Novels Pre-intermediate

Island of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells

This book became an inspiration for many writers around the world. The science fiction novel raises questions: what makes us humans? Where is the line, which can’t be crossed? The traveller Edward Prednick, who survived shipwreck and he had spent eight days in mid ocean but finally recovered himself in a boat. Beside him was a man, called himself Montgomery. He took care of Edward, and asked victim about his survival in the ocean and about his life. Throughout the conversation, Edward was hearing strange animal sounds, but did not give them a special meaning. Later, when a saved man got better, he understood, that the ship followed to the unnamed island, and people he met on this ship weren’t look like a people…

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Island of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells

I was one of the few lucky passengers on the Lady Vain. When the ship went down in the Pacific in February 1887, I found myself in a small boat with another passenger, Helmar, and a sailor. I never knew the sailor’s name. A fourth man jumped from the ship, trying to reach us. But his head hit the side of the ship. He went down under the water and never came up again.

We had only a little bread and a small container of water on board. On the first day, the sea was very rough and we were almost thrown out of the boat. But then the sea became calmer and that danger passed. We spoke little. Most of the time, we did not move. We lay under the hot sun, looking out across the ocean.

On the fourth day, we had no more water to drink. We became very thirsty. Then on the sixth day, Helmar finally spoke of the idea that was already in all our minds. ‘We need to kill someone. Then the other two can drink his blood.’

Helmar had two longer sticks and one shorter one. The person with the short stick had to die. But the sailor chose the short stick and he did not accept the result. The love of life was too strong in him. He attacked Helmar, and the two men fought. I tried to help Helmar. But as I was going towards them, the boat moved suddenly. Helmar and the sailor fell straight over the side together and went down like stones.

Island of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells

In my weak state, I lay in the boat, laughing quietly. I did not know why I was laughing. But for many minutes I could not stop.

After that, I did nothing. I thought about drinking sea water.

That way I could die more quickly. But I was too weak even for this.

On the eighth day, I saw a sail far away across the sea. I remember thinking, ‘How strange. A ship is coming, but too late, because I’m already dead.’ Hour after hour, I lay with my head on the side of the boat, and the sail came closer and closer. I did nothing to call the ship to me. But still it came. I remember seeing the side of the ship next to my boat, and then… nothing.

I woke in a small, untidy room on board the ship. A young man was sitting by my bed, holding my wrist. He had fair hair, a thick moustache and grey, watery eyes.

The man started speaking. Suddenly, from above us, came the sound of metal against metal and then the low, angry growl of an animal.

The man showed no surprise, but repeated his question: ‘How do you feel now?’

I tried to speak, but no sound came from my mouth. Luckily the man saw the question in my eyes.

‘You were found in a small boat. You had no food or drink.’

I looked at my hand – terribly thin, with the skin hanging off it. Suddenly, I remembered my long days lost at sea…

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