Saturday, October 19, 2013

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (1886)

Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson. 1886. 144 pages. [Source: Bought]

I first read this classic in 2007. (I read it for my first R.I.P. challenge.) I enjoyed revisiting it. I remember being surprised that I liked it. I mentioned how it was impossible to read without this Arthur song popping up in my mind!

The story is simple. Dr. Jekyll's lawyer, Mr. Utterson, begins to worry about his client because he names Mr. Hyde in his will. Mr. Hyde, he has just learned, is a strange man that almost everyone has a bad vibe about. He is described as "pure evil" by some. Utterson worries that Hyde must be blackmailing Jekyll into making those provisions in his will. The more worried and anxious he becomes, the more involved he gets in trying to solve the mystery between the two men. He especially becomes worried when Mr. Hyde commits a murder. Will Dr. Jekyll be next? Is there a way to save his friend and put Mr. Hyde away for good?

You start a question, and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own back garden and the family have to change their name.
"Hm," said Mr. Utterson. "What sort of a man is he to see?" "He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something down-right detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point. He's an extraordinary looking man, and yet I really can name nothing out of the way. No, sir; I can make no hand of it; I can't describe him. And it's not want of memory; for I declare I can see him this moment." Mr. Utterson again walked some way in silence and obviously under a weight of consideration. "You are sure he used a key?" he inquired at last. "My dear sir..." began Enfield, surprised out of himself. "Yes, I know," said Utterson; "I know it must seem strange. The fact is, if I do not ask you the name of the other party, it is because I know it already. You see, Richard, your tale has gone home. 
It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it;
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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