Author: Robert Louis Stevenson | Page Count: 114
“Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice; all these were points against him, but not all of these together could explain the hitherto unknown disgust, loathing and fear with which Mr. Utterson regarded him.”
A literary essential about a lawyer, Mr. Utterson, trying to unravel the connection between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll and the mysterious new benefactor of his will, Mr. Edward Hyde. Even though Jekyll urges him not to, Utterson persists in his investigation of Hyde. He discovers that those who know Hyde find him strangely repugnant even with no outward reason to think so, something Utterson agrees with upon meeting Hyde for the first time. Utterson must discover why Jekyll has allowed Hyde into his life and if he is connected to Jekyll’s increasingly odd behavior.
Robert Louis Stevenson writes a fascinating novella filled with mystery, allegory and a dash of science fiction. It can feel a bit simplistic and its themes are so overt they can barely be called subtext, but it is a quick and interesting read. An avid reader can probably finish it in a day. Still, it is a prototypical science fiction and a Victorian classic.
3½ Freshman year reading assignments out of 5