The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
By: Robert Louis Stevenson
My Rating: FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS
Best for: 14 and up
We’re Jekyll and we’re Hyde. That’s the point.
As is my long-standing policy, I don’t review Classics. I just appreciate them. Especially when they’re so ingrained into our culture! This story has been retold on stage and screens big and small, beginning the very year after the book was published. “Jekyll and Hyde” has been incorporated into modern English vernacular. Even if you haven’t read the book, you know the story.
So no. You don’t review that. I’ll just tell you about my experience.
Reading the fictional stories of ages past fills me with wonder. Robert Louis Stevenson, Alexandre Dumas, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte (and sisters!), Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, (and many more, trust me, I know) didn’t write for OUR benefit, they wrote for the benefit of those who lived with them. This means the books they left behind are windows into the past. Reading their stories, then, is a uniquely accurate time machine. They can send us to another time and place more effectively than modern stories. That’s a treasure.
That’s how reading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde made me feel. What a story! And so relatable. Can you imagine proper Victorian Era men and women reading this story about the duality of human nature and finding understanding? Fascinating!
It’s a modern lesson for ourselves, too. Do we allow our Hyde to run and play, thinking our Jekyll can cover it up? At what point does our Hyde, in his sneaky way, over come our Jekyll and become more dominant than we started off wanting him to be? There’s so much to unpack!
This story is the OG of Gothic Horror–the original for anyone without teenagers at home. It’s unsettling, it’s full of the long and rambling sentences you’d expect from a novella written in 1886, it uses unfamiliar words and phrases, and it feels longer than its 100-ish pages. There are no modern content concerns, however.
Best for 14 and up.
I loved the experience I had reading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.