DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE by Robert Louis Stevenson

There have been some fine adaptations of this novella. Unusually for me, I don’t think Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been traduced by movies and other mediums the way literary classics often have been. However, those adaptations rarely have much to do with the original book. That’s not really their fault. I don’t think this book really could be adapted as it is. Stevenson’s strange but carefully worked out structure is easy to follow as a reader but would be a nightmare to film or stage. That’s part of what I love about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  It is simple on the surface, utterly baffling and, ultimately, unknowable when you start to scratch a little bit. When I re-read it, I often find myself turning away in frustration because it will just never yield up all of its secrets. Of course, that’s what makes it so great! Were it not for the central revelation becoming so famous, it would probably be the greatest mystery story ever. I REALLY envy those first readers! Try to pretend you know nothing about this book when you read it. Some of the adaptations may be good but it’s the original that is great. 


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