After collision with a derelict, the good ship Lady Vain has sunk and there remains but one survivor adrift in a dinghy. Edward Prendick is lost at sea and facing certain death when he is picked up by a vessel, carrying an unusual cargo of savage animals.
Nursed back to health by their keeper, Montgomery, Prendick soon finds himself on a mysterious island with his rescuer, a pack of strange beasts and the sinister Doctor Moreau; a genius biologist who’s radical experiments in vivisection have forced him from civilisation and perform his work on this uncharted island.
Hearing ghastly screams and discovering unthinkable creatures, it is not long before Prendick starts to piece together the horrific goings on of Moreau and the truth behind his experiments.
When thinking of H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau usually takes a back seat in the mind, with most of the praise being put upon The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, but this novel is equally ground breaking, radical and enjoyable.
Probably Well’s darkest and most twisted novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau paints a picture so vivid of these beast creatures that it is almost sickening to read at times. The book is not just a horror story however, playing on the idea of Darwinism, the novel delves into what it actually means to be human and the taboo around playing God with animals.
First published in 1896, The Island of Doctor Moreau was way ahead of its time, and even now makes the mind slightly fearful of scientific advancements in human biology and animal vivisection.
Creepy, chilling and yet incredibly clever, The Island of Dr Moreau is highly enjoyable from both a sociological and literary aspect, although it’s probably not ideal for the faint hearted reader.