Welcome to Part Two of The Island of Dr Moreau, our latest audio adventure in Tales for Our Time. We truly thank you for all your kind words about this series, and I'm thrilled that we're still getting comments on last weekend's Easter special, Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris. Felicity, one of our Mark Steyn Club members from New South Wales, enthuses:
Wow, Mark, that was a brilliant reading by you. It makes me want to read the whole novel. And that glorious pealling of bells in the background, a very stirring and uplifting sound. Loved it.
Thank you, Felicity. We have plans to do more Victor Hugo in Tales for Our Time as our third year begins.
Our latest tale is an H G Wells classic on man's boundless ambition - published, as I mentioned in yesterday's introduction, during an extraordinary creative burst prompted by domestic bliss in Woking. Randy Stafford, a First Month Founding Member from Minnesota, writes:
I always thought this story to be Wells' unintended satire on his Fabian socialism. Just as Moreau can't overcome the bestial instincts of his animals, socialism and communism can't overcome the innate instincts of our biology.
But I hadn't thought of it as a broader metaphor for the great idiocy of our age: the denial of biology. From affirmative action and education policy to transgenderism and feminism to immigration policy, our elites insist flesh and, by extension, society is infinitely malleable. Moreau is the ultimate blank slater. He thinks he can reform innate nature with his scalpels. Our elite think they can do it with just words.
Indeed, Randy. In tonight's episode, Edward Prendick, having been rescued from a watery grave, adjusts himself to the ship of his rescuers:
Certainly I never beheld a deck so dirty. It was littered with scraps of carrot, shreds of green stuff, and indescribable filth. Fastened by chains to the mainmast were a number of grisly staghounds, who now began leaping and barking at me, and by the mizzen a huge puma was cramped in a little iron cage far too small even to give it turning room. Farther under the starboard bulwark were some big hutches containing a number of rabbits, and a solitary llama was squeezed in a mere box of a cage forward. The dogs were muzzled by leather straps. The only human being on deck was a gaunt and silent sailor at the wheel..."Is this an ocean menagerie?" said I.
"Looks like it," said Montgomery.
"What are these beasts for? Merchandise, curios? Does the captain think he is going to sell them somewhere in the South Seas?"
"It looks like it, doesn't it?" said Montgomery, and turned towards the wake again.
Tales for Our Time is an experimental feature we introduced as a bonus for Mark Steyn Club members, and, as you know, I said if it was a total stinkeroo, we'd eighty-six the thing and speak no more of it. But I'm thrilled to say it's proving very popular, and looks like it'll be around a while. If you're a Club member and you incline more to the stinkeroo side of things, give it your best in the Comments Section below.
We launched The Mark Steyn Club almost two years ago, and I'm overwhelmed by all those members across the globe who signed up to be a part of it and then enthusiastically re-subscribed for a second year - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Cook County to the Cook Islands, West Virginia to the West Midlands. We hope you'll want to join us for a third year, with some big and ambitious new developments. As I said at the time, membership isn't for everyone, but it is a way of ensuring that all our content remains available for everyone. However, we are offering our Club members a few extras, including these nightly radio serials. If you've enjoyed our monthly Steyn Club audio adventures and you're looking for a present for a fellow fan of classic fiction, I hope you'll consider our special Club Gift Membership. That said, aside from Tales for Our Time, The Mark Steyn Club does come with other benefits:
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products;
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~My video series of classic poetry;
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~and the opportunity to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.
To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and don't forget that special Gift Membership. As soon as you join, you'll get access not only to The Island of Dr Moreau but to all our other audio adventures.
One other benefit to membership is our Comment Club privileges. So, whether you like my reading of this twenty-sixth Tale for Our Time or are minded to throw it overboard, then feel free to comment away below. And do join us tomorrow for Part Three of The Island of Dr Moreau.