We’ve all been told forever how classic the classics are. As a way to better myself I have decided to read some of these classics. Are they historically significant? You bet. Are they entertaining? We shall see. I understand that literature is subjective and somethings just really strike a chord with some people. That being said some things are just overrated. One of those things is Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
We all know this story. Well, we all know the pop culture synopsis of this story. The short version is a mild mannered professor has a mysterious connection to a dangerous man. That connection isn’t made clear until the reader discovers Jekyll and Hyde are the same person.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I wanted this book to captivate and intrigue me. This book did neither. It was a ponderous and boring read that only was mildly interesting. I assumed that both the duality of man and goo versus evil would be discussed at length. I expected to dive deep into the conflicted mind of a mad genius. I was wrong. More time was spent discussing what makes a gentleman, a gentleman and the importance of someone’s reputation in Victorian era England. It lacked suspense and any elements of horror. Outside of an interesting core concept, this book offers very little to keep the reader engaged. If you need some Robert Louis Stevenson in your life, go with Treasure Island and pass on this.
I feel this book is a victim of it’s own reputation. It was difficult for me to stay on task during this brief story and it felt like a conscious effort to keep reading. Any time a book feels like work, that is never a good sign. Overall, a pretty uninspired experience.
Cody Jemes is the co-host of the Bored Shenanigans pod cast. See more of his work here. Also enjoy his poetry blog here.