H.G. Wells was one of the first Science Fiction writer and here proves again why he is still the best. In addition to prefiguring genetic engineering, Wells does what most SF writers can not do and brings us a novel of deep psychological insight. Wells was always torn between his official socialist scientific optimism and, what seemed to be instinctive deep fears about the dangers of science and a universe that was harsh and ultimately indifferent to human kind. Other than "The Time Machine", these tensions are most clearly at play in this novel.
A novel that on its surface seems to be about the turning of animals into men, is ultimately a novel about the animal savagery in all human beings. It's interesting that a novel that has so much imagery about broken bodies, is in the end a novel about broken minds.