Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book v. Movie: The Island of Dr. Moreau

I have decided after participating in Bloggiesta that I need to add more content other than just reviews to Eastern Sunset Reads.  So one of the new ideas is comparing a book to the movie inspired by the book.

NOTE: There will be Spoilers involved (otherwise how would I be able to compare the two?)
So for this month's Book versus Movie Discussion I picked the Island of Dr. Moreau since it is October and it is almost Halloween.  So we will start with a review of the book by HG Wells.
Synopsis: "Ranked among the classic novels of the English language and the inspiration for several unforgettable movies, this early work of H. G. Wells was greeted in 1896 by howls of protest from reviewers, who found it horrifying and blasphemous. They wanted to know more about the wondrous possibilities of science shown in his first book, The Time Machine, not its potential for misuse and terror. In The Island of Dr. Moreau a shipwrecked gentleman named Edward Prendick, stranded on a Pacific island lorded over by the notorious Dr. Moreau, confronts dark secrets, strange creatures, and a reason to run for his life.

While this riveting tale was intended to be a commentary on evolution, divine creation, and the tension between human nature and culture, modern readers familiar with genetic engineering will marvel at Wells’s prediction of the ethical issues raised by producing “smarter” human beings or bringing back extinct species. These levels of interpretation add a richness to Prendick’s adventures on Dr. Moreau’s island of lost souls without distracting from what is still a rip-roaring good read."

My Review: This has long since been one of my favorite movies and now will be one of my favorite books. It is a classic but is just as disturbing and thrilling as any new book out there. It is narrated in first person by Mr. Prendick and seems almost as if it is a letter or a journal entry. There are many different ways to interpret this book, many people take it as a warning against science and evolution. It is also a warning from playing with nature. Of all the scary and disturbing things that happen in the book, the one that I found the worst was Dr. Moreau's complete lack of caring for his creations once they had worn out their usefulness. I also find it odd that Montgomery is obviously bothered by what occurs on the Island but yet he stays and assists the Doctor. As Mr. Prendick encounters many of the creatures, you can start to sympathize with the creatures, with all the human qualities they have been given and then left on their own to survive. It really reminds me of Frankenstien's monster.
My Rating: I really loved the book! It may not appeal to all readers because it tends more to mental thriller than full heart pounding thriller. I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
And now for a review of the Movie!
Synopsis (from Wikipedia): "In the year 2010, Dr. Moreau claims to have successfully conquered the impossible: to introduce human DNA into animals, eliminating their baser instincts and thereby creating a supposedly divine human, free from malice and hatred. After many attempts, only one experiment was successful and now the unsuccessful ones are given drugs every day to keep them from regressing into their animal forms. They are also controlled with electrical shock devices to keep them in order.
However, one of the creatures tears the shock device from his body and when he informs others of this, the animal hybrids break loose on the island.
One of Dr. Moreau's allies is Dr. Montgomery, a physician gone mad with devotion to Moreau and intense drug abuse.
United Nations negotiator Edward Douglas, the sole survivor of an airplane crash, is brought ashore on Moreau's island — against his better judgment — by Dr. Montgomery, and eventually becomes his prisoner. Horrified by the doctor's monstrous experiments and fearing for his own life, Douglas seeks the help of Moreau's lovely daughter, Aissa, in escaping the island, but is foiled at every turn by Dr. Montgomery and his man-beast lackeys."

My Review: Yup I still love this movie even though it completely freaks me out!  An excellent cast for this movie in my opinion, they seemed to really fit the parts.  I absolutely adore the 'children' of Dr. Moreau, Aissa, Majai and the quiet gentle boy (i think his name was M'ling).  I also find I kind of like Dr. Moreau, he seems to not know what he has done but loves his creations, though some obviously more than others.  Montgomery however I really dislike with his drug addiction and obvious envy and dislike of the Doctor and his wishes for the projects. I find it very interesting how intelligent the creatures are and how they figure things out and decide to take control of themselves.  Edward almost seems like he isn't a main character, other than the need for a survivor and narrator to deliver the tale. The costume and makeup work in this movie is fantastic, though I would love to see what they can do now that its 16 years later!

My Rating: Still love the movie and think they did a fantastic job on the storyline, making it keep the watcher's interest and the makeup and costume work is great! I give it a rating of Four Paws.


Time to compare and discuss!!

There are several glaring differences in the book by HG Wells and the movie based on the book. Honestly the movie seems to be more loosely based on the book than I expected.  First off, minor difference but I picked it up immediately, Edward's last name has been changed from Prendick to Douglas - probably to suit the time period change.  Yup that is the next difference that one would notice. The book is set to take place in the late 1800s while the movie takes place in 2010.  From there the movie starts to veer off the book drastically. 

Dr. Moreau is a lot more involved in what happens to his creations after the fact in the movie, it makes you a lot more sympathetic to him. While in the book he completely disregards them after they start to regress.  Movie Dr. Moreau attempts to stop the regression with injections and continues to keep control of them with a shock method and being seen as "Father" a god like figure to be respected.  Where as in the book Montgomery take on the role of staying involved and having a soft spot for the creations after their use is worn out. Dr. Moreau, also keeps his best/most successful creations in the house with him in the Movie, caring for them and guiding them as a father actually would.

Dr. Moreau's research also seems to differ from the movie to the book. In the book it seems he is try to create a stronger, quicker human out of the animals.  While in the movie he seems to be trying to suppress the worst of human tendencies and nature with the addition of animal characteristics (it actually kind of reminds me of Divergent/Insurgent books that I recently read. Trying to remove the worst of human nature, but it again doesn't work). I think that also helps with the viewers to connect with the movie, having his research not seem quite as disturbing.

In the book Leopard man & Hyena man only play minor roles in bringing about the revolt of the creations. However in the movie they take a much larger role, especially Hyena man.  He is highly intelligent and discovers how they have been controlled.  He leads a revolt in his desire to return to a more animal nature, but as he has more and more success in his revolt he begins to desire Dr. Moreau's original power over everyone. I find the creatures much scarier in the movie than in the book. While in the book they are struggling to maintain their humanity for the most part, in the movie they attempt to regain their animalness (new word lol) but still retain the worst parts of the human nature.

All in all though the end result is very much the same.  Edward manages to survive and escape the island to bring the story back, but is haunted by the similarities of human nature to animal instincts the creatures displayed. It is still a warning against using science to play god and mess with nature.

So have any of you read the book? Seen the movie? Which did you prefer? What is your opinion of the message of the book or movie?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bedtime Story: The Going To Bed Book

Synopsis: "Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages."

My Review: This is my little cousin's favorite book and he picked it out for my Munchkin. I love how the animals are on a boat, kind of a hint at Noah's Ark. It might be a good way to get Munchkin in a nightly bedtime routine. It has a little funny feel to it with the rhyming. The drawings are cute too.        
My Rating: A fun bedtime story for little ones and it may make bedtime routines easier! I give it a rating of Four Paws!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Guest Post: Jessica from Thoughts at One in the Morning


The First Time I Read a Book

Near the end of Kindergarten, a couple of students were picked out to read in front of the class. It was kind of a big deal, since most of us didn’t know how to read much. I was one of the two selected and I was terrified. You see, I’ve been shy for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I actually started to talk to people more. So, reading in front of my whole Kindergarten class, you bet I was nervous!

I practiced reading the book at home with my parents. It didn’t calm my nerves too much though. The day soon came. When it was my turn to step up in front of the class, I was so scared. I can still feel my heart racing. Staring out into the audience of about twenty fellow students plus my teacher, I read the book. I can’t remember how it sounded and I can’t even remember what the book was about! But it didn’t matter. Everyone was clapping!

I spent all that time worried about reading a book to my class that I didn’t realize how amazing it was. I was reading, READING, in Kindergarten. I was one of the first ones to do this. It actually is pretty exciting to think about now.

That moment was the beginning of my love for reading. I am so glad I learned how at such a young age because it helped me learn faster so that I could read all sorts of books. I’ll never forget that moment. It changed everything.


Thank you so much for sharing your story Jessica! I am so glad that you had that one first experience and fell in love with books!
Please feel free to visit Jessica on her blog Thoughts at One in the Morning where she shares her new adventures in books.

Please be sure that you enter my blogoversary giveaway!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Writing

So Wednesday is my official writing update day. I have so many story projects going on and I need a push to get some done. So I will be trying to post each Wednesday about how my writing adventures are going (and I may need a swift kick in the pants by you guys sometimes).

Current Active Project:

The Last Mountains - 13,468 (handwritten) = 15,766 (typed)

A equine shapeshifting family is being hunted to near extinction and the young new leader must go against all her lessons and approach the elite council for aide. Will they help her? How will she keep her family's traditions and values alive, let alone her herd?

Tamlyn Marie's Grace -

Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)

Other Works in Progress:

The New Old Home - 17,193 words

Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but what would you do with that money? That is the question presented to Natalie, when she is at the lowest point in her life, she is presented with an opportunity to make any normal person's dreams come true, but all those winnings can't give her what she wants most.

Princess Bs - 32,131 words

A story about a woman, recently divorced and returned to her home town to figure out what is next. She encounters an old friend and spends a weekend with him and his daughters. Feelings that are long since buried are rising up again, but are her recent loss and his current life going to stand in the way of their happily ever after?

Night Rider - 17,229

Alice is a recent high school graduate who is a very accomplished competitive rider in Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Western/Rodeo. Her parents had arranged for her to attend a private college on the east coast geared specifically to equine professions. However, Alice wants to focus on her studies in English Literature. When she arrives at the college she hides her riding abilities, but can she keep her talent and love of horses hidden?

Other Ideas Plotting:

Bloodsoar's Story
A pegasus struggles through life, ejected from the herd, near capture by humans.

The Assassin's Assassin
A student learns what the school is really teaching and sets out to destroy those who support the program.

Angel Story
Angels battle out an age old feud in a parallel world


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review of Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Synopsis: "One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so."

My Review: Insurgent picked up right where Divergent left off, and I was thrilled to have that, there was no wondering if you had missed something in the break. For some reason I didn't get quite the rush as I did while reading Divergent, it seemed that throughout this book, Tris was a little more lost and confused. That translated into a not quite as an adrenaline pumping or page turning book. It actually kind of reminded me of the movie The Village. It was interesting to watch Tris' character develop and change throughout the novel, considering the amount of emotional trauma she underwent. It was also interesting to see how each character was so resistant to working outside their faction's guidelines, but no matter how hard they try, they can't take the so called negative personality flaws out of humankind. A good storyline throughout both books with a great message, but the ending was a little predictable for me.
My Rating: While I thought Insurgent was a good book, it just didn't live up to Divergent to me. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

What I Reviewed Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
Waiting for Daybreak by Amanda McNeil
Wild Encounter by Nikki Logan (After Dark)
Good Night Rhode Island by Adam Gamble & Anne Rosen (Bedtime Story)
Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (Graphic Novel)

Currently Reading:

Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keller - PB - on page 92 of 288
Cleo: The cat who mended a family by Helen Brown - PB - on page 124 of 292
Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells - PB- on page 15 of 206

Next Books to be Read:

Under Camelot's Banner by Sarah Zettel - Arthurian Legend Challenge
Soul of a Highlander by Melissa Mayhue - Mount TBR Challenge


Another fun week! Lots of new reviews and even a Guest Post by Amanda McNeil, author of Waiting for Daybreak about her early reading memories.

I also kind of participated in Dewey's read-a-thon, more of an unofficial participant and spread out over two days.  Of the 7 books I had planned to read I managed finish The Secret Shadow by TJ Silver, Sarah Smiles by Seanpaul Thomas, One Little Christmas Tree by the Curto Family & Rusty Fischer, and Donners Bend by Alexa James! I also got started on Island of Dr. Moreau and Dog Trots Globe.   All of the reviews will be posted through out the next several weeks so stay tuned!

My hubby also gives me Saturday mornings off from Munchkin (thank goodness, he is so fussy I need time to recover from the week) and this week after running some errands I headed over to Barnes and Noble.  Big mistake!! LOL I haven't been book shopping in a while and loaded my arms! Thank goodness they don't have shopping carts there!

Anywho, I have another exciting week planned for all of you! More reviews, a guest post and the new Book v. Movie monthly event!

Don't forget to enter my Giveaway!