Posts Tagged ‘Victorian’

Publisher’s Synopsis: First published in 1886 as a “shilling shocker,” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde takes the basic struggle between good and evil and adds to the mix bourgeois respectability, urban violence, and class conflict.  The result is a tale that has taken on the force of myth in the popular imagination.

Review: After hearing all the myths about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, most memorable to me is the portrayal in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it was extremely interesting to read the actual source of the man with the “monster” within.

I understand after reading this why it is considered a classic.  The narrative style is interesting: we don’t actually hear an account from Dr. Jekyll until the very end where he explains how he created and drank the potion that turned him into the destructive force of evil that is Mr. Hyde.  Until this tell all ending, we only get glimpses of the strange occurrences from a lawyer named Mr. Utterson.  This book definitely had numerous gothic elements that are definitely still relevant to a modern audience: namely, the anxiety about a source of evil within.

I really enjoyed finally reading this.  I love Stevenson’s writing.  I grew up reading and reciting his poems in various classes and never got around to reading any of his fiction work.  Now that I have, I’m very glad that I finally did.  He is wonderful at creating suspense and providing vivid descriptions that stick with you.  If you haven’t read this, I recommend it.  It’s a short and easy read but definitely worth while.


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