4 Stars, Book Reviews

{REVIEW} The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Genre: Adult, Horror
Pub Date: Jan 5, 1886
Publisher: ???
Length: 92 pages
Spoilers: MARKED
Goodreads ♦ Amazon($1.99)

 

 

 


synopsis

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.


thoughtsStyle
As anyone who’s read old literature knows, the style of writing has changed dramatically over time. There is an obvious reason why the motto ‘show, don’t tell’ was adopted and this is a perfect example of why. So much of the story is told through hearsay. It is near impossible to really determine what actually happened, but we are just expected to believe what the characters say to be true. That being said, I did believe it. There was something in the particular tone of the writing and/or characters that made me believe every word.

Disjointed
It is quite interesting to reflect upon stories that once were. They are written very disjointed and disconnected, jumping from scene to scene and location to location, offering very little detail. Even the detail offered was not written in a manner as to be enjoyable or vivid. It was only offered as needed and the rest of the story focused on the characters.

Characters
I liked Dr. Jekyll. I liked Mr. Hyde. I wasn’t really a huge fan of the narrator, but that has more to do with how fully he follows the ideals of that particular time. His prejudices and personal opinions were very obvious and annoying. I also wasn’t sure he was the best narrator for the story, but oh well. Perhaps this, too, was a style thing of days long past.

That Ending
I was very satisfied with the ending of this story. It was not quite what I expected, having never heard the true tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and knowing only adaptations. That being said, I thought it quite fitting for the story and the style in which the story was told. No doubt it has plenty of remnants of the time period as well.


spoilers

That Ending
The fact the Dr. Jekyll ended up giving into his darkness and enjoying it and coming back to it even after his Jekyll conscience told him it was wrong, was very refreshing. I like that the darkness calls to us. I like that people are two halves: good and bad, but one still has power over the other and they are still of the same person. For Dr. Jekyll to give in and Mr. Hyde to do so as well was very well done. 


four


book recommendations

11 thoughts on “{REVIEW} The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson”

  1. I read this one a while back and was pleasantly surprised by it! I had no clue what the true story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was like before reading the book, and I never thought it could be so enticing! I completely agree with what you said in the spoilers section about the ending. Great review, Melanie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. I had a very incorrect understanding of the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so it was nice to get the real thing. 🙂 And I’m happy to hear you agree with me regarding the spoilers. Sometimes I feel I am the only person who feels that way. 🙂

      Thank you, Kelly!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YES Jekyll & Hyde!! It’s a really interesting read/concept. As a theatre nerd I’m also a big fan of the musical (they somewhat recently redesigned it and omg some of those lighting effects when Jekyll & Hyde have their duet in Act II were AMAZING – although they cut some other stuff which sucks but oh well…okay enough nerding out 😜) haha Anyways, great review and happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just listened to this on audio and very much enjoyed it. It was different than I expected. I had no idea it was told from the pov of Jekyll’s friend. It does distance you a bit from the story but I imagine if you didn’t know the story it would add to the mystery. I do wonder what it would have been like if I was reading it for the first time and knew nothing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine that particular distancing style was very popular back in the day. Writing has just changed so much over the years, and it does add to the mystery for sure, but perhaps that’s also where the concept of an unreliable narrator came in. Closeness, but with mystery?

      Like

  4. Television and movies have all but eliminated the use of narrative summary in modern lit. That’s why “show don’t tell” is such dominant advice. Modern readers demand it in a way audiences never used to. I like unreliable narrators, but I think that’s falling out of fashion too for most mainstream readers these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s quite a shame. I kind of like the idea of an unreliable narrator (was actually planning to write a story in that fashion), but I can definitely see why narration has gone by the wayside. It’s just… not as interesting or trustworthy or anything. :/ Though I do believe that people take ‘show, don’t tell’ a little too far somedays. You can’t show EVERYTHING.

      Like

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