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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Paperback – Jan 1 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; REP edition (Jan. 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486266885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486266886
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

In September of 1884, Robert Louis Stevenson, then in his mid-thirties, moved with his family to Bournemouth, a resort on the southern coast of England, where in the brief span of 23 months he revised A Child's Garden of Verses and wrote the novels Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
An intriguing combination of fantast thriller and moral allegory, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depicts the gripping struggle of two opposing personalities—one essentially good, the other evil—for the soul of one man. Its tingling suspense and intelligent and sensitive portrayal of man's dual nature reveals Stevenson as a writer of great skill and originality, whose power to terrify and move us remains, over a century later, undiminished.


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Format: Paperback
In 1885, Robert Louis Stevenson had a vivid dream about one man transforming into another, which was interrupted when his wife woke him up.

That dream inspired "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," a haunting novella about a man and his dark alter ego -- and while the big twist is known to everyone (sort of like "Psycho" and the identity of Luke's father), it is a pretty harrowing story. Despite the dry 19th-century prose, Stevenson injects a real sense of looming evil -- a grotesque, malevolent shadow that looms over every scene, even if Mr. Hyde isn't present.

The lawyer Mr. Utterson is concerned about a strange person he encountered in the street one day -- the grotesque, cruel Mr. Hyde, who tramples a child and has to be railroaded into paying off the kid's family. What he finds especially troubling is that Mr. Hyde has a connection to his old friend Henry Jekyll. Jekyll pays money to Hyde, and even made a will leaving everything to Hyde if Jekyll should vanish for more than a couple months.

Utterson unsurprisingly thinks that Hyde is blackmailing him over some misdeed in his wild youth. So he's determined to save his friend from Hyde. But when Utterson brings up the subject, Jekyll is weirdly defensive of Hyde.

A year passes, and a maidservant witnesses an elderly gentleman being clubbed to death by Mr. Hyde -- and Utterson recognizes the murder weapon as a cane he once gave to Jekyll. Jekyll claims to have severed his friendship with Hyde, but his behavior over the following weeks becomes increasingly erratic. When Jekyll's butler begs Utterson to help him save his employer, they uncover the bizarre and grotesque connection between Jekyll and Hyde...

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
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Atty. Mr. Utterson is worried, as the keeper of Dr Henry Jekyll's will. The will gives everything to Edward Hyde incase of Henry's death or disappearance. Mr. Utterson met the hideous Hyde once and does not trust him. Well it looks like Henry's will will have to be executed as the housekeeper; Mr. Pool thinks Hyde hid Henry's body.

Once again, I saw Spencer Tracy before I read the book, so I was anticipating a different type of story. I read "Treasure Island" so I am familiar with Stevenson's writing style but I did not realize that this story was more of a mystery that draws the conclusion and revelation in the end. The explanation of man and his duel personality is excellent and I suspect he draws on personal experience.

I read the kindle version. It was sparse and strait forward; there was not a lot of fluff and speculation from other personalities. I made sure that the text-to speech was activated before purchasing. This helped but I had to keep reminding myself that the names were mispronounced.

In any event without the kindle I probably would have bought the book but not gotten around to reading it for a few years.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Double Feature (1932/1941)
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Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is arguably the single most famous metaphor that Western literature has bestowed upon the public conscience, and certainly the most ubiquitous metaphor for duality of personality. But what of the artistic quality of the novella itself? The outer plot -- involving the detection of Henry Jekyll's double identity by his friend and lawyer Gabriel Utterson -- is the least interesting facet of the story; Stevenson's concept, inspired by a nightmare, and the vivid language he uses to convey it, are what impress the most upon the reader.
The respected London scientist Henry Jekyll seems normal enough, but he is fascinated by what he considers to be two distinct sides to his (or, he believes, anybody's) personality, which can be described crudely as good and evil. He furthermore believes these sides are physically separable, just as water can be separated into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen, by electrolysis; and so he invents a potion that essentially splits his personality so that only one side will manifest itself while the other becomes latent. In this way, Jekyll reasons, the "good" side may be an agent of good works without being burdened by the disgrace of an inherent evil, and the "evil" side is free to do his damage without the pangs of remorse he would inherit from the conscience of his good twin. In Freudian terms, Jekyll is the ego, Hyde is the id, but unfortunately -- and this is the point that drives the story -- Jekyll has no superego to tell him that the potion is an irresponsibly bad idea in the first place.
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Review
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a thought provoking, entertaining novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. His intricate plot, themes, and use of symbolism make the novel fascinating to read. The concept is extremely mature and well developed. Also, Stevenson's unique point of view makes the novel even more interesting.
The themes of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are important in the novel. The basic and rather obvious main theme is the duality between good and evil. The duality is manifested in two different ways: the respectable Dr. Jekyll and the evil Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is a hypocritical doctor who has an evil deep in side of him that he desperately tries to get rid of throughout the novel. He transforms into Mr. Hyde hoping to reduce his aggressions and obsession with his evilness. This, however, proves to be fatal.

Stevenson's unique point of view reinforces the mystery of the novel. The main point of view is of Mr.Utterson. He is a quiet, respectable lawyer who is extremely observant to his surroundings. Through his point of view, we see things just as they appear to him, making the novel interesting to read. Towards the end of the novel, we are introduced to two different narrators, Mr. Lanyon and Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Lanyon, the doctor, makes the novel clear and describes, in more detail, the process that transformed Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. The last chapter, narrated by Dr. Jekyll brings the novel together. Dr. Jekyll plainly describes how the soul is made of two separate distinctions: the good and the evil. Dr. Jekyll's experiments with good and evil turn out completely failed.
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