The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
What is it about:
In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.
What did I think of it:
This is one of those stories that has become ingrained in our collective memory, much like Dracula, Frankenstein, and Jane Eyre to name a few. It has been used, re-imagined, turned into movies, and more. So when I came across this lovely little volume containing this story and others by Stevenson I realized I couldn't remember if I had read it before, or thought I'd read it before because it is so widely known.
I decided that even if I had read it before, it was ages ago, so I picked this book up (this being a wonderful edition with gold sprayed pages, and a gorgeous cover under the already beautiful dust jacket might have had something to do with it as well).
And this is a great story.
I wonder how much more suspenseful this must have been for the people reading this without knowing what the story is about. For even knowing the outcome of this story, I was hooked. The story is told from the viewpoint of Mr Utterson, a lawyer who is friends with Dr Jekyll. As the story unfolds Utterson is totally unaware of what is going on. He only knows something is up with the Doctor and his disturbing acquaintance Mr Hyde.
I loved seeing things through Utterson's eyes. This way the suspense of what is going on is drawn out. I was eager for Utterson to uncover Hyde's secrets, and was frustrated when he backed away from his investigations in fear of ruining the name of his friend Jekyll. I caught myself looking for the clues that would reveal the truth to Utterson.
It surprised me how short this story actually is. There is so much there, and the writing is so vivid it painted a clear picture of everything that happens. Even with the many re-tellings and re-imaginings this is still a powerful piece of suspenseful writing. I will most definitely read the other stories in this book as well.
Why should you read it:
It's a beautiful written and suspenseful story.
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