The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson Audio Book: 3 hours Hardback Book: 138 pages
It is interesting to go back after many years and revisit a classic. It gives you a whole new perspective. Try it, you’ll see what I mean. I had thought Dr. Jekyll was a scientist who much, like Victor Frankenstein wanted to know what would happen if…” Turns out, it wasn’t necessarily an experiment gone wrong, it was an experiment that went as he wanted it to, it just took over. Mild mannered polite Dr. Henry Jekyll actually wanted to let his freak flag fly. He wanted to find out if he could turn on his uninhibited, raucous, devil-may-care dark side at will by swallowing a potion he came up with. (Today we call it liquor.) There was debauchery he wanted to try but of course being good Dr. Jekyll who’s stellar reputation was known far and wide he couldn’t exactly step out on the wrong side of town to parlay in brothels. He wanted to be able to maintain his good upstanding virtuous persona but he longed to let out his animalistic tendencies under the guise of some other identity. Ergo, after dwelling on the issue of expressing his sensual side – desire won out. He came up with an elixir once ingested significantly changed his features facial hair grew, his skin bloated and acne burst out of his facial pores. After taking the vial of elixir he had invented it let loose that howling wolf trying to beat it’s way out of his insides. As Mr. Hyde he did not care about anything. He trampled a little girl, he killed a man – the persona of Mr. Hyde was sheer evil incarnate. All the dark in Henry Jekyll’s psyche poured out as if his brain split in to two distinct personalities in two distinct human forms. The potion didn’t last but for so long, so Dr. Jekyll could continue to have candlelight suppers with his friends in lovely nice serene surroundings then he could go down in the laboratory, take a swig of his wacko serum and become this belligerent jerk and do basically whatever illicit thing his little mind could come up with. Of course, not everyone in society is going to go for some guy running amuck hurting little kids and murdering people however, Mr. Hyde knew enough to buy his way out of legal trouble producing signed checks from Henry Jekyll’s bank account but Henry Jekyll’s friend and lawyer, Utterson, began to think that Hyde was blackmailing his friend, Jekyll. The story continues with Utterson getting more and more suspicious, mysterious letters coming to Utterson that are not to be opened until Jekyll’s death, Jekyll’s servant fearing for his employer’s safety, etc. It leaves the reader with a WHO DONE IT? Ending. Henry Hyde gives you a Jack the Ripper vibe. Ah, the classics. Still good after all these years.