Ripping Book Review—The Island of Dr. Moreau

WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the professor and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.


Ah! The aforementioned Wells rip. I must say, while I was reading this novel, it caused repulsion in the highest degree possible. Never has the professor been more nauseated, disgusted, or sickened than while reading this…this…thing.

Before moving on, it should also be mentioned that while reading this novel—this repelling, revolting, repulsive novel—I was greatly confused at times about who had written it. You see, sometimes I thought the author was H. G. Doyle; at other times, Arthur Conan Wells.

We have chanced upon an interesting truth: H. G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle are extremely similar in their writings! Ah! As if one wasn’t bad enough.

However, this similarity isn’t good for either Wells or Doyle. You see, Doyle will end up ruining Wells’ name, and Wells will end up ruining Doyle’s name. Of course, there’s really nothing to ruin, though. Both authors have already ruined themselves. But it does add an interest.

Okay! Moving on.

I would like to quote from the first page of the book. Yes, it can’t be good if you find something rippable on the first page:

On January the 5th… my uncle…was picked up…in a small boat, of which the name was illegible… He gave such a strange account of himself that he was supposed demented. Subsequently, he alleged that his mind was a blank from the moment of his escape…

So, the uncle gave a strange account of himself but his mind was a blank. Hmm… That makes sense—in a Wells sort of way.

I know. This sounds like a Doyle Contradiction. But, alas, this is Wells not Doyle. So, let’s come up with something else. How about a Wells Contradiction? Ah, yes, that seems good. After all, these two authors—possessing magnanimous amounts of genius—are rather similar, I think.

Just like with Doyle, a Wells Contradiction on the first page isn’t a good thing—at all.

Moving on before we rip him to pieces just for that!

Okay. Plot.

The Island of Dr. Moreau is about a doctor who distorts animals into beast people. As if that’s possible. But we must remember who wrote the book. Arthur Conan Wells…I mean, H. G. Doyle… Dadblameit!!! The author doesn’t seem to really care about making sense; that would be too simple a pastime.

Anyway, the fun begins when Prendick arrives on the island. I’m not going to waste time telling you how he got there. Rest assured that his journey was completely devoid of life and uninteresting. It’s obvious, though, that Wells wanted him on the island. As a matter of fact, Wells went out of his way to get Prendick on the island. You see, Wells had a tricky time deciding just how he would strand Prendick on the island. Ah! Yet another similarity between Wells and Doyle: severe character manipulation!

Now for Prendick himself!

We come to another similarity. In my latest ripping book review (The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle) we chanced upon the first uninterest ever: the protagonist of the story. At the time, I said he was the first of his kind.

I recant. He wasn’t the first; Prendick was. I can only imagine the dull adventures that Prendick and Malone (the protagonist from Doyle’s…thing) would have faced together had Wells and Doyle ever got together to write a story. I believe it would be enough to cause the tears to flow quite freely.

Now we come to an interest.

Prendick is recuperating from something that’s altogether too unclear to describe here (read the revolting book for details) when he is fed some strange type of food indeed:

‘Have some of this,’ said he, (i.e. Montgomery—another dull character) and gave me a dose of some scarlet stuff, iced.

Now this professor can only shiver imagining just what exactly Wells had in mind. Scarlet iced stuff?

Too horrible to think on.

Next, we come to this. Prendick is thanking Montgomery for saving his life. Montgomery replies:

‘It’s chance, I tell you,’ he interrupted, ‘as everything is in a man’s life. Only the asses won’t see it.’

Definitely interesting. Now we have something here. Uninterests—like Prendick and Malone—are just the offspring of chance.

Now, of course, Prendick and Malone—in their respective novels—definitely don’t believe they are just the offspring of chance. So that makes them asses. I’m glad Wells cleared that up, for I had been suspecting that for a long time myself.

This also could imply that the author is referring to himself as chance—since he created the characters. This means that he was responsible for creating the ass, Prendick. Of course, Wells was just trying to tell us a little about himself.

Enough of this business!

Now to Dr. Moreau himself!

Moreau is discussing with the ass, Prendick, how he changes animals into beast people when he says, without feeling a tinge of foolishness:

‘…A pig may be educated…’

Of course, Prendick doesn’t pick up on this absurdity because he is what he is.

Moreau shows his foolishness here though.

You see, he’s talking about how he changes animals into beast people, and he fails to see that he has the perfect specimen right in front of him; for Prendick isn’t a beast person, he’s a human! Someone beat Moreau to it, and changed an ass into a perfect human!

But, on the other hand, maybe Moreau recognized that he was face to face with a prime example and specimen, and so he decided to say nothing about it out of sheer jealously. Maybe, too, that’s why he said pigs could be educated. He was looking at an educated ass.

Moreau goes on to say—in this brilliant discourse—that:

‘And the great difference between a man and monkey is in the larynx…’

Prendick doesn’t agree with him.

Oh dear. This complicates matters. Prendick seems smarter than Moreau; the ass is smarter than the doctor! But, we must consider this: Moreau comes from the same stock as Prendick; that makes him an ass too.

One more thing before we leave this dreaded book!

Prendick is complaining about the pain that Moreau inflicts upon the beasts when he turns them into beast people. But Moreau argues that pain is a figment of the mind.

Then to back up what he just said:

He drew a little penknife as he spoke from his pocket, opened the smaller blade and moved his chair so that I could see his thigh. Then, choosing the place deliberately, he drove the blade into his leg and withdrew it.

After this self-stabbing he continues on quite freely as if he had just scratched his leg instead of knifing it!

This is an interest. I do believe Wells should get credit here. He created a new type of creature:

An ass which feels no pain.


42 Responses to “Ripping Book Review—The Island of Dr. Moreau”

  1. 1 krugthethinker July 25, 2013 at 05:19

    Hahaha! An ass which feels no pain! I actually read the most fascinating novel about Wells last year, written by David Lodge, who I love for his cutting academic satires. The takeaway: Wells was a giant weirdo. An interesting giant weirdo. Perhaps he practiced stabbing his own legs before writing!

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke July 25, 2013 at 11:37

      You know, I’d believe it. I couldn’t agree more: Wells is a gigantic weirdo! But we must give him credit for books which are highly rippable! :)

  2. 3 MikeW July 24, 2013 at 16:01

    You ripped madness. Question: was Michael York right for the part in the 70s movie? How about Burt Lancaster?

    • 4 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 19:14

      York, no. I didn’t picture Prendick like a that at all. And the mannerisms were completely opposite.

      Now, Lancaster, yes. Burt did a good job, definitely.

      What was your opinion on the movie?

      • 5 MikeW July 24, 2013 at 19:24

        When I saw it I was a kid. The special effects and scary mystique of mutant half-animals and half-men were compelling no matter who acted it. The shipwreck lead-in was an effective set-up.

        I cannot remember if York was an officer. If he was, it seems he was a little soft for a naval officer. If he was enlisted, he was a mighty thoughtful, educated enlisted man.

      • 6 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 19:32

        Yes, he seemed to thoughtful, now that I think about it. But then again, Prendick was no warrior!

  3. 7 vengeance4 July 24, 2013 at 00:32

    I would also like to add, that pain or no, the good doctor would have bled out through his femoral artery (the biggest artery in your body). Unless of course he did some dramatic contortioning to avoid said artery.

    • 8 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 00:46

      Very interesting! It did seem kind of strange that he had no ill effects from stabbing himself. Is the artery hard to miss?

      • 9 vengeance4 July 24, 2013 at 15:00

        Like I said, if I just grabbed a knife and stabbed myself in the leg, I would bleed out pretty quickly. It’s a very large artery, he would have had to hit it. What a stupid doctor.

      • 10 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 19:14

        Maybe his new kind of creature didn’t have arteries? I wouldn’t put it past Doyle…I mean Wells! ;)

  4. 11 sknicholls July 24, 2013 at 00:28

    I haven’t read this one, but I think maybe I haven’t missed anything. I have heard about it though, but I am too old to remember if what I heard was good or bad.

    • 12 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 00:45

      No, you haven’t really missed anything. The book is completely wicked–in a bad sense.

  5. 13 vengeance4 July 24, 2013 at 00:27

    This story sounds a lot like Animal Farm. Pigs becoming educated…. Asses that are smart (relatively)…. In fact, I’m feeling some rather distinct deja vu! In the Three Little Pigs, the pigs are educated as well. Oh, goodness. I do believe we have a case of thinking-too-much-about-children-stories-and-thinking-they-could-be-real-somehow-so-one-tries-and-fails-to-write-a-story-that-makes-more-sense. Thank, God no one got the idea to write a story about the Great Depression, and a family that travelled to California, and the recently unpregnant daughter breast feeds an elderly man, and then naming the whole thing Grapes of Wrath like it makes sense to the story. Because that would be even worse.

    • 14 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 00:45

      Haha. Good point. I do think you got it right with Wells.

      Ah! A ripping of Steinbeck? Quite interesting… Maybe in the future…

      I take it you’d like to see a ripping of Grapes of Wrath?

      • 15 vengeance4 July 24, 2013 at 15:02

        I hate that book with a passion that should be unknown to mankind. I don’t even know how to describe how much I hate that book.

      • 16 vengeance4 July 24, 2013 at 15:05

        I contradicted myself; that’s how much I hate Grapes of Wrath.

      • 17 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 19:15

        Wow. Is that for every Steinbeck novel, or just for this particular book? What made you dislike it?

  6. 18 weggieboy July 23, 2013 at 18:18

    A horrific story! I’ve never read the book, but have seen both movie versions, sufficient warning not to read the book. Ugh! Genetic engineering foretold. There is ample evidence in human history to believe there are Dr, Moreaus out there, now, who wish they could take their experiments just a little bit farther, now that there are scientific tools available that just might make such terrible things possible.

    • 19 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 18:33

      It was definitely a scary story. So you don’t recommend the movies?

      But what can we expect from Doyle? He was a strange one. Maybe Sherlock Holmes is better.

      • 20 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 22:37

        Wells. ;) Unless they’re the same person…perhaps they’re both JK Rowling!!

      • 21 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 22:40

        Now, now, now, young lady. You’re letting your fantasies run away with you. Though, it would be nice to blame everything on Joio…

      • 22 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 22:44

        You’re right – she could never aspire to the heights of these two literary giants.

      • 23 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 22:48

        Giants? Only in the moustache, only in the moustache!

      • 24 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 23:09

        Gosh, you’re right again! I’d never thought of Wells as moustachioed, but, Maburnit if he doesn’t have a Twain!! There’s got to be some connection – maybe a moustache is essential to being a great writer…which seems incredibly sexist, somehow…and gives me a rather disturbing picture of Ms Austen ;)

      • 25 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 23:20

        A Twain? Hahaha. That is a disturbing image of Jane…

        But this professor meant giants in the moustachioed section–only. Twain had both, I believe.

        (Did you notice I added your abbrev. to the exclamations?)

      • 26 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 23:25

        Oh, C-W-W! That makes me feel so proud! Especially since that’s my favorite of all Punchy expressions.

        (As a thank you gesture, I hope you’ll note my spelling…)

      • 27 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 00:07

        It’s so funny that you’d like that one! This professor is extremely fond of the abbreviation now!

        Thank you.

        Great spelling, though you look much better spelling the other way! ;)

      • 28 FictionFan July 24, 2013 at 01:10

        :lol: I’m glad you think so – since that was a one-off! If we didn’t use them, what would happen to all those poor ‘u’s? They’d be wandering round desperate for work, end up queuing at food banks and singing ‘Buddy, can you spare a dime…’

        No, it’s my duty to use them at every opportunity…

      • 29 Professor VJ Duke July 24, 2013 at 01:17

        You mean, never ever again–to show your appreciation? :) I have to admit, one-off caught this professor off guard at first. Strange way to say something won’t be repeated. ;)

        :lol: I like the scenario of what would happen to the ‘u’s. Maybe you should try it out just so we could watch the spectacle?

  7. 30 ladycheetah7 July 23, 2013 at 15:49

    An ass who feels no pain. That is probable since there are plenty of those inflicting agony every day just by breathing.
    I so love reading your rips. How do you
    stand reading these novels?

    • 31 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 15:52

      :lol: You got that right! I’m really glad you enjoy the professor’s rips! Thank you.

      I can stand it because I know how much fun the rip will be… :D

  8. 32 HoaiPhai July 23, 2013 at 14:35

    See? This is why I swore off reading fiction (except for government and/or politicians’ statements in the newspaper and old love letters from my ex-wife). I’ll never sleep until I find out what that iced scarlet stuff was. Guinness, Red Bull, and tequila I bet. Was that a real penknife or one of those Hollywood retractable-blade jobs? So many questions and no rewind button.

    • 33 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 14:42

      :lol: Good reasons, all. You’re probably right. That Montgomery liked his drink. Definitely a real penknife. Though, maybe not. For in the book, he doesn’t even flinch!

      • 34 HoaiPhai July 23, 2013 at 14:59

        It’s so typical of ink-on-paper people not to flinch… I’d like to hire one to negotiate a raise for me at work, I really would.

      • 35 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 15:01

        I see what you mean. Impervious to pain. Once they negotiate a raise for you, send them over to the professor’s dwelling!

  9. 36 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 12:17

    I so agree that Wells and Sir Arthur reach the same extremely high standards – glad you noticed! Also good to hear that Prendick is as interesting as Malone – I really must read this book…

    Clearly, the scarlet stuff, iced, is a strawberry ice-lolly – that always makes me feel much better too.

    Just off to ask my pet pig if he’d mind reading this book aloud to me…

    Thanks for an inspiring review!

    • 37 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 13:12

      Yes, definitely read the book–if you are interested by uninterests. The dull adventures are very uninteresting!

      Oh, that’s what it was! See, I was quite in the dark about it. This professor was imagining that–given the book’s storyline–it was awful beast guts or something just as hideous.

      I didn’t know you kept Prendick as a pet–unless you’re referring to Tommy. ;)

      The ripios are either meant to inspire or embitter!

      • 38 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 13:41

        But if I were interested in uninterests then…why would I enjoy your posts so much?? ;)

      • 39 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 13:51

        Maybe because the professor is an interesting uninterest–the first of his kind, I believe… :)

      • 40 FictionFan July 23, 2013 at 14:23

        Certainly unique! :D

  10. 41 Susan P July 23, 2013 at 12:13

    Mercy! Righteously ripped, Professor.

    • 42 Professor VJ Duke July 23, 2013 at 13:09

      Ah, thank you. I thought I did it justice!

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Depends on the day, see.

Punchy Argot:

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