He met with such preeminent political figures as Lenin, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and continued to publish, travel, and educate during his final years. Herbert George Wells died in London on August 13, 1946.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The War of the Worlds.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 21, 1866
Date of Death:
August 13, 1946
Place of Birth:
Bromley, Kent, England
Place of Death:
London, England
Education:
Normal School of Science, London, England

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The Island of Dr. Moreau (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Janus More than 1 year ago
Undoubtedly, H.G. Wells was a man who was years ahead of his time. Like Huxley, he seems to have anticipated the issues surrounding genetic manipulation years before such a thing was even a topic. As a book, The Island of Dr. Moreau reads like a slightly less stuffy gothic horror novel. While the characters may seem slightly cookie cutter for the genre (especially the doctor and the narrator) they all have slight quirks that set them apart from the normal lot. Each chapter is only about seven pages long and the story reads quickly. I can see how a really neat movie could be made from this, but nobody has succeeded yet (the version with Brando and Kilmer...ouch). For someone looking for a good 'abandoned on an island' type story, this is a really good one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the Island of Dr. Moreau was an excellent book to read. It was very imaginative and interesting. I would recommend for anyone to read this H.G. Wells classic but only if you like sci-fi. Otherwise it is not the book for you.
Cathytaffy More than 1 year ago
This book was incredibly exciting the whole way through. It is a fairly short story, but packed with so much adventure. It seemed like there was never a dull moment and the writing was so vivid and thrilling! The whole idea/theme of the book is a bit on the scary side, but it is not too gorey or terrifying, so I still enjoyed it and didn't have nightmares. This was my first book of HG Wells and I cannot wait to read another one of his novels now. Just from reading this one book, he may prove to be one of my new favorite writers. What a clever/genius storyteller!
theokester More than 1 year ago
I knew the high level concept of this book from allusions in other stories and movies, but I'd never read the original novel. It was a bit different from what I expected. The writing style is very accessible and fluid while also being jam-packed with very vivid and detailed descriptions as well as some in-depth scientific and moralistic discussions. The first few pages were a little slow, but the rest of the book, except for a paragraph here and there, flew by and kept me very hooked. The story is presented as a written report from the point of view of a narrator who finds himself stranded on the island for a time after some disasters at sea. The narrator has some scientific background which lends to very analytical and in-depth commentary. Without adding any real spoilers, the summary is this: Doctor Moreau, after being chased out of London for his practices, is living on an island in the pacific conducting outrageous experiments. Our narrator, Pendrick, finds the island populated with creatures that are neither completely human nor completely bestial...they are aberrations....creatures partially human and partially beasts....the face of a man with almost snout-like nose and lips, pointed hairy ears, elongated torso and shorter than normal legs, etc., etc., etc. The horrors and grotesque nature of the experiments are explored in depth and naturally progress to some rather disturbing conclusions. I rather enjoyed the story and found myself immersed in the plot and the concepts. My only real complaint by the end of the book was that it all ended too quickly. I would have loved another 50 or 100 pages. Still, it is a tightly woven tale with a lot of meet in it to leave you thinking. Wells presents a thoughtful narrative addressing some of the social concerns of his day through this science-fiction story. At that point in history (late 1800s), this was all seen as fiction but based on the fears people had of experiments in the medical community. It's even more potent now, since some 30-50 years after the book, the Nazis engaged in similar "scientific" experimentation during the Holocaust (not with the same results, but with a similar type of horror upon society). I really liked the way the book finished up. In the last few pages, we find our narrator trying to sort through everything he's witnessed and come to terms with it. I really enjoyed the way Wells shows him trying to recognize "humanity" in people and distinguish between the "human" and the "animal." A great read.
yarnspinner More than 1 year ago
Absolutely brilliant, horrific, and disturbing. This is the second time I've read this novel and I would classify it as more of a horror story than science fiction. I say that because it explores what happens when you couple genius with madness. In terms of horror, I would say this novel is only second to "Lord of the flies" which probes at the possibility, Is man inherently evil? Overall a fantastic read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's wonderfully written, but quite ominous and scary. The disturbing nature of the story should not be taken lightly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was twisted and awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apparently, when the book was first released, it was poorly received mostly because the events portrayed are unpleasant. Later, it became somewhat of a classic book because (a.) readers began to appreciate the "educational" message that Wells was offering, (b.) it is now recognized as one of the original and ground breaking pieces in science fiction, and (c.) most recently, with some of the potential creations based on recent biological breakthroughs with regard to creating life forms, it has become more relevant. Both the negative and the positive are correct.
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Was a little slow at the beginning but it picked up speed and was a very enthralling and thought provoking piece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic must read. Perhaps his best work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing style led me comfortably along as I gathered clues as did the principal character. I was hoping for a more impactful resolution at the end. Even so, I am glad to have read it,
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gina4god More than 1 year ago
This is a classic and when I read it, could envision the story of how weird and creepy Dr Moreau was.
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