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Hyde is evil incarnate

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19.03.2003

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The story goes right for the throat

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None

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10 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (87%):
  1. JessL
  2. Sara82
  3. Birky
and 10 other members
helpful by (13%):
  1. MAFARRIMOND
  2. jillmurphy

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Unrestrained evil awaits the reader within this brief novel. “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is a novel dealing with human duality and theories to that effect. You already know this Victorian-era story: good Dr. Jekyll brews himself some potions in his laboratory, and after drinking them his body deforms and he becomes the evil Mr. Hyde.

We see much of the action through the eyes of witnesses to Hyde’s corrupt deeds. Hyde is a brutal antagonist; he represents a man at his very worst, from his hideous sneer to his violent gaze. Hyde slinks around the city for some time before finally succumbing to his nature, and committing murder.

We meet Jekyll early on, but he remains a cryptic figure until we get a glimpse of his confession, in the form of his journal. Jekyll was experimenting with what some theorists call man’s “dual nature”, the idea that each man has a good side and an evil side. Alas, Jekyll’s experiments worked a little too well…

The enduring strength of this story is a tribute of sorts to the superior storytelling skills of Robert Louis Stevenson, also well known for his “Treasure Island”. This novel is direct and to the point, yet never does Stevenson gloss over the horrors of Dr. Jekyll’s fate. The novel contains just as much detail as is needed, and most of the storytelling packs a wallop with very few words. Stevenson’s descriptions of the horrors of Hyde are complex and satisfying. The reader can almost feel Hyde staring at them with his hateful, penetrating eyes; they can watch Hyde expressing his contempt for humanity needing only his angered stride as proof of his malice. Jekyll’s pain comes through nicely as well; his personal horrors are brought home with climactic flair.

Even knowing what was going to happen, I loved reading this story. To me, the story is a warning against both leashing your inner “beast” and letting him out. While I do not believe in the “duality of man” theories, I do subscribe to the notion of men needing to vent frustrations rather than tethering them. A person’s life is not either / or in the case of emotions; emotions of all sorts are a part of every man’s life, and rational people need to know how to constructively provide their emotions with an appropriate outlet.

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Comments about this review »

MAFARRIMOND 01.05.2004 19:26

Intersting theory though. Maureen

buzios 15.05.2003 14:38

This is yet another classic that I have never read. Another good op.

millie234 21.04.2003 01:22

Just reading it because i can! yey! this one was a bit shorter! :) Millie xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Manufacturer's product description

The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be...

Product details

EAN 9781902407449, 9789626349663
Publisher Waverley Books, Naxos AudioBooks
Type Fiction, Audio Book

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since 02/11/2009

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This review of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson has been rated:

"very helpful" by (87%):

  1. JessL
  2. Sara82
  3. Birky

and 10 other members

"helpful" by (13%):

  1. MAFARRIMOND
  2. jillmurphy

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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