About the book:
A good man takes a potion that turns him into a freak of pure evil. A reasonable scientist is transformed - through the agency of science itself - into the living embodiment of unreason. Like the vampire and the werewolf, the sundered personae of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have worked their way into our collective unconscious, expressing both our ambivalence with science and our deepest questions about what is knowable in human nature.
I was surprised at how short this book is. I was picturing some long-winded gothic-type novel, but this was almost a short story. I was also surprised at how the bulk of the story is told from the point-of-view of outsiders: those who know Dr. Henry Jekyll and observe his actions, and those who come to know Edward Hyde and learn the doctor's desperate secret. I found Stevenson's psychology fascinating: his idea that one could separate the two sides of a person. Dr. Jekyll's downfall is that he thought he could control those two sides, and his conflict comes when he realizes he can't.
Those who come to read this novel because of the Broadway play, "Jekyll and Hyde", should realize that this novel isn't romantic. There is no love story, and the romanticized notion of the dual sides of man doesn't exist. Definitely recommended.
Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here.
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