65. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson - 196 pages
I recently watched bits and pieces of a program on TV entitled "Great Scots," which quite obviously took a look at the famous Scots throughout history and modern times and how they contributed to society. I realized that I hadn't read all that many Scottish authors, and considering I'll now be living in Scotland for the rest of my life, I settled down to reading some good Scottish literature.
I've read Treasure Island, but that was back when I was 13, so it'd been quite some time since I'd picked up any work by RLS. Most people know the premise of the story. Robert Louis Stevenson evidently came up with the idea for this story in an opium-induced haze. A London lawyer notices that his friend Henry Jekyll has been acting very odd lately and decides to investigate him and the bizarre Edward Hyde. He eventually realizes that they are the one and the same due to a potion that Jekyll drinks and splits himself into a fundamentally "good" person and a fundamentally "bad" person. It is an extended allegory on the dual nature of man, and it is a theme that has been revisited over and over again in literature. The saying of someone being a bit of a "Jekyll and Hyde" is still regularly used today.
The writing flowed well and my attention was kept throughout the novella. It was a good, short, read. Is it my favourite classic novel of all time? No, but all the same I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.
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