Thursday, January 1

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories

Title: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories

Author: R.L. Stevenson

Pages: 223

Summary: In seeking to discover his inner self, the brilliant Dr. Hennery Jekyll discovers a monster. This spine-chilling thriller is a terrifying study of the duality of a man’s nature, and it is the book which established Stevenson’s reputation as a writer.

Also included in this volume is Stevenson’s collection of short stories The Merry Men containing two other sinister tales Markheim and Thrawn Janet.

This collection includes:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Merry Men
Will O’ The Mill
Markheim
Thrawn Janet
Olalla
The Treasure of Franchard

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I really enjoyed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, even though I knew how it ended. Actually, there are very few people in the book readers world who don’t know the ending. So, as I read it I looked at how the author was able to build up the suspense before he actually revealed the ending and the true identity of Hyde. It makes me wonder, back before this story became such a large part of pop-culture, what it must have been like to be one of the first to read the story, one of the first to find out its “surprising end” (I say surprising, because at one point it was, now not so much). Either way, I thought the author did a good job at building us up to the end, and showing the torment Jekyll was actually going through, with out actually showing us. I didn’t expect the story to be told though a third person’s eyes. I always assumed it was Jekyll who told the tale, so it was interesting to see it from a different perspective, because it makes the reader imagine exactly what was happening to Jekyll, from the descriptions of his peers.

I also enjoyed the level of description that went into setting some of the scenes in the other stories that are apart of this edition. It created such imagery, lovely may not me the word, but the level and exact imagery the author created, was amazing, it created very vivid images in my head, and I could almost hear the seas waves crashing, in his descriptions from The Merry Men. Here’s an example
“On such a night of course, he peers upon a world of blackness, where the waters wheel and boil, where the waves joust together with the noise of an explosion, and the foam from towers and vanishes in the twinkling of an eye. Never before have I seen the Merry Men thus violent.”

One of my crisicims is that, some of the characters,talk using old English or Scotish Slang, so especially for Thrawn Janet, the entire story is written like this,
“Fair-guid-een nor Fair-guid-day; but when she buckled to, she had a tounge, to deave the miller. Up she got an’ there wasnae an auld story in Ba’weary but she gart somebody lowp for it that day; they couldnae say ae thing but she could say twa to it”

So that made it a little hard to get through, it added some culture to the book, I give it that, but it also took me longer then normal, to read.

Overall, the writing was elegant and vivid a style which captures you and bring you into the stories. My two favourites are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Markheim. It was a very different and interesting twist of a story, but I don’t want to give much away, read the story, you won’t regret it.

Would I recommend it to read: This is a classic, so yes; I think everyone should at least experience Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it has so many possible experiences you can take from the story, and it is also a great “ghost” story.

What to read next: Frankenstein, Dracula

This book is part of my 2008 reads. I finished it before 2009, but didn't get a chance to review it until now.


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