If you’ve somehow managed to live your life without
being spoiled with the true nature of the
relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, read it
now
.

General Information

Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Original Publication Date: Fancy 1995 edition of a
work first
published in 1886

ISBN: 0-452-26969-5

Cover Price: $14.95 US, or $18.99 Can. I paid
$4.99Can for this
edition, just before it went out of print. It’s a
nice edition, with
loads of footnotes, annotations, other short stories,
etc., but it’s
not worth the $70US that people are asking for used
copies at the
Amazon links below. There are bound to be numerous
editions out there
for under $5. Heck, there’s even a free
version
at Project
Gutenberg
. (It’s short;
go read it now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.)

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past fiction reviews can be found here.

Premise

Mr. Utterson is concerned about the mysterious
relationship between
his friend, the kindly Dr. Jekyll, and the mean and
murderous
Mr. Hyde.

Yes, this is a mystery novel, with the entire mystery
centered around
the connection between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Is
there anyone left
in the English speaking world who hasn’t already been
spoiled?

High Point

The view of the culture of the time. The remarkably
contained and
polite behaviour of all parties is almost comical in
contrast to
today. Hyde, the embodiment of evil, is still more
polite and
cooperative than some people I know.

Low Point

The society-wide spoiler. I enjoyed this far more as
a reread than
upon my first reading. I spent half the story
wondering when things
would be revealed so that things could really get
started before I
finally figured out what was going on.

The Scores

It’s hard to give this a high originality
score when the book
with the novel also includes the short stories by
Stevenson and
Gautier that inspired this story. Still, when people
use this sort of
plot, it’s considered to be a rip-off of/homage to
this story, and not
the others. I give it 4 out of 6.


The imagery is clear, with locations well
described, and even
the indescribable characters well described. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The story, on a second reading, is well
written. I can see how
this would have been shocking in its day. The finer
details are well
tracked, with the information available to the
various characters
being carefully studied. I give it 5 out of 6.



The characterization is, I think, dampened
by the fact that
Mr. Utterson is the main character, and the focus of
the story. We
see everything through his filter, so we are less
familiar with the
ordeals of Dr. Jekyll than we could be. It restricts
some of the
impact and insight that the story could provide. I
give it 4 out of
6.

As with the characterization, the emotional
response
is hurt
by the distanced perspective of Mr. Utterson. There
is still some
impact found here, but not as much as there could be.
I give it 4 out
of 6.



The editing seems well done. The annoted
edition gets a bit
distracting with the footnotes all over the place, as
well as comments
about the story from other authors at the start of
each chapter. I
give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is a good story, and well
worth reading. If
you have somehow managed to avoid spoilers so far, go
read it now, as
the spoiler is bound to show up in the comments if
our readers have
anything to say about the novel. (They should; it’s a
good book, on
several levels.) I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde

receives 32 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I have the 1920 movie adaptation (starring John
Barrymore) on DVD. If
you want to see that reviewed, let me know.