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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
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Group Reads/Readalongs > May Group Read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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message 1: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) Hey guys! The winner of Our May Group Read is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! We'll discuss the read here. Enjoy. ^_^


Werner | 580 comments Mod
Stevenson has been one of my favorite authors ever since I was a kid in grade school; I read and really liked this novel back then, and it's stayed in my memory ever since. Here's the link to my Goodreads review: www.goodreads.com/review/show/15570806 . Maybe something there will help to spark our discussion!


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Definitely read Werner's review folks! :) It's made me want to squeeze this one in this month, so I'll wait a bit before I comment.


message 4: by Noam (new) - added it

Noam Totaly spaced on this months vote :(

Loved this book, read several times in school! Ill pass this month but enjoy!


message 5: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) Awesome Noam! I do hope to read this one soon but Got a read 4 review request going on right now with Kingdom Keepers 7 and my recommendation book swap book to get at the library tomorrow so will try to get this one for my tablet soon to read with Frankenstein and the other classics I haven't read yet like Northanger abbey.


message 6: by Holly (new)

Holly | 52 comments Why do I have to be reading so many books already?!?!?!?!?!


Werner | 580 comments Mod
Perhaps one helpful way to consider this book is in light of its position in the context of the science fiction genre. Historically, American science fiction was dominated in its pulp "Golden Age" by "hard" SF --that is, fiction that for the most part extrapolates strictly from known science and builds believably on existing technology-- and that's what most people think of when they say "science fiction." But the genre has a long-lasting "soft" tradition as well, in which the "science" really has no real-world basis at all; it's just a fictional conceit that allows the author a naturalistic excuse to set up a situation that would be impossible otherwise, and then use it for its literary potential. Clearly, this novel falls squarely in that tradition; there's no basis in real science for Dr. Jekyll's drug and what it can do, nor does Stevenson care that there isn't.

The American "hard" SF tradition (and some soft SF as well) also tended to inculcate a very positive view of science; scientific knowledge is GOOD and beneficial to the world, and scientists are heroes who make our lives better. In contrast, the Romantic school of literature (which Stevenson is very much a part of) tended, in its SF, to see scientists as tragic, Faustian figures engaged in a dangerous and misguided quest to meddle in knowledge that's going to hurt, not help, and is better left alone. Dr. Jekyll, in that respect, stands with a long line of literary forbears --Victor Frankenstein, Hawthorne's Dr. Rappaccini, Linley the "mad microscopist" of Fitz-James O"Brien's "The Diamond Lens," and others-- who aren't exactly poster boys for the supposed wonderful glories of science.


message 8: by James (new)

James McCormick I love this story (I've never enjoyed any of the films or TV adaptions though). I remember thinking when I first read it how Mr. Hyde was a wonderful potrait of the sociopath in society- I think in this respect it was ahead of its time.

James


message 9: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) I love Jekyll and Hyde the musical


message 10: by James (new)

James McCormick There is such a thing? I'm going to youtube this now


message 11: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) Yeah it is James. It was done in 1997 as a Broadway musical with David Hasselhoff as Dr. Jekyll/Mr.Hyde. The songs in it are great. It's done by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse with Steve Cuden who did the music, lyrics and book for it. It ran from 1990 to 2012 and last year was its broadway revival but a lot of community theaters do shows of the musical. I've only seen the Broadway one they did with David Hasselhoff that I got on dvd which was the original.


message 12: by James (new)

James McCormick Amber wrote: "Yeah it is James. It was done in 1997 as a Broadway musical with David Hasselhoff as Dr. Jekyll/Mr.Hyde. The songs in it are great. It's done by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse with Steve Cuden ..."

Amber,
Thank you for enlightening me- The Hoff was in UK last year as Hook in Peter Pan- he was brilliant.


message 13: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) No prob James and that's cool.


message 14: by Holly (new)

Holly | 52 comments I hope I can get some time to pick this up..... :-\


Werner | 580 comments Mod
Well, this is the last "official" day for discussing The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a group (though I'm sure the thread will stay open). How did you folks feel about it? Did you like it or hate it, or something in between? And more importantly, why? Personally, I really liked it (and gave it four stars). I thought the concept was really original (and the way it's become a pop culture household word testifies to its psychological power!), and found the book well-written and profound.


message 16: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) I didn't get a chance to read it due to a bunch of read for review requests I am reading at the moment but the thread will stay open so everyone will get a chance to read and post their thoughts on it.


Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I've just read this as part of our "Second Chance" group reads. Here's my review.

I did like what you said Werner about it being "soft" SF, and therefore unusual now with our predilection for all things scientifically precise - "hard" SF.

I'm very drawn to these classic SF novels myself, precisely because they don't distract me with the science but are more about speculation and ideas. H. G. Wells is a perfect example - except that he was so spot-on with his prescient ideas that sometimes we forget that they were only ideas at the time!


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