I bet you think you know this story but you might be surprised. The original telling of this tale is quite different than what I had seen in film and television versions. A suspenseful and scary quick read that is perfect for Halloween.
The introduction to this book by Vladimir Nabokov gives much insight into the times in which the story is set and the story itself. In some ways the tale mirrors the author's life (read the book to discover why). The key protagonist is Dr. Henry Jekyll who has spent much of his life with fruitless research. Dr. Jekyll is now experimenting with drugs to separate admirable and evil characteristics each person has within himself. Surprisingly, he finds a drug mixture that does what he expects and he can become Mr. Hyde, a self-centered, pleasure-seeking, unlikeable and fearsome individual. As Mr. Hyde, he can revel in the baser pleasures that dwell in his heart. Eventually Mr. Hyde murders a much respected person in the community and the authorities search everywhere for the illusive killer. A part of Henry Jekyll abhors the murder and he is torn about what to do. Unfortunately, his supply of the basic drug he needs for his mixture is dwindling and he cannot find another. Furthermore, the baser personality is becoming dominant. He finds himself changing into Mr. Hyde without the drug mixture. Not only is his personality changing but his physical appearance is greatly altered. The tale is told by a friend of Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Utterson, a lawyer who wrote Jekyll's puzzling will. The story is one you should read if you are interested in classical tales. In this edition, the introduction is 34 pages in length but well worth reading. The tale itself is short.
I was curious when I found this book at a garage sale. I always wanted to know the original story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Now a days, many movies have been made and thought to represent this story, so I was curious and bought it.
I believe this book is the shortened version of the original story without all the "mumbo jumbo". Just the important facts and important story line details are included. That's one of the reasons I bought it.
Aside from the story, the book also includes an essay and an afterord about the story from other authors' point of view and their opinions. These additions are very interesting. Kind of like a "book club" meeting where all of the topics of the story are discussed and opinions are provided.
So if you're curious about the original story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, try this book out! It will answer a lot of your questions and solve a lot of myths that are planted into today's movies about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The only downfall of this book, is that some of the words and sentence structure are of the "old world style", and you sometimes have to think about what the author is really trying to say. For example, the word "ey" means "yes". That's a simple example, but you get the picture. I was able to read through it just fine. When I would get caught up a word I didn't understand it didn't matter because the sentence still made sense in the end.
Robert Louis Stevenson originally wrote this story as a "shilling shocker." He then burned the draft and, upon his wife's advice, rewrote it as the darkly complex tale it is today. Stark, skillfully woven, this fascinating novel explores the curious turnings of human character through the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, an kindly scientist who by night takes on his stunted evil self, Mr. Hyde. Anticipating modern psychology, this story is a brilliantly original study of man's dual nature - as well as an immortal tale of suspense and terror.