Needing to read and release pressure from the finals cooker I selected my Complete Science Fiction Treasury of H. G. Wells and decided to start with some Island of Dr. Moreau. I’ve always liked the cover art to this one and it has nostalgic properties since my late grandmother gave it to me for Christmas when I was 11 or 12. I always liked Wells’s stories, but I haven’t read them in a long time.
So far Dr. Moreau is just what I wanted:
From pages 90-91:
“The crying sounded even louder out of doors. It was as if all the pain in the world had found a voice. Yet had I known such pain was in the next room, and had it been dumb, I believe–I have thought since–I could have stood it well enough. It is when suffering finds a voice and sets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us. But in spite of the brilliant sunlight and the green fans of the trees waving in the soothing sea- breeze, the world was a confusion, blurred with drifting black and red phantasms, until I was out of earshot of the house in the stone wall.”
And one more, though be warned of rabbit gore–page 92:
“I was startled by a great patch of vivid scarlet on the ground, and going up to it found it to be a peculiar fungus branched and corrugated like a foliaceous lichen, but deliquescing into slime at the touch. And then in the shadow of some luxuriant ferns I came upon an unpleasant thing, the dead body of a rabbit, covered with shining flies but still warm, and with its head torn off. I stopped aghast at the sight of the scattered blood. Here at last was one visitor to the island disposed of!”
Overall, I’m enjoying the novel even more than when I read it decades ago. Maybe it’s just reading the right thing at the right time.
If Wells interests you, or Richard Stanley, (or if you liked Jodorowsky’s Dune) I highly recommend Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau.
Fascinating and bizarre!