The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Imitation Leather – 30 Sep 2010
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From the Publisher
The Broadview Editions series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, lesser-known literature. Newly type-set and produced on high-quality paper in trade paperback format, the Broadview Editions series is a delight to handle as well as to read.
Each volume includes a full introduction, chronology, bibliography, and explanatory notes along with a variety of documents from the period, giving readers a rich sense of the world from which the work emerged. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Mr Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lit by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others, sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds, and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove. I incline to Cains heresy2, he used to say quaintly: I let my brother go to the devil in his own!
way. In this character it was frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of down-going men. And to such as these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of change in his demeanour.
No doubt the feat was easy to Mr Utterson; for he was undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendships seemed to be founded in a similar catholicity of good nature. It is the mark of a modest man to accept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands of opportunity; and that was the lawyers way. His friends were those of his own blood, or those whom he had known the longest; his affections, like ivy, were the growth of time, they implied no aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that united him to Mr Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man about town. It was a nut to crack for many, what these two could see in each other, or what subject they could find in common. It was reported by those who encountered them in their Sunday walks, that they said nothing, looked singularly dull, and would hail with obvious relief the appearance of a friend. For all that, the two men put the greatest store by these excursions, counted them the chief jewel of each week, and not only set aside occasions of pleasure, but even resisted the calls of business, that they might enjoy them uninterrupted. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Thematically exploring the repression of homosexuality and the dangers of drug use, the most interesting part of the story is its reaction to Darwin's (at the time mind-bending) theories of evolution and the symbolism Stevenson uses to make this point.
The book is modernist but easily appreciated by the reader, it's very short and despite Jekyll's transformations, pretty straight forward. Despite being set in London, my teacher pointed out the books Scottishness and that the London in the book has many similarities with Edinburgh.
The main reason I feel people should read this book is simply that everyone knows the story; it's so ingrained in pop culture. Yet the book itself is so horrifying and atmospheric that it is completely new to read.
The text in this version is clear and a good size. Definatly give it a go, it's rewarding read.
The novel is very different to the story I remember from the film version. In the film a lot more attention is given to Jekyll. The novel however concentrates on the lawyer, Mr Utterson, who is a friend of Jekyll and fears that the evil Mr hyde is somehow blackmailing his friend. As the introduction explains, Mr Utterson feared that Mr Hyde may have been blackmailing Jekyll because of homosexual acts that they were involved in (something which apparently occurred at the time of the writing of the novel). Of course the truth is far worse than this assumption.
I think anyone is aware of the basic stroyline - that Jekyll makes up a potion which turns him into Hyde; a person who is amoral and evil, and who committs terrible acts. In a sense, it is quite a simple idea. But the meanings can be taken much further. For example, consider the idea that every single human being is essentially 'made up' of two such people - one who is capable of good, the other only capable of bad. Also, something which I could not help but think about while reading, is why would a good person want to unleash such a person into the world? So, following on from this, how 'good' was Jekyll in the first place? This is perhaps one downfall of the novel; the reason for him carrying out his experiment is not discussed in great lengths, so questions remain as to why he did such a thing to begin with.Read more ›
We may be glad of Robert Louis Stevenson's perseverance, as this is a truly astounding novel. At the time it was first published, it was a shocking tale, but whilst modern readers will be familiar with the Jekyll and Hyde concept, they may still be captivated by the quality of the writing and the true horror drawn out in the author's words, which have a sinister quality that the countless film and television versions and variations over the years have failed to match.
This isn't just a horror story - it's a book about appearance and reality, and about our notions of who we are and how we are viewed by others. That's not to mention that old chestnut of good versus evil - but here, played out in two sides of the same person. Stevenson's fascinating ideas are brilliantly executed in this little masterpiece of a novel.
A success on both sides of the Atlantic it is quite easy to see why as this is gothic, it is horror, for the first readers a mystery incorporating sensationalist themes, and also a morality tale as well as being allegorical. Its influence on popular culture cannot be overlooked as this story has been used and adapted into numerous other stories and ideas. What for Stevenson was an interest initially in personalities and then inspiration coming from what we now call dissociative identity disorder, which most of us know by its pervious label of multiple personality disorder, led to this fantastic novella being written.
As we see here Jekyll loves the freedom that Hyde gives him to a certain extent and I suspect that this is one reason why this has always remained a popular tale, after all we all lose our temper at times and we all have dark thoughts, and the idea of Hyde gives our imaginations a chance to run free on things that we could do if we didn’t follow our moral constraints.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's is a very useful book for me to use for my GCSEs next year it's perfect for making notes and finding new quotesPublished 12 days ago by Tyurkiyan Todorova
This is one of my favourite reads on colder evenings and since my previous copy ended up with coffee all over it, this was a replacement. Fresh new and as described.Published 20 days ago by Martin
What can I say about this book...well I have only ever read it the once in all my life! So I had to refresh my memory ( and I have a good one ) because I do remember that I did not... Read morePublished 1 month ago by YorockJr.