The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Audio Other(Other - Unabridged)

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"It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it."

- Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The first great horror story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde appeared in 1886 and was an instant literary sensation. Robert Louis Stevenson was at the heights of his powers when he penned this chilling tale that shocked Victorian readers. The book still captivates over a hundred years later.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556562228
Publisher: Dercum Audio
Publication date: 06/28/1997
Series: Horror Library
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 4.58(w) x 6.94(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson was born on November 13, 1850. He spent his childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland, but traveled widely in the United States and throughout the South Seas. The author of many novels, including The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, The Black Arrow, and Treasure Island, he died in 1894.

Date of Birth:

November 13, 1850

Date of Death:

December 3, 1894

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Vailima, Samoa


Edinburgh University, 1875

Read an Excerpt

Story of the Door

MR. UTTERSON the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted 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 theater, 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 Cain's heresy," 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 downgoing 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 friendship 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 lawyer's 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.

It chanced on one of these rambles that their way led them down a by-street in a busy quarter of London. The street was small and what is called quiet, but it drove a thriving trade on the weekdays. The inhabitants were all doing well, it seemed, and all emulously hoping to do better still, and laying out the surplus of their grains in coquetry; so that the shop fronts stood along that thoroughfare with an air of invitation, like rows of smiling saleswomen. Even on Sunday, when it veiled its more florid charms and lay comparatively empty of passage, the street shone out in contrast to its dingy neighbourhood, like a fire in a forest; and with its freshly painted shutters, well-polished brasses, and general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instantly caught and pleased the eye of the passenger.

Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line was broken by the entry of a court; and just at that point, a certain sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street. It was two storeys high; showed no window, nothing but a door on the lower storey and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the upper; and bore in every feature, the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence. The door, which was equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained. Tramps slouched into the recess and struck matches on the panels; children kept shop upon the steps; the schoolboy had tried his knife on the mouldings; and for close on a generation, no one had appeared to drive away these random visitors or to repair their ravages.

Mr. Enfield and the lawyer were on the other side of the by-street; but when they came abreast of the entry, the former lifted up his cane and pointed.

"Did you ever remark that door?" he asked; and when his companion had replied in the affirmative, "It is connected in my mind," added he, "with a very odd story."

"Indeed?" said Mr. Utterson, with a slight change of voice, "and what was that?"

"Well, it was this way," returned Mr. Enfield: "I was coming home from some place at the end of the world, about three o'clock of a black winter morning, and my way lay through a part of town where there was literally nothing to be seen but lamps. Street after street, and all the folks asleep—street after street, all lighted up as if for a procession and all as empty as a church—till at last I got into that state of mind when a man listens and listens and begins to long for the sight of a policeman. All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see. It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut. I gave a view halloa, took to my heels, collared my gentleman, and brought him back to where there was already quite a group about the screaming child. He was perfectly cool and made no resistance, but gave me one look, so ugly that it brought out the sweat on me like running. The people who had turned out were the girl's own family; and pretty soon, the doctor, for whom she had been sent, put in his appearance. Well, the child was not much the worse, more frightened, according to the Sawbones; and there you might have supposed would be an end to it. But there was one curious circumstance. I had taken a loathing to my gentleman at first sight. So had the child's family, which was only natural. But the doctor's case was what struck me. He was the usual cut and dry apothecary, of no particular age and colour, with a strong Edinburgh accent, and about as emotional as a bagpipe. Well, sir, he was like the rest of us; every time he looked at my prisoner, I saw that Sawbones turn sick and white with desire to kill him. I knew what was in his mind, just as he knew what was in mine; and killing being out of the question, we did the next best. We told the man we could and would make such a scandal out of this, as should make his name stink from one end of London to the other. If he had any friends or any credit, we undertook that he should lose them. And all the time, as we were pitching it in red hot, we were keeping the women off him as best we could, for they were as wild as harpies. I never saw a circle of such hateful faces; and there was the man in the middle, with a kind of black, sneering coolness—frightened too, I could see that—but carrying it off, sir, really like Satan. 'If you choose to make capital out of this accident,' said he, 'I am naturally helpless. No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene,' says he. 'Name your figure.' Well, we screwed him up to a hundred pounds for the child's family; he would have clearly liked to stick out; but there was something about the lot of us that meant mischief, and at last he struck. The next thing was to get the money; and where do you think he carried us but to that place with the door?—whipped out a key, went in, and presently came back with the matter of ten pounds in gold and a cheque for the balance on Coutts's, drawn payable to bearer and signed with a name that I can't mention, though it's one of the points of my story, but it was a name at least very well known and often printed. The figure was stiff; but the signature was good for more than that, if it was only genuine. I took the liberty of pointing out to my gentleman that the whole business looked apocryphal, and that a man does not, in real life, walk into a cellar door at four in the morning and come out with another man's cheque for close upon a hundred pounds. But he was quite easy and sneering. 'Set your mind at rest,' says he, 'I will stay with you till the banks open and cash the cheque myself.' So we all set off, the doctor, and the child's father, and our friend and myself, and passed the rest of the night in my chambers; and next day, when we had breakfasted, went in a body to the bank. I gave in the cheque myself, and said I had every reason to believe it was a forgery. Not a bit of it. The cheque was genuine."

"Tut-tut," said Mr. Utterson.

"I see you feel as I do," said Mr. Enfield. "Yes, it's a bad story. For my man was a fellow that nobody could have to do with, a really damnable man; and the person that drew the cheque is the very pink of the proprieties, celebrated too, and (what makes it worse) one of your fellows who do what they call good. Black mail, I suppose; an honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his youth. Black Mail House is what I call the place with the door, in consequence. Though even that, you know, is far from explaining all," he added, and with the words fell into a vein of musing.

From this he was recalled by Mr. Utterson asking rather suddenly: "And you don't know if the drawer of the cheque lives there?"

"A likely place, isn't it?" returned Mr. Enfield. "But I happen to have noticed his address; he lives in some square or other."

"And you never asked about the—place with the door?" said Mr. Utterson.

"No, sir: I had a delicacy," was the reply. "I feel very strongly about putting questions; it partakes too much of the style of the day of judgment. 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. No sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask."

"A very good rule, too," said the lawyer.

"But I have studied the place for myself," continued Mr. Enfield. "It seems scarcely a house. There is no other door, and nobody goes in or out of that one but, once in a great while, the gentleman of my adventure. There are three windows looking on the court on the first floor; none below; the windows are always shut but they're clean. And then there is a chimney which is generally smoking; so somebody must live there. And yet it's not so sure; for the buildings are so packed together about the court, that it's hard to say where one ends and another begins."

The pair walked on again for a while in silence; and then "Enfield," said Mr. Utterson, "that's a good rule of yours."

"Yes, I think it is," returned Enfield.

"But for all that," continued the lawyer, "there's one point I want to ask: I want to ask the name of that man who walked over the child."

"Well," said Mr. Enfield, "I can't see what harm it would do. It was a man of the name of Hyde."

"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 downright 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. If you have been inexact in any point, you had better correct it."

"I think you might have warned me," returned the other with a touch of sullenness. "But I have been pedantically exact, as you call it. The fellow had a key; and what's more, he has it still. I saw him use it, not a week ago."

Mr. Utterson sighed deeply but said never a word; and the young man presently resumed. "Here is another lesson to say nothing," said he. "I am ashamed of my long tongue. Let us make a bargain never to refer to this again."

"With all my heart," said the lawyer. "I shake hands on that, Richard."

Searching for Mr.Hyde

THAT EVENING Mr. Utterson came home to his bachelor house in sombre spirits and sat down to dinner without relish. It was his custom of a Sunday, when this meal was over, to sit close by the fire, a volume of some dry divinity on his reading desk, until the clock of the neighbouring church rang out the hour of twelve, when he would go soberly and gratefully to bed. On this night, however, as soon as the cloth was taken away, he took up a candle and went into his business room. There he opened his safe, took from the most private part of it a document endorsed on the envelope as Dr. Jekyll's Will, and sat down with a clouded brow to study its contents. The will was holograph, for Mr. Utterson, though he took charge of it now that it was made, had refused to lend the least assistance in the making of it; it provided not only that, in case of the decease of Henry Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., L.L.D., F.R.S., etc., all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his "friend and benefactor Edward Hyde," but that in case of Dr. Jekyll's "disappearance or unexplained absence for any period exceeding three calendar months," the said Edward Hyde should step into the said Henry Jekyll's shoes without further delay and free from any burthen or obligation, beyond the payment of a few small sums to the members of the doctor's household. This document had long been the lawyer's eyesore. It offended him both as a lawyer and as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the fanciful was the immodest. And hitherto it was his ignorance of Mr. Hyde that had swelled his indignation; now, by a sudden turn, it was his knowledge. It was already bad enough when the name was but a name of which he could learn no more. It was worse when it began to be clothed upon with destestable attributes; and out of the shifting, insubstantial mists that had so long baffled his eye, there leaped up the sudden, definite presentment of a fiend.

Table of Contents

Story of the Door 3
Search for Mr. Hyde 6
Dr. Jekyll was Quite at Ease 12
The Carew Murder Case 13
Incident of the Letter 16
Remarkable Incident of Dr. Lanyon 19
Incident at the Window 21
The Last Night 22
Dr. Lanyon's Narrative 30
Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case 35

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The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Collins Classics) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is very well-written and intriguing. The true horror of the tale is not so much the fate of the experimental Dr. Jekyll as a result of his tampering with his soul, but rather the chilling possibilty presented to the reader that if he or she had the same opportunity for evil, the story might well be the same. This novella left me wondering if the potential for such evil as is present in Mr. Hyde really exists in the recesses of everyone's soul. The creepiness of this tale isn't strongly present during the reading of it, but upon contemplating it afterwards, the eeriness sets in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm 14 years old, and recently had to read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for my English assignment. The assignment was comparing this fiction text, to a non-fiction text about crimes in a similar era. I think that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was good for this assignment, however it was a bit too slow moving for me.
kw50197 More than 1 year ago
Like Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a tale of a good man who lets his ambitions lead him astray. But unlike Frankenstein, where one should not judge by looks alone, Mr. Hyde is exactly as he appears. To borrow a cliche, evil incarnate. While most of Frankenstein is told from a first-person's perspective, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is narrated by several people who have either met Hyde or knows Jekyll. If I wasn't already aware of how the story played out, I imagine this would have been a great setup for the dramatic revelation at the end. As it is, there are times when I couldn't help but forget about the ending in my search for any tell-tale hints early on to clue in the reader. There are a few but I'm not sure I could have made the correct deduction on my own. The battle between the personalities of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is supposed to reflect the duality of man, a battle of good versus evil. If so, the ending is a rather pessimistic outlook isn't it ? Mr. Hyde as the personification of evil may not have escaped just punishment but at least in his struggles with Dr. Jekyll, he gained the upper hand. However if the winner of their battle was Dr. Jekyll, the tale might not have been as memorable. That is my take at least. An enjoyable read. Definitely should be read at least once.
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson may have a long title, but it's a short book to read. The Strange Case is about the duality of man: good versus evil, and how everyone has that inside of them. Mr. Utterson, the lawyer, finds it odd that his good friend Dr. Jekyll has amended his will in order to leave everything to Mr. Hyde. This is strange because Mr. Hyde is an unappealing man, possibly deformed, not to mention evil, having caused major disturbances and a horrific crime. Dr. Jekyll won't get into his relationship with Mr. Hyde, but Mr. Utterson is going to get down to the bottom of the situation eventually! I really enjoyed this book. It was short, and while I kind of knew what the premise was, there were pieces I did not know, which made it a better read. You should read it if you enjoy classics, a little bit of horror, and short novels! Everyone has good and evil inside of them, and most people work on a balance between the two, shifting more to the good side than the evil side. But what if those two sides could be separated? Would you want to separate your good side and evil side into two separate people? Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it but i'm gonna sleep with the lights on tonight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The letters are quite confused, making this impractical to read. Try the Gutenberg edition instead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
im a 14 year old who read this book over the summer for high school next year. I thought it was one of the better books i have read. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books ever written by Robertson. It is about a doctor named Dr. Henry Jekyll. He discovers a potion that can divide his good and evil side. It is narrated by Mr. Utterson. It is set in London, England in the late 1800s or 19th century. The setting is by the mention of wine all through out the book. The author creates suspension by shifting point-of-views. The main theme is dual nature. Man is not good and evil, but a combination of both. The symbolism is great. The book has lots of hidden meanings and can go one way or another. The book is not really believable, but you might believe it depending on who you are. I loved the theme of the book. I also loved how pithy it was. Eventhough the book says that Mr. Hyde is pure evil, there is actually no proof in the novel that makes him worse than your average murderer. Books like Dracula are long and have no excitement, but Robertson uses suspense and makes it exciting. I especially loved the contradiction between good and evil. The book was very close to being realistic. The author used a lot of vocabulary from the 19th century and a wide variety. I had to read this book for my Outside Reading Project and it was very good. Trust me you will love it. Don't use cliff notes, you miss the meaning and ecitement of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde¿ is a very quick, but interesting read. The genre is a mix between a mystery and a horror. The book, over all, has a dark feel to it, which adds a hint of gloominess.

Robert Louis Stevenson delivers the content of this book very well. Throughout the novel, there is an uncomfortable feeling that dwells in the reader¿s mind. The only thing that isn¿t done well is that the outcome of the story was fairly obvious. A factor that might contribute to this is that the tale is very well known in our society. It is still a great read for those who know the story and for those who don¿t.

Guest More than 1 year ago
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a really good book. It caught your attention from the beginning of the story.The only thing about the book I didn't like was that it was kind of hard to keep up with. But it had a terrifc suprise ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is probably the best book I've ever read. Me being just 14 you may say, ' Oh what does this kid know?' Well I've read enough books to know that this is indeed a great book. The book has just one plot but, tops everything off with an ironic and twisted ending. You probably have allready asummed the ending, but if you had no idea of what this book was about you would be in complete ahhhhhhh over it. Very exciting. Set down on a Monday to begin reading it and finished the following night. It's considered a 'Can't put downer'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I think of this book is pretty cool but strange. When first I start to read this book everyhting was weird even the characterization. Then I get used to it and it gets more intersting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the three best horror books ever made along with Mary Shelly's 'Frankenstein' and Bram Stoker's 'Dracula.' I think everyone should read it to see if they like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it wus ok i ges. i stil hate it. baddd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good but I need more of a motive to keep reading
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Along with FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA, this short novel makes up the holy triumvirate of early horror. It asks the question: What is the nature of man's soul? The answer is that we all have a dark side, a side without a conscience, that lives only for its own pleasure without regard for anyone else. This is the Mr. Hyde that emerges when Jekyll drinks his magic potion, and he repulses everyone he meets. As Jekyll discovers, if we give free reign to the Hyde imprisoned within us, he grows stronger and asserts himself more and more, until he threatens to take over entirely. Despite being afflicted by the usual Victorian floridness of language (some skimming required), DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE is a highly readable, if rather circuitous, story. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the evolution of the horror genre.
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A mixed bag of stories. The title story is a well deserved classic, where the sense of suspense is not in any way diminished by the fact that we all already know the answer to the mystery as to why the good Dr Jekyll has gone into seclusion and has made out his will to the horrible Mr Hyde. Markheim is an interesting story of guilt and conscience following a murder. Thrawn Janet, described in the preface to this edition as a masterpiece, I found however to be unreadable as it is wholly written (i.e. both the narrative and the dialogue) in Scots dialect that I simply could not get into. The Merry Men contains a lot of the same and just did not draw me in, though it had an interesting premise. Will O'the Mill started in a banal fashion, though it did have a bittersweet ending. I could not summon up the enthusiasm to read Ollala or the Treasure of Franchard on this second reading of the collection (I read the book in 1999 but remembered nothing of it, hence my re-reading).
BeSTAcademy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very strange case indeed!!!! 14yos was reading this one and narrating it for us during lunch each day. He did read a few of the other short stories in the book we borrowed from the library, but they were 'stupid'. I told him he could stop.
nimoloth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Referring Only TO Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde)I liked this, having taken to reading a lot more old classics recently than I have before. The book was fairly easy to read once I got into it - in fact, I felt it read a lot like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) in style. Slightly old fashioned but enjoyable to read once you get into the flow of it.It was written to begin with from the point of view of one character, Mr Utterson, but towards the end in the form of written documentation from Dr Jekyll and one other character, which lead to an interesting way of concluding the story. It was probably easiest and most concise to explain things from Jekyll's point of view!I wasn't sure what kind of character Dr Jekyll was to begin with, knowing only the very bare bones of the story beforehand. I find that with classic stories such as Dracula (Bram Stoker), or The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux), I know roughly what the story is but there are so many variations out there that I don't really know how the original goes. So with this book, I didn't know if Jekyll was written sympathetically or otherwise. As it turned out, by the end of the book, I found him to be a not overly redeeming character in his own right, independant of Hyde. I was sympathetic to him to begin with but after reading his explaination of things, it seemed to me that his motivations were more or less selfish to begin with. I still had some sympathy for his fate, but not that much.In all, it was an enjoyable book, quite short (more of a short story really) and would be a recommendation for anyone who likes a bit of a mystery and a classic style and setting. If you liked Sherlock Holmes, you'll like this - very similar.
Cillasi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book about the baser side of human nature and how easy it is for it to overpower your life if you allow it.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was another classic book, like the Phantom of the Opera, that I had heard a lot about but never actually sat down and read. It is a pretty quick read, well written, and fairly disturbing...although maybe not by today's standards.Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer who is a friend of Dr. Jekyll's and who observes Dr. Jekyll's strangeness from an outside perspective. Mr. Utterson has some experience bumping into Mr. Hyde as well and finds Mr. Hyde a most disturbing character. Most people know the premise behind the story, so the surprise twist at the ending isn't really a surprise. Basically Mr. Utterson tells you about Dr. Jekyll and how Dr. Jekyll's life is intertwined with the disturbing Mr. Hyde. Things culminate when Mr. Utterson receives a journal of Dr. Jekyll's that explains Dr. Jekyll's experiment in full.This is a dark, mysterious read. If would have been full of suspense had I not already known the story. From Mr. Utterson's point of view the things that happen to Dr. Jekyll and involving Mr. Hyde are disturbing and upsetting. It isn't until you read Dr. Jekyll's journal, at the end of the book, detailing his experiments that things get very creepy and a bit spooky.As a chemist I have to say that the chemistry described in the book and it's affect on Dr. Jekyll is ridiculous. I realize this is a work of fiction however and choose to ignore that, although I had to mention it.Stevenson's writing is very readable; and the mystery and gloominess pervading the story is distinct. The story is very engaging and I found myself hard-pressed to put the novel down. At times the language is dated and a bit wordy, but I expected that.Overall I am happy that I read this. It was nice to get the full version of the story and see what all following works were based on. It is a good piece of literature and an enjoyable read. Dr. Jekyll's journal at the end brings up some deeper questions about duplicity of personalities and the good and evil that dwells in all humans; so from that aspect it also gives the reader some food for thought.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read this tale as a child (I was a precocious and voracious reader). I was in my stage of being fascinated by horror movies so I couldn't wait to read this. I was simultaneously delighted and disappointed. The disappointement stemmed from the lack of lurid action. I wanted a monster. But I was enthralled by the notion that psychological monsters might be even worse. I was only in 5th grade - I had never thought of that. And of course, there was the masterful writing. While I didn't read just junk, I also hadn't been exposed to much great writing and this was among the best I'd read up to that point. It was well constructed and masterfully handled. I couldn't have expressed it such at the time, but I knew I was reading something good.
Molly1221 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Have you ever wished to be someone else?Have you ever lokked at someone you know and thought?It is a book which talked about everyone has two sides,one side is good,but another side is bad and evil..Maybe that is why R.L Stevenson wrote this book.. Dr.Jekyll inveited a kind of medicine,and this medicine could maked him another person,who is very evil and did a lot of bad things,these things could makes him very excited and gave him a lot of fun.But in the teuth world,he is also a good Doctor and talked to his friends very mild-mannered..Maybe he cannot help himself,but it is dangerous thing to changed,however,Doctor didn't ignore these,he just did his things.. That's ture everyone has two sides,good self and evil self,but we cannot give any changes to evil selves to do any things,because if you changed into that other person,then you might become that other person--and you might find it difficult to be yourself again..
fundevogel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story has a good premise but it isn't really realized, possibly due to the irregular format. The book doesn't read like a typical novel. Instead it is broken into several small, greatly overlapping parts each narrating the course of events as they were percieved by a character. The first section is told by the lawyer Utterson, who suspects his friend the doctor is being blackmailed by Mr. Hyde, then the reader is presented with the account of Dr. Lawson to whom Mr. Hyde's identity is revealed near the end of the events of the story and finally you get the story according to Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Hyde is of course uninterested in recording his experiences.The problem is that though the idea of building a complete narrative from various points of view is a good one in this case its done rather sloppily. The accounts are more repetitive than complementary and it isn't until the last one that the idea of the duality of man is introduced in a last minute hamfisted sort of way. It reminds me of the last chapter of Brave New World where Huxley decided to spell out what his book was all about as if it wasn't already obvious to the most disinterested of readers. The only difference is Huxley didn't need that chapter to explain his intent, where as the ideas Stevenson invoked weren't at all hinted at in the rest of his book. I've heard this book was written very quickly and surmise that it's parts are akin to the scraps of writing a writer produces in the early stages of writing to flesh out their thoughts and possibly rework to actually use in the story. But Stevenson never got any further in developing his novel he just strung together the bits of writing he whipped out and called it a novella. It a real shame since it's a good story and even with the horribly bad structure and organization you can tell that Stevenson knew how to put words on the page, even if he didn't bothered to put his words to unified purpose. The edition I read also included the short stories "The Body Snatcher", "Markheim" and "The Bottle Imp". These also had a tendency to ramble on longer than necessary. Perhaps he was paid by the inch? However they were better told and were fairly sophisticated horror stories with interesting premises. Markheim in particular is the sort of story that would be an interesting piece to analyze for a literature class. It touches on similar themes to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but is exponentially better at communicating them.
mbmackay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
RLS's long short story (or short novella) telling the tale of the good doctor and his evil alter ego. There are shades of early sci-fi here, with the drug made up of "volatile salts" that allow Jeckyll to switch personas. Supposedly inspired by the case of an 18th century Edinburgh society figure who dabbled in organised burglary in the evenings, the title has become the accepted phrase for the duality of human nature. Read November 2011.