Along with The Nix and Mythos, The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells is one of the best books I’ve read this year. This my second H.G. Wells text; after reading The War of The Worlds a few years ago, reading The Island of Doctor Moreau reminded me of how much I love Wells’ writing style. A contemporary review from Manchester Guardian states, ‘Wells gains our attention at once by the closeness and vigour of his narrative style and by his terse and natural dialogue […] It is full of skilful and subtle touches, and, harrowing’. After reading my first of his horror-sci-fi classics, I would love to read more of his work this year. Reading this amazing novella has surely sparked my interest in science fiction and horror.
The Island of Doctor Moreau was full of brilliant ideas about the philosophy of science and the morals of humanity, complete with nightmarish science-fiction/horror imagery. If you’re not fond of transformation scenes (like me, e.g. The Empty Child – Doctor Who, The Prisoner of Azkaban – Harry Potter, The Fly) these beasts will certainly make you squeem.
I never found that characters were placed for a function – and if I found a function, it was incredibly interesting literarily- not merely for plot purposes. The characters were not created for the audience to like them, like a lot of novels these days, they were created to discuss. This is my favourite thing about the classics genre. There’s no typical ‘boy next door’ who we are meant to fall head over heels for, there’s no evil bully antagonist there for the purpose of making our “reliable narrator” look like an angel of morals and philosophy. The Island of Doctor Moreau, Sherlock Holmes (the series) and Frankenstein are perfect examples of this. This is what I personally find interesting about reading, and if you’re looking for something like this, I’d highly recommend all of those books I just listed.
Another favourite of the year so far, constantly on the edge of my seat, a solid 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads.