Oct 31, 2011

About Books Blog 51 - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


Author: Robert Louis Stevenson 
Genre: Classic/Mystery/Horror 

 Favorite Line 

 “With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.” 


 London lawyer Gabriel Utterson investigates the strange incidents that occur between his old friend Dr. Jekyll and a man of ambiguous nature Mr. Hyde. 

 My Thoughts 

 It’s Halloween! I thought I’d review something with a little classic horror for the occasion. I decided to reread The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a few weeks ago. As usual I made several new observations. I’d forgotten that Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego Mr. Hyde are so rarely seen in the novella. The story focuses primarily on the lawyer Mr. Utterson’s study of the case and is for the most part told from his point of view. This adds a feeling of mystery to the tale. It also add a unique style to the writing. Another cool mysterious element is that Stephen then only eludes to what Mr. Hyde dastardly deeds could be. Thus, the readers imagination is allowed to run wild. I greatly appreciate that fact that the story mixes more than one genre into it’s telling. It part mystery/horror but on the other hand it is a bit of an allegorical tale as well. If you like a good mystery with a hint of horror Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a great novella to spend your day with. I think I liked it even better on the second read though than I did the first. 

 Facts I Found Interesting 

 . Not unlike many popular writers Stevenson was inspired to write the book by a dream. 

 . The author’s wife often read his manuscripts and offered her notes to him. For this book in particular she encouraged him to approach it with more of a allegory angle. 

 . In 1990 author Valerie Martin published a the parallel novel Mary Reilly. A story which centers on the life of a maid who works in the Dr. Jekyll’s home. I’m very curious about what this book is like. I’m thinking I might have to buy it and take it for a spin. 

 The Movie 

 There are of a ridiculous amount of adaptations of this book. Yet, I haven’t watched a single one of them. It’s really a shame. I’m really surprised I haven’t watch at least the ones that are classic black and white films. I guess I have a lot of DVDs to put in my Netflix queue. I’ll let you know what I think when I watch some of them. I’ve been dying to see the musical adaptation Jekyll and Hyde for a long time. I’ve listened to the music and it is awesome. I think there is a recording of the musical out there somewhere. I just have to get my hands on it. I have also seen the movie version of the parallel novel Mary Reilly many times. I really like it. I think the look of the film and the actors are really wonderful. I suppose that Julia Roberts’ accent is a little debatable, but the movie is so interesting that I can look past it. 

 Music To Read By 

 Yet again I ended up reading this in front of the TV instead of listening to music. I finished it in a day so not much time to find my musical niche with this book. I’m going to do something I rarely do a pass on the playlist for this one. I simply could not think of enough songs for this book. However, like I said before check out the soundtrack for the musical if you can. There really are some lovely songs. That’s all folks. This was kind of a short review. Well, at least for me anyway. It’s a short book so thus the short review. Ha ha. Happy reading! Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

LoriStrongin said...

LOVED this book when I was a kid. I think it might have been my first classic (read on my own, i.e., I was reading middle grade books in third grade and then just found my own reads a la awesome librarians).

Unfortunately, Mary Reilly was disappointing to me as a read--I felt the author modernized the language too much and the behaviors weren't consistent with the historical period. The musical though is made of AWESOME!!!! Make sure you get the Colm Wilkinson and Linda Eder version, not the David Hasslehoff (*shudders*). Some of those songs are hauntingly beautiful and remain on my favorites playlist to this day!