H.G. Wells's classic horror story centers around monster-making. As the tale begins, the nephew of Edward Prendick is narrating from an account written by his uncle as a old man. While in the prime of life, the shipwrecked Prendick was saved from death by Dr. Moreau, an expatriate living on a deserted island who was attempting, by surgical experiments, to humanize animals. Through Prebble's narrative mastery the character of Prendick evolves with the events he describes. The opening chapter is performed in a dry, weary voice. As Prendick describes the animals' agony and the misshapen results of the "man-making," Prebble reads in a shadowy, intense tone, conveying events too horrible and unbelievable to describe. Prebble's narration makes the story visual and visceral.
Written by H.G. Wells, the great visionary author, this legendary novel is both timeless and thought provoking. Listeners will thrill to this chilling masterpiece as man boldly takes evolution into his own hands for the first time. Dr. Moreau, a scientist expelled from his homeland for his cruel experiments, continues his transplantations on a small South Pacific island, creating hideous creatures with manlike intelligence. When the island’s human/beasts revolt, the true consequences of his genetic meddling emerge. This stunning novel introduces listeners to the potential perils and gains of scientific discovery. H.G. Wells, author of the science fiction novels The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, remains the standard by which modern fantasy authors are judged.
Public Domain (P)1996 Recorded Books
A powerful novel in it's day (1896) and still great fantasy/sci-fi...even if the science is a bit dated, it's still fun. On an island in the Pacific Ocean, the evil Moreau conducts grizzly experiments while the able assistant drinks himself into oblivion and the newcomer watches this queer drama. This would make a great movie---wait, there have been five made of this plot/theme. I'll go find one and watch it.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
The Island of Dr. Moreau is an apocryphal story; i.e. it raises many human’ issues—like morality, ethics, meaning of life, and the boundaries of civilization. The original story is mired in 1896’ science but the story remains relevant for 21st century cloning and genetic manipulation. Wells envisions a brilliant physiologist who finds a way to meld the physiological characteristics of man with beast. This extraordinary feat is not technically revealed, which diminishes the sense of suspended belief, but the idea opens a Pandora’s Box of evil that is only mitigated by hope.
Ray Kurzweil suggests the future of human beings will involve a merger of human’ DNA and micro-technology. The Island of Dr. Moreau may be re-titled “The Island of Dr. Anonymous” with island earth populated by “humanimals” and “humotics”. Like Well’s hero, Edward Prendick, surviving humans may leave island earth if they want to remain “only” human. The fable of Pandora explains that “hope”, the politics of the possible, is all that is left at the bottom of the box.
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Normally I love H.G. Wells but this was, in my honest opinion, one of his weaker books. I find the concepts and the structure well done but I don't find that I care all that much for any of the characters, the only exception being the encounter in the forest after "the incident". The narrator did a good job but I'm hard pressed to say it was a great performance. I listened to it once and that was enough for me. I'll stick to War of the Worlds.
This is one of HG Wells' more disturbing tales. I can't say I'm really in love with it, like I am with "War of the Worlds" or "The Invisible Man" (or some of his short stories like "The Truth about Pyecraft" or "In the Abyss"). Dr Moreau isn't a deliberate sadist, he just doesn't care; under his knife, animals not only suffer terrible physical agonies; they suffer a complete corruption and destruction of their essential nature. I found it more depressing even than the bleak vision of "The Time Machine."
That said, Simon Prebble does an excellent job with the narration.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
This is one case in which the film adaptation really helped me enjoy the book more. It would have been more difficult to imagine the images described without that reference. Also, I enjoyed the constant religious themes, the descriptions of the beast people and humans being like them inherently. The imagery of Dr. Moreau being the "law giver" and the beast people questioning the existence of the law without the "law giver" being earthly present. Was worth a credit I think.
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