The Island of Doctor Moreau - Q6: Horror


“He's unnatural,” I said. “There's something about him... of the diabolical, in fact.”
“Rum,” he said. “I can't see it.”

This novel isn't scary, but it's very creepy, with a growing sense of unease. Would you classify it as a horror novel? How does Wells use story-telling to build the mood?


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    I think the start is creepy, when Pendrick is trying to understand the island. The endless screams of the vivisected puma are horrific, I think, especially as Montgomery tries and fails to ignore them. I think Pendrick's sojourn in the beast's village is meant to be creepy, but that didn't have a lot of impact for me. I found the destructive ending of the book to lack tension.

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    Curse your sudden but inevitable dissolution!

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    I agree the end of the book lacked the tension that propelled us through the first half, both the dramatic and the horific tension. Prendick seems to spend his last weeks on the island in an uneasy peace with the creatures, and there are no new developments.

    Earlier in the book, there was so much - the noises, Mongomery's furtive nature on the ship, the fact that he gave Prendick 'injections' while he was asleep without ever explaining what was injected or why. On the island, the increasing threat of death by stalking, which jumps when Moreau dies. Mongomery's alcohol-soaked death, and so on.

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