Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Narrator: Scott Brick
Publication Year: 1886
Pages: 256 (audio length: 3 hours 7 minutes)
Source: Free audio download from AudioSync
From the cover:
When a brute of a man tramples an innocent girl, apparently out of spite, two bystanders catch the fellow and force him to pay reparations to the girl’s family. The brute’s name is Edward Hyde. A respected lawyer, Utterson, hears this story and begins to unravel the seemingly manic behavior of his best friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his connection with Hyde. Several months earlier, Utterson had drawn up an inexplicable will for the doctor naming Hyde as his heir in the event that he disappears.
I’d thought, looking at the audiofiles, that this version seemed a bit short: only 3 hours? But apparently it’s unabridged, and so my thoughts about it are valid – something I was afraid wouldn’t be the case if it was a shortened version.
But, alas, there’s the truth of it: I absolutely hated The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
You know that old adage of writing that says a good writer should “show, not tell”? Well, apparently Stevenson forgot about that basic piece of advice while writing this book. Almost the entire story is told from the perspective of Utterson, but not “as it happens” – rather, it is told as if he was re-telling the story to someone in his living room. Everything is complicated by his thoughts and feelings and opinions, rather than just letting the reader watch the events. I’m a girl who loves to read action and dialogue – not chapter upon chapter of internal monologue.
Is there something I’m missing here? If you loved this book, please chime in: I had really thought that I would enjoy this based on the premise and its status as a “classic”, and was very surprised at my dislike for it. I’d be open to suggestions for things to consider while attempting a re-read at a later date.
- 59/100 for the 1010 Category Challenge