This is the second classic this year and I guess I’m already cheating because it’s more of a short story than an actual novel, but I’m still counting it.
Whenever a classic is involved I’m always equally excited and scared to read it. Excited because I will finally understand all the pop culture references from it. Scared because what if I don’t like it? And this is one of those stories that’s been referenced just about everywhere in pop culture. I first learned about it when I watched one of the animated chipmunk movies back in elementary school. Since I already knew about the big plot-twist in the end, reading the story was more about knowing the whole story. However, knowing the mystery made it more fun because you could see how his double personality fit with the irrational behaviors of both Hyde and Jekyll.
To be honest, when I first started to read the book I was taken aback by the format. I didn’t expect for a lawyer to be the one telling the story, I thought it was going to be Dr. Jekyll telling us how he went crazy. However, I think this format is more effective to tell this story because it’s meant to be a gothic mystery.
One of the things that never made much sense to me (and I blame the time in which it was written) was the way Jekyll physically transformed into Hyde. In the story Jekyll is a tall healthy looking man, but when he’s Hyde he’s described as a grotesque small man. I don’t know how a potion can transform someone to the point he’s unrecognizable and not leave a trace of it when they go back to normal. But, I blame it on those Victorian times. Remember, this was the era women were diagnosed with “hysteria” for anything and antibiotics didn’t exist yet.
In the end I give it 3/5 because as much as I enjoyed it and finished it, I never felt compelled to read it. There were times where I would randomly stop just when I realized it was getting good. I don’t know why I did that, but I did it several times.