It’s not really a surprise to anyone that I’ve been in somewhat of a writing slump for the past few months. This slump came with its share of lack of inspiration, total apathy, and a fierce desire to curl up in the fetal position and sob in a dark corner. And junk food. Lots of junk food.
After I went through these stages, I decided to finally shake things up. So I stepped back from what I was struggling with when it came to my writing and went back to Rule No. 1 on the list of amazing advice all writers give other writers. What is this rule? Read. Read, read, read.
Read some more.
And when you’re done with that? Read!
If you aren’t following my Twitter (in which case you are totally missing out on some quality puns and fights with the IRS right now), I recently posted a picture from an unexpected journey to the library and holy shit, I realized what I’d been missing out on. Guys, real talk, in case you didn’t know, your public library has, like, A TON of books! Seriously! You can borrow anything from there. FOR FREE! Do yourself a favor if you’re short on cash and inspiration and take a trip!
As soon as I walked in, I saw a table set up and labeled with a giant sign that read: “STAFF PICKS.” Oh my God. What better way to start your reading journey than by picking up a book recommended to you by somebody who deals with books for a living?!
And that’s where I found this little gem.
Now, I’d already assembled quite an impressive haul, but this book was so small (technically 139 pages) that I had to go for it. I’m pretty sure the librarians thought I was nuts by the time I checked out with five books, but it wasn’t my fault. I blame it on Chris.
The author of this story, H.G. Wells, was a guy born in 1866 whose most notable works were science fiction novels that are rated right up in the big leagues with people like Jules Vern and Hugo Gernsback. I guess you could say H.G. was a real O.G. in the sci-fi world. Bro also wrote The Time Machine (1895) and The War of the Worlds (1898) and is your go-to if you want to get back to the basics of sci-fi.
Here’s the synopsis I copied from the back:
“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.”
Dr. Moreau is notorious in the book because of his crazy, outlandish experiments done on animals to make them more human-like. The way Edward Prendick recounts his tale on the island makes you question what it means to be human and (from what I also copied on the back of the book) observe “the tension between human nature and culture.” Sidenote: our main character, Edward Prendick, is super relatable because all this poor guy wants to do is go home, and also not at all relatable because he abstains from alcohol. I thought the latter was crazy because I know after seeing the stuff this dude sees, I’d develop a problem.
It will also creep you out. Like, when I was finished with this book, I felt a huge, “What if” question spring to mind. What if somebody out there was actually doing the things Dr. Moreau was? I mean, people have done weirder shit.
Seriously, how could you not be interested? I don’t really want to say more, because the book is only 139 pages and I want to leave a little something to your imagination, but it’s worth a week (or less) of your time just to read such a classic. This is a movie adaption just begging for a reboot.