A short, muzzle-jawed and loathsome creature carries a man aboard a mysterious ship, and thus begins, with the first of mounting chills, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. This creature is the servant of Montgomery, a warped scientist who, with a cargo of animals, is bound for a deserted island. And to that out-of-the-way place the unwilling passenger is himself consigned, the unwanted and soon terrified intruder on a series of ghastly experiments. Those macabre experiments, the mad ambitions of the scientist who performs them, and the agonies they produce in their distorted victims combine to make Wells' story one of the most gripping of its kind.
A shipwreck in the South Seas, a palm-tree paradise where a mad doctor conducts vile experiments, animals that become human and then "beastly" in ways they never were before--it's the stuff of high adventure. It's also a parable about Darwinian theory, a social satire in the vein of Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels), and a bloody tale of horror. Or, as H. G. Wells himself wrote about this story, "The Island of Dr. Moreau is an exercise in youthful blasphemy. Now and then, though I rarely admit it, the universe projects itself towards me in a hideous grimace. It grimaced that time, and I did my best to express my vision of the aimless torture in creation." This colorful tale by the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds lit a firestorm of controversy at the time of its publication in 1896.