I’m afraid that, like with FRANKENSTEIN, my reaction to THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU is “Thank God I’ve read that now, because now I never have to read it again.”
The two books have more in common than I expected, which is silly, since I know what they’re both about. MOREAU is much more bearable as a read, because the protagonist isn’t nearly as sniveling as Frankenstein is, but the descriptions of pain and vivisection did not make me all that happy.
One aspect I did enjoy about both books (and indeed about A PRINCESS OF MARS, which I liked *far* more than either FRANKENSTEIN or MOREAU) is the utter flat-out no-explanation-required pulp science. The categorical statement of This Is How It is (best done in PRINCESS OF MARS, where John Carter absolutely blithely says, “…and over the next weeks I too developed my telepathic abilities,” which are then taken as writ), particularly with those statements flying rabidly in the face of science as we know it, and probably science as we knew it then, too.
*That* is the aspect of pulp fiction–that and the outrageous descriptions–that most draws me to it. I would love to be able to tell a pulp fiction story just that way, though I wonder if you could even get away with it in the modern era. I’d love to try. I don’t think it would be easy to do. I…well. *Can* it be done in a book written today? What if the book is set in the 1890s/1920s/1940s? Would a modern audience forgive it, in a modern book, or do they demand explanations? This is really a question of some interest to me, even if I’m not certain I’ve got the skill set to make it work anyway.
(x-posted from the essential kit)