Title: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Publication Date: 1886
Review Score: 9/10
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a dark, psychological thriller that tells the tale of the respectable, well to do Dr Jekyll and his somewhat baffling association with the contemptible Mr Hyde.
Within this novella we follow one Gabriel John Utterson, a Lawyer who investigates the strange occurrences between his old friend Dr Jekyll and the mysterious Mr Hyde. What follows is a hunt through the streets of London for a killer, a journey of self discovery for the Dr and the shocking revelation of Mr Hyde’s true identity.
I read this book directly after finishing Dracula and Frankenstein, as it only seemed appropriate to read the 3 most renowned classic horror stories together, and I must say I think this was my favourite of the lot.
As with Dracula and Frankenstein I was pretty sure of the ending before I began reading, thanks to years of dodgy film adaptations, but even so I found it no less exhilarating or shocking.
This is only a small book and it keeps you gripped all the way through, what’s more, although written over 100 years ago the ideas are still highly applicable to modern day, as the main theme is based around multiple personality disorder, and so it is still interesting and entertaining even by today’s standards.
The characters and scenes are truly dark and disturbing, thanks to the eloquence and style of Stevenson’s writing and the ideas are original, interesting and brilliant. Overall The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a wonderfully chilling book and the only downside is that it all seems to be over so quickly!
Title: Treasure Island
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Publication Date: 1883
Review Score: 7/10
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is the archetypal sea voyaging, treasure hunting tale that has been a favourite amongst children and adults for over 100 years. In this classic adventure, a young boy by the name of Jim Hawkins discovers a treasure map and sets out on a voyage with a bunch of sea hardy buccaneers, to find Captain Flint’s gold.
However, Jim soon discovers treachery is afoot as a group of the travelling crew, lead by one Long John Silver, plan to kill the captain and steal the treasure. The two camps of men both make it on to the island but with only one treasure map and one boat to get them back home a tale of war, bargaining and deceit begins.
What can you say about Treasure Island except it is THE adventure novel! Like most people, even before reading it I was well aware of Long John Silver, the Black Spot and the stereotypical treasure map with the big red cross marking where the doubloons and bounty are hidden!
Treasure Island brings all of these cliché elements together, but because it is the original sea shanty novel it does not seem foolish or over done, it is just fun and entertaining. Even though it is a children’s novel I still found it exciting and engaging, the language and style is suitable for all ages and Stevenson is able to keep you guessing from one chapter to the next.
The ideas have been repeated and ridiculed over and over in other books, TV shows and films, but don’t let that put you off, this is a fun adventure book that holds a very important, inspirational place in literary history.