Regine's Reviews > The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
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Oct 18, 2010

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bookshelves: bucket-list-books, horror
Read on October 18, 2010

There have been countless of adaptations of this Robert Stevenson classic; The Nutty Professor, Van Helsing, The Hulk, Two-Face, Mary Reilly, The Pagemaster... I think that because I've seen so many of the adaptations, my preconceptions of the book have completely ruined it for me.

I'm sure that even if you haven't read the book, you've probably seen one (or more) of the Jekyll/Hyde adaptations, and you're most likely familiar with the plot: a good man creates a potion that transforms him into a dark creature, free of conscience or remorse. Because I'm use to such dark interpretations of this story, I was expecting something more spine-tingling, and sinister. Mr. Hyde does commit some pretty atrocious crimes, but I guess I'm really hungry for the bloody, gorey, details. Stevenson fails to deliver on the scare factor.

But then again, I think I'm being unfair because:

a) This was written during the Victorian era, so what Stevenson wrote might have been scary for his time
b) I've become so desensitized to the gruesome versions of the tale out there.

I certainly don't want to take away from the good parts of the book. Stevenson is a great writer. Make that a great writer. There's something really captivating about his prose, and I devoured the book from start to finish. I simply couldn't put it down. I'm also very sure that if Freud had ever read this book, he'd be nodding his head in agreement with Stevenson's take about duality, and good vs. evil. Jekyll, a good-natured man, obviously in-touch with his conscience, becomes engrossed in releasing this primitive, pleasure-seeking creature. It's the classic case of id vs. ego. It's really fascinating how Stevenson tackles the concept of self, and there are a lot of questions that arise from reading this book: Are good and evil separate entities? Can good exist without evil? Is it healthy to spuress the id, or pleasure-seeking urges? etc.

Overall, I think it was a good book. If you are a horror fan, and you want something with blood splattered on the walls, and people being disemboweled left front and centre, then this is not for you. If you want to be treated to Stevenson's wonderful writing, then pick this up.

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Comments (showing 1-3)

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K.D. Absolutely I will pick this up someday. Thanks for a nice review, Regine!

Regine No problem K.D. It's a good book, but not worth reorganizing your bookshelf for.

Apokripos *sigh* I miss reading your well thought out reviews, my dear. You really are occupied nowadays.

Oh well, at least you're happy.

Best wishes! :)

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