1896 ***** 171 pages
Although he already had The Time Machine under his belt, it was The Island of Dr. Moreau that really made H. G. Wells famous, or infamous, if you prefer. The book was greeted with harsh scrutiny by his peers and critics, for its unapologetic approach to vivisection and meddling with "God's will." It's a brilliant work that is engrossing from the first page to the last. Through a terrible twist of fate, a man ends up stranded on an island in the Pacific Ocean, where an exiled mad scientist has been performing inexorable experiments on the wildlife, turning them into strange dual-animal breeds with human-like qualities. It's a brutally terrifying novel that shakes you to your core, and it's not one that's likely to be forgotten. It's well more than a century old, and we are still talking about it. Its moral ambiguities and scientific questions are still being asked...and ignored...today. The Island of Dr. Moreau proves, once again, that H. G. Wells was a genius well ahead of his time.