I have to stop starting my reviews with “I finally read…” or “At long last I got around to…” because that could literally describe the majority of books I read and write reviews on. However, it’s true that I finally got around to reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I was only vaguely familiar with the story. I was pretty sure Jekyll and Hyde were the same person, but I was foggy on the details and the mystery surrounding it, so now that I’ve ruined it for anyone who didn’t already know that, let me say you can still enjoy the book (it’s short anyway).
One thing I enjoy about some of the classics is that you don’t have to be so abstract to understand the underlying theme of the book. It’s obviously a look at the good and evil natures inside each person. Stevenson’s opinion is that the more one indulges evil, the more evil becomes uncontrollable.
Dr. Jekyll finds this out the hard way, and it becomes harder and harder for him to keep his literal double personality hidden from his closest friends, provoking the question, if he didn’t think it was wrong, why hide it? And if he did, why indulge? Of course, that is the question we all face at one time or another, in more or less dramatic situations, as it may be.
It’s a quick little read, and one easily falls in with Mr. Utterson, whose viewpoint we watch from, trying to sort out the mystery behind Jekyll and Hyde. And though I remembered they were the same, there was still the intrigue of trying to figure out how he was doing it.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a great way to dip your toe in the waters of the classics, getting a feel for the writing style without getting overwhelmed by it.