Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

You start a question and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of the hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own back garden and the family have to change their name. No, sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask.

Part of me really wants to talk about our holiday sale and the amazing selection of books we currently have at a 20% discount. Titles like Wolf Hall, New York, A Gate at the Stairs, Changing My Mind and many more. Except all I really want to talk about is my crush on Robert Louis Stevenson and his perfect writing.

It's a tidy novella, famously about split personality. The story of respected Dr. Jekyll and loathsome Mr. Hyde is many things, though. It is religious allegory, detective story, moral cautionary, philosophical thriller, with language that propels the reader forward through perfect descriptions of evening: It was a fine dry night; frost in the air; the street as clean as a ballroom floor; the lamps, unshaken by any wind, drawing a regular pattern of light and shadow.

of transformation: The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death.

of doors: Up went the axe again, and again the panels crashed and the flame bounded; four times the blow fell; but the wood was tough and the fittings were of excellent worksmanship; and it was not until the fifth, that the lock burst in sunder and the wreck of the door fell inwards on the carpet.

The Suicide Club is next.

1 comment:

mordicai said...

I really heart Doc & Eddie. I am less crazy for the Suicide Club, sad to say.