- Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (September 2, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451528956
- ISBN-13: 978-0451528957
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,099 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,089,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Signet Classics) Reissue Edition
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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 the Paperback edition.
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 Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
This book is brilliantly worded and paced. It's a slow burner and builds tension the whole time. The reveal, even while knowing it before ever reading it, is handled in such a "whodunnit" kind of way with so many rich and interesting characters that you still get chills.
This book is way better than it gets credit for. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has kind of become one of those classic "monsters" that almost no one really thinks about and this book gets ignored but wow...this book is incredible and I immediately tried to force it on my friends.
Unlike other classics (Dracula. A book about the troubles of tracking a package that occasionally has a vampire in it) this one holds up incredibly well and I cannot recommend it enough.
The writing feels very dense, and the pacing is slow. The reader slowly gets a feeling of dread, rather than outright scares. This is common with many of the horror stories of the period that I have read.
The story is interesting, with much musing on the nature of good and evil. It was a bit slower paced than I like, but this is a short book and easy to read in a day.
But that content is NOT as "complete" as both titles -- the one on the cover ("Complete R.L. Stevenson") and the one in the Kindle Store listing ("The Complete Collection of R.L. Stevenson") -- might lead you to believe. This set is NOT complete with regard to the totality of his creative output; it contains none of his poetry (such as his well-known "A Child's Garden of Verses") nor any of his travel writing, essays, etc. So while the explanatory note clearly states this is complete only insofar as his fiction is concerned, there is no good reason why the title(s) shouldn't be equally as forthright (as in simply and more truthfully: "The Complete Fiction of RLS").
FYI: A (virtually) truly complete set appears in the Kindle Store by Delphi for $2.99, but like most Delphi collections, it provides much obscure material and various supplements that are of primary interest only to die-hard students of the author. That memory-usurping set is not for me at the present time.
The misleading title(s) aside, this is a fine collection and is well worth the low price. It is everything I had hoped it would be, and I am VERY happy with it.
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I wish we knew the lawyers reaction to all this, but the book ends before...Read more