This is not the actual book Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. It is actually a collection of speeches and essays about the REAL book and a summary of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. That fact wasn't stated anywhere on the selling page.
I love a good story of a mad scientist. It is told from the third person perspective of Dr. Jekyll's close friend Mr. Utterson. It's funny to me how long it took for him to put the idea together, though having heard of this story long before I read it, I imagine the thought of someone being two different people is hard to fathom. Still, I enjoyed the surmounting evidence piling up for the real story and especially found it funny that Mr. Utterson had in his possession a letter that would explain things (even a little) very early on from Lanyon. I expected the book to be told from Dr. Jekyll's point of view but I really liked that it focused on a concerned friend trying to understand what was going on with a mysterious will.
I've never seen a book with such teeny, tiny print. My 8th grader needed this for class and was supposed to annotate as she read. The print size made it difficult to read and the lines were close together with small margins so there was no way she could annotate properly or put the word definitions above the words she didn't know in the text. Even if she didn't have to annotate the book, it's still difficult to read in such a small font. I guess they are keeping the cost down by scrunching the text down and using the least amount of paper possible. I ended up returning this book and buying one that cost double but had normal size print and margins.
As those who came upon Mr. Hyde were quite incapable of describing him, I, too, hardly have words to describe how wonderfully Richard Armitage has brought this tale to life!
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde” has long been a favorite of mine. Read first when I was barely a teenager, I was both intrigued and frightened by the idea of the good and evil within us all being divided between two selves: one possessed of good qualities, and one inherently evil. The thought of two halves of the same person, each taking their turn at the helm of one being that bent to their figure and form was fantastical, but also quite terrifying. The good side, tall, erect, and seemly (the good face of the good doctor), and the evil side, squat, soul-deformed, and bent over with the weight of sin (the evil face of the dark and formless night of which it was born). And, what if then one became stronger than the other?
The thought and questions do not end there because the tale is haunting. It is thought-provoking. The “what-if” proposed pulls us in to our own natures where good and evil war within us all the time. Each of us has had a malicious thought. Our evil side draws it out of us as if from the depths of a pit, and thrusts it into the light of our consciousness. Our good sides vanquish it…eventually. Only a minuscule few would ever act upon such thoughts. Then, the “what-if”: What if one could do such deeds as the day would quake to look upon (paraphrase from Hamlet) and then retreat blameless and undetectable under the cover of a good and trusted face? And what if that side were then able to slip the confines of that which controlled it, as it wished? Which side would our natures choose should the same happen to us? I’d like to think the good side would win…but who really knows what lurks in the darkness of even the best of us?
As always, Richard Armitage delivers a powerhouse performance! His seamless transition in speech between Jeckyll and Hyde is unnerving and effectively chilling. I loved every word of it! Bravo! I really cannot wait to listen again!
Dual nature of man and the power of corruption and evilness. This story as an exercise of fiction is perfect, Hyde is raw, corrupted, temperamental and callous without reason. The way the monster (one himself) starts to take possession is terrible, as an unstoppable sickness that grew out of control. The drama is that Dr. Jekyll is not a bad man, he is friendly, polite and treat well his acquaintances: he is like any of us. And although the monsters that "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" has inspired (Hulk among many others) are muscular and powerful, I think it requires more talent to make a weak and vulnerable monster as Stevenson did.
The narrative style is what detracts me considerably of the reading. Stevenson has a powerful imagination but his style feels dull and, for moments, close to perfection but without reaching it. For example this part: "By ten o'clock, when the shops were closed, the by-street was very solitary and, in spite of the low growl of London from all round, very silent,(...)" In this part we are immerse in the search of a fantastic creature, Stevenson seems to forget that the city is a fantastic creature too, made by men. Some pages afterwards he will acknowledge that the city seems the setting of a nightmare... but he says it, without expressing it.
I always remember a novel by Ernesto Sabato... there is a man that meets blind creatures living underground. He, without knowing if it is day or night, is about to emerge at last from that very strange place that is a prison for him. But before he sees at the distance the city he recognizes it by ear: he mentions the never-ending growl of Buenos Aires, the city. And you feel it as a machine complicated and terrible as the monsters he is leaving underneath. Is the feeling I almost feel in this novel of Stevenson but, alas, it is not as intense as it could have been.
About the AmazonClassics edition as always neat typography, not errors that I could detect, and just the minimum of data in X-Ray to check characters in the novel but not nosy introductions or prologues by intellectuals to stop the reader. So all in all very well.