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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – April 28, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0679405382 ISBN-10: 0679405380 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (April 28, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679405380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679405382
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (472 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.

This University of Nebraska Press edition is a small, exquisitely produced paperback. The book design, based on the original first edition of 1886, includes wide margins, decorative capitals on the title page and first page of each chapter, and a clean, readable font that is 19th-century in style. Joyce Carol Oates contributes a foreword in which she calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a "mythopoetic figure" like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Alice in Wonderland, and compares Stevenson's creation to doubled selves in the works of Plato, Poe, Wilde, and Dickens.

This edition also features 12 full-page wood engravings by renowned illustrator Barry Moser. Moser is a skillful reader and interpreter as well as artist, and his afterword to the book, in which he explains the process by which he chose a self-portrait motif for the suite of engravings, is fascinating. For the image of Edward Hyde, he writes, "I went so far as to have my dentist fit me out with a carefully sculpted prosthetic of evil-looking teeth. But in the final moments I had to abandon the idea as being inappropriate. It was more important to stay in keeping with the text and, like Stevenson, not show Hyde's face." (Also recommended: the edition of Frankenstein illustrated by Barry Moser) --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Martin Jarvis delivers a gripping reading of Stevenson's classic. When Gabriel Utteron discovers that the sinister Mr. Hyde has moved into the home of his friend Dr. Jekyll and stands to benefit from his will, he becomes concerned and enlists the help of their mutual friend, Dr. Hastie Lanyon. Things go from bad to worse: Jekyll withdraws further from his social circle; Hyde's criminal sprees culminate in murder; and Utteron and Lanyon fight to save their friend and unravel the mystery of Hyde's origins and disappearance. Jarvis's pacing is excellent, his characterization spot on, and his renditions of Jekyll and Hyde perfect; he creates two distinct characters that illustrate the story's exploration into the duality of human nature. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Stevenson's writing is very readable; and the mystery and gloominess pervading the story is distinct.
K. Eckert
The story is told mainly from the point of view of Mr. Utterson, the lawyer of Dr. Jekyll, who is trying to find out who Mr. Hyde is.
Steph
Even if you know more or less the story and its ending, reading this very short book is a powerful adventure.
Maximiliano F Yofre

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on July 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
+++++

I have seen many movie versions of this classic. So, I made the assumption that I knew the true story. Then I read this book. Was my assumption ever wrong!!!

This particular book (published by Signet Classics in Sept. 2003) of less than 150 pages has five parts:

(1) Opening Pages. They include a brief biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 to 1894). (Takes up 4% of the book.)
(2) Introductory Essay. This was written by the late, famous Russian author Vladimir Nabokov. (Takes up 20%.)
(3) The Actual Story. Its original title is "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886). (Takes up 65%.)
(4) Afterword to the Story. It is written by a modern writer. (Takes up 8%.)
(5) Selected Bibliography. Outlines great works by and about R.L. Stevenson. (Takes up 3%.)

The introductory essay was an actual lecture Nabokov gave when he was associate professor at Cornell University from 1948 to 1959. It gives a thorough, detailed analysis of this "seldom read" classic.

The afterword consists of a shorter analysis of this classic by the modern writer Dan Chaon. I felt that this afterword provided valuable insight regarding the story of Jekyll and Hyde.

Chaon sums up the entire story: "The structure of ['Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'] follows a path as indirect and elusive as its multiple narrative voices. With its obliquely recorded incidents, its eyewitness accounts and sealed confessions, it resembles...a [police detective's] casebook--a collection of gathered clues, fragments, through which the clever detective may be able to...project a complete narrative.
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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Charles King on November 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Since I am a contributor to this volume, I will not offer a "review" in a conventional sense, but I will offer a list of contents, which this website otherwise does not offer. As there are a number of competing paperback editions of Stevenson's novella and the text of the story is essentially the same (allowing for minor editorial variants), readers should consider the issue of what else besides the main text they will be getting for their money, and this edition is unusually rich in supplementary features, so that the original story makes up only 55 of its 222 pages.

In addition to the text of Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," with explanatory notes by the editor, this volume also contains:

A preface by the editor, a "textual appendix" about textual variants in the manuscripts, a map of 19th century London marking places mentioned in the story, a timeline of the major events in the life of author Robert Louis Stevenson, and a bibliography. Plus...

An excerpt from a biography about Stevenson by Graham Balfour about the circumstances of the story's authorship...

A brief excerpt from Stevenson's "A Chapter on Dreams," which discusses the influence of his dreams on the story...

12 letters by Stevenson that discuss aspects of the "Dr. Jekyll" story...

10 contemporary reviews and comments about "Dr. Jekyll" that show how the story was originally received...

Another horror-oriented short story by Stevenson entitled "Markheim"...

A brief non-fiction piece by Stevenson, "How I Came to be such a student of our Penny Press," together with some examples of 19th century book advertising...

Three essays about the literary context of "Dr.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Neward on March 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We all know the term "Jekyl & Hyde" but I suspect many, like me, have never actually read the story. It was a surprising pleasure and I was able to try out the dictionary function on my Kindle several times (words no longer used in modern day writing).
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The tale of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde has been quite familiar to me for as long as I can remember, but only now have I read the original short novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is unfortunate that familiarity has robbed modern readers of the suspense that almost certainly was engendered in Stevenson's contemporary audience. Nor can I attribute a strong hint of terror in these pages, partly because of the plot structure. This is not a straightforward story; we don't follow Dr. Jeckyll in his experimentation. Rather, we are introduced to Jeckyll and Hyde through Jeckyll's lawyer Mr. Utterson. Having drawn up Jeckyll's will to leave everything to Hyde should he disappear, he is most concerned for his client and friend upon learning that Mr. Hyde is a misshapen monster of a man responsible for trampling a young girl in the street. The first half of the book follows Utterson's attempts to discover this Mr. Hyde for himself. The final half of the book contains the story of Jeckyll and Hide, told first in the words of a mutual friend and doctor and ultimately in an account of events penned by the unfortunate Dr. Jeckyll.
It goes without saying that the heart of the story revolves around the duality of the human mind. Each of us has a dark side as well as a good side, and the majority of individuals attempt to disguise any bad, uncontrollable aspects of their natures from the public. Dr. Jeckyll had a predilection for thoughts and acts which he and society frowned upon (although what these acts were is never revealed); as he neared middle age, his life became defined by a continuous inner struggle to keep on the straight and narrow path. He often failed, so he came up with the idea of totally separating his evil nature from his good one.
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