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leah

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic

 

I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.

 

My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Washington Irving, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

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

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

Rating: 5 of 5

 

What can be said about a classic such as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? A story so well-known, one that has permeated our culture so completely (perhaps rivaled only by Frankenstein and Dracula), most everyone knows the gist without ever having read the novella or watched a film adaption. I daresay, little, if anything new, or at the very least, "fresh." Thus I will stick to my personal reaction in this review.

 

From a writer's perspective, I applaud (and appreciate) the structure and narrative style. Stevenson built upon (and relied on) the reader's natural curiosity and desire to solve the mystery of Mr. Hyde, to know what was "really" happening, which probably made this quite the sensational page-turner during its initial publication in 1886.

 

I read the story much slower than I do with most modern fiction; there's much to savor and digest for those patient enough to nibble. One of the story's less subtle themes - repression of one's curiosity and not asking questions that "shouldn't" be asked - was ingenious, wasn't it? Given the tools Stevenson utilized to engage readers. OH! And the descriptions throughout the story often knocked me for a loop they were so ... distinct; Stevenson knew exactly what images he wanted to conjure up in readers' minds.

 

I will definitely give this one a re-read whenever I want a refresher in (1) allegory and (2) the characterization and theme of duality and hypocrisy.

 

Disclaimer: If you are bored or confused by complex sentences, extended paragraphs, and/or Victorian Era prose, then The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde probably won't float your boat.