The Island of Doctor Moreau - Q1: A Thrilling Read?


"...I'm dying to hear how you came to be alone in the boat."
I thought I detected a certain suspicion in his eyes."

As I was reading this, I got to thinking that the novel was a textbook thriller. I found the opening chapters extremely suspenseful. Did you agree? Was there anything about the structure that particularly grabbed you - the pacing? the build and release of tension? The foreshadowing? Does the novel carry this momentum to the end?


  • 1
    I think Prendick thought he was in a thriller, but no one else was playing along. Virtually all the characters were friendly towards him. They were variously damaged and/or evil, but few were hostile.

    I think Wells did a good job creating and maintaining tension for the first half of the novel, but couldn't sustain it for the climax.
  • 2

    Neil nailed it! Prendick was paranoid at first, so you thought 'Ah! Tension! Thriller!' Then you realized he was just paranoid. Then you thought 'maybe he was imagining the whole animal thing!' Or maybe that was just me!

  • 1

    I agree the the book didn't sustain the tension of the beginning. I wonder what you guys think the climax was? I'd put it at the death of Moreau, with everything after that being denouement. But the death of Montgomery and Prendick's killing of his stalker are also candidates, I suppose.

  • 2

    I think the death of Moreau is the climax. The killing of the stalker and Montgomery's death are just the final spasms.

  • 0

    I think it;'s tricky trying to apply standard categories to a book which in many ways invented the categories in the first place! I kept thinking as I was reading just how many books and films owed a debt to HG Wells - pretty much the whole James Bond series, for one thing (Dr No is almost a rhyme on Dr Moreau), but also the whole mad scientist genre such as Jurassic Park, and a whole host of others. Would it be more fair to say that we now see multiple genres which spun out of Dr Moreau, each taking one or two facets and dropping the rest?

Sign In or Register to comment.