Friday, November 4, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

By Robert Louis Stevenson

This masterpiece of the duality of good and evil in man’s nature sprang from the darkest recesses of his own unconscious—during a nightmare from which his wife awakened him, alerted by his screams. More than a hundred years later, this tale of the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll and the drug that unleashes his evil, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde—has lost none of its ability to shock. Its realistic police-style narrative chillingly relates Jekyll’s desperation as Hyde gains control—and gives voice to our own fears of the violence and evil within us.

So I decided I needed to read a spooky book for Halloween, and I just happened to have this on my shelf with the intent to read it at one point, so I thought what the heck. It was pretty fun to read a book that is so well known without really being well known. All the movies and portrayals of Hyde are wrongo-bongo. I was surprised by this narrative, which is weird because I've grown up knowing about it. It's really creepy in the way it lays bare the part of human nature that just wants to let go and do whatever crosses the mind. It shows what goes wrong when we allow ourselves to tap into those deepest darkest temptations and curiosities. Psycho thriller-esque. Old school style. Good quick read for a scary night.

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