Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First published: 1868

Official summary from Goodreads: “In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde   
Edition used published by: Penguin Books

Before I start this review, I have to admit that I did not read the normal version of this story but a slightly shorted one I found on my shelf back from the days when I started to learn and read English.

Well, I have to say that the story itself was not a really thrilling story in a normal way. But that may be because I already knew what it was about. I was not able to wonder together with the Protagonist Utterson about the strange behaviour of his friend Dr. Hyde, since I already new about his secret.
That problem occurs with many classics. It is hard to read a story the same way you read every story if you already know the ending.

But besides that little problem I can completely understand why this book belongs into the section of classics.
Just like Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley it asks questions many people are afraid to ask. How far is science allowed to go? Should humanity arise over the rules of nature and become its’ own god? Those questions were important back when Stevenson wrote his novel and today, were new technically devices and a growing medicine are part of our everyday life, have become even more important.
Dr Jekyll is struggling with his dark side, which comes to life as the evil and ruthless Mr Hyde. Jekyll questions himself, as who should he continue?
Everyone gets to a point where the question of who we really are and what makes us into who we are is really important and keeps us up at night. Stevenson is able to pack that question into a dark tale that guides you to the core of the human soul. A journey into the darkest parts of yourself.

I’m a huge fan of Stevenson’s writing. I loved Treasure Island and I liked how he sometimes became so poetically in his choice of words.
For example this paragraph was in my opinion really beautiful:

“[…] my heart sinks and my hands tremble on the possibility of you failing me. Think of me at this hour, in a strange place, in darker hopelessness than any fancy could describe, but knowing that, if you will help me, my troubles will roll away like a story that is told.”

How beautiful does that sound?
Though I have to admit that I liked Treasure Island even more I still think that this book was written in a good style.
The plot was clearly lined out and easy to follow, the characters were believable. Though I have to point out that the dark atmosphere, though present, was not as imaginable as I would have fancied. But that may be because of the shortened version I read.

Have you read this book? What were you thinking about it?
Love and Words

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