Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a review

I read the Wordsworth edition of this book: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with the Merry Men, and other stories by R.L. Stevenson. I’m going to touch on the other stories, but my primary focus of this review will be Jekyll and Hyde.

I’d seen online that Mrs Stevenson had actually thrown the first draft of this book in the fire after she read it. And I am clapping her for this. Because what even was this? This book had so much potential.

I’m not sure if it’s simply because we’ve had so many more books and stories since this was published in 1887, but it was so anti-climactic. We’ve all heard (or at least in the UK it’s pretty common) of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. One is a horrific monster! One is a lovely scientist. Well the two are actually pretty opposite to each other.

I don’t think Stevenson really noticed that.

I’m taking the piss, of course I am. But seriously in terms of modern day literature not enough of a difference is made between the two. If this was real life then Hyde would indeed be a monster, but having this hyped up to me all my life as a horror story I did expect just a little more from our monster. Highlight here for a minor spoiler: Hyde murders a man and then runs away and hides as though in shame.

This is the only real piece of violence we see from our “monster”. I did enjoy, however, seeing Jekyll attempting to live with his morals despite knowing what “he” has done. Those discussions and seeing his angst was incredibly interesting.

And now we delve a little into The Merry Men and Other Stories. I’m not going to be giving an individual review of these. What I will say is this. I’ve DNF’d this book, mid story. This story being the second to last in the book. I struggled through all of the others.

R.L. Stevenson’s writing in these short stories is just awful. It’s completely boring. He takes really interesting sounding plots and just butchers them. I hate saying this about a Scottish author cause I’m half-Scottish and always here for the rep. But yeah he is just… not my fave?

For my rating on CAWPILE I gave: Characters: 5, Atmosphere: 5, Writing: 2, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 2, Logic: 2, and Enjoyment: 2 which gives a score of 3.57, leading to a 2* rating.

I’m glad I read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Just to say that I’ve read the original and to understand adaptations a little better. But I’m not a fan of Stevenson’s writing and I likely won’t be picking up anything else by him again.

First Lines Friday! #30

It’s time for another First Lines Friday! Hosted by Wandering Words!!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

Mr Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scant and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Wordsworth Classics) eBook : Stevenson, Robert  Louis: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson

Another classic that’s been on my tbr shelves since around 2016. I’m hoping to finally pick this one up in October! I feel like that’s an appropriately spooky month to read this in 👻 I’ll also hopefully be reading the other stories in this wee collection as they’re only short. Have you read this before? Did you like it? Let me know!!

Read the classics first?

Recently I was gifted The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss by the lovely Kari from Kari-ng for Books on YouTube and it’s inspired by so many dark Victorian novels! Frankenstein, Sherlock, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and more!

I’ve not read all of the originals yet, especially not the slightly more obscure ones like Rappuccini’s Daughter. And I’m debating on whether I just read the book with the knowledge I have now. Or if I wait until I’ve read the original works!

What do you think? What would your decision be?

Part of me doesn’t want to miss out on the nuances and the in jokes that will be made about these original works, but part of me thinks I’m being silly and to just enjoy the book as it is!

It’s me so it’ll be a while before I get around to any new books, but I’d love to hear your thoughts to help me make my decision!!!