Monday, July 03, 2017

Book 13: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

TITLE: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
AUTHOR: Robert Louis Stevenson
STARTED: June 12, 2017
FINISHED: June 26, 2017
PAGES: 85
GENRE: Fiction

FIRST SENTENCE: Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.

SUMMARY: [From BN] When Edward Hyde tramples an innocent girl, two bystanders catch the fellow and force him to pay reparations to the girl's family. A respected lawyer, Utterson, hears this story and begins to unravel the seemingly manic behavior of his best friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his connection with Hyde. Utterson probes into both Jekyll and his unlikely protégé, increasingly unnerved at each new revelation. In a forerunner of psychological dramas to come, Robert Louis Stevenson uses Hyde to show that we are both repulsed and attracted to the darker side of life, particularly when we can experience it in anonymity.

THOUGHTS: For some reason, I thought this novella would involve a lot more violence, mayhem, and murder. Popular culture has given me the impression that this book was way more dramatic than it turned out to be. Once I got over how the images in my head did not meat the actual plot, I was able to get into this story. This story is more eerie and tense than it is violent. I liked that. The personality split and mystery were at the forefront of the writing. There is a lot of philosophy and dense imagery in this book which is fine, but it does leave me surprised that this story is generally shelved in the Young Adult section of the library.

All-in-all this is a good book that popular culture has, unfortunately, turned in to an necessarily violent story. RLS work is far more thought-provoking and deserves better.

RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

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