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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Wordsworth…

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Wordsworth Classics) (edition 1997)

by Robert Louis Stevenson (Author)

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Title:Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Wordsworth Classics)
Authors:Robert Louis Stevenson (Author)
Info:Wordsworth Editions Ltd (1997), Edition: Revised ed., 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables by Robert Louis Stevenson (Author)



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This book contains Jekyll & Hyde along with the short story collection The Merry Men and Other Tales, which in turn contains the title story, Will O' the Mill, Markheim, Thrawn Janet, Olalla, and The Treasure of Franchard.

Jekyll & Hyde is, of course, a great story. Dark Gothic tale, moral quandaries, all sorts of fun to be had. Most everyone knows the basic premise, so I won't bore you. But if you haven't read it, you should. Even knowing what we all already know about it, in this case, doesn't dispel the suspense that Stevenson creates.

As for The Merry Men. Well, the (incredibly short & sparse and rather pointless) introduction to this collection claims that the stories are of "varying quality. The title story has real merit, but Will o'the Mill and The Treasure of Franchard reveal themselves as early works, written before Stevenson had mastered the short story form." And Thrawn Janet "is a masterpiece. There is a feeling of stark terror in it that is matched only by [...] Sheridan Le Fanu." Unfortunately there is no one named as having written this, so there is no one I can direct my anger at for their pretentious lunacy. Because clearly they haven't the slightest clue what they are talking about.

The Merry Men started out decent enough, but the last third of it turned rather odd and I didn't think much of the ending. Also, two of the characters speak in Scottish brogue and are quite a chore to try and make out, and I missed a good deal of the text for lack of understanding the words.
Will o' the Mill, contrary to dear old Intro Writer, was quite interesting and enjoyable. You really didn't know where it was going or how it would get there, but it was a rather good place to be when it did.
Markheim was short and to the point, a tale of guilt and conscience.
Thrawn Janet, again quite contrary to dear old Intro Writer, was miserable. Written entirely in Scottish brogue (except for the first (of nine) page, which is an introductory bit to what the story is about to tell, and really has nothing to do with anything; so the only legible part of the story is pointless), it is unreadable, racist, and just plain stupid, from what I could make out, that is. And the end was absurd. Seriously I am quite aghast that anyone would dare call such a travesty a "masterpiece." They need their head examined!
Olalla I had read just a short bit ago in the Oxford Gothic collection, so I skipped rereading it here. But it was one of my favorite stories in that collection. The atmosphere is perfect, and is drawn out to that perfect suspenseful point, where things are a bit off but nothing is really wrong yet and you're just aching to know what in the world is going to happen! Very nice.
And last, The Treasure of Franchard, where again, the intro could not be more wrong. Along with Olalla, this was my favorite of the Merry Men stories. It had depth, and though the main character makes you want to throttle him, it was a great story with a fabulous end, and the perfect end to the book. ( )
2 vote .Monkey. | Apr 29, 2013 |
My enjoyment of the title story in this collection was a little dulled by my overfamiliarity with the plot. This was my first reading of the actual novella as written by Stevenson though, and I really did enjoy his use of language and structure. I'm sure if I'd come to it fresh I would have enjoyed it so much more.

As for the other stories in the collection I particularly enjoyed 'The Merry Men' and 'Olalla'. Two very different stories, but both very well written and filled with marvelous gothic tension. ( )
  tattie-bogle | Jun 25, 2009 |
A very strange case indeed!!!! 14yos was reading this one and narrating it for us during lunch each day. He did read a few of the other short stories in the book we borrowed from the library, but they were 'stupid'. I told him he could stop. ( )
  BeSTAcademy | Feb 17, 2008 |
A mixed bag of stories. The title story is a well deserved classic, where the sense of suspense is not in any way diminished by the fact that we all already know the answer to the mystery as to why the good Dr Jekyll has gone into seclusion and has made out his will to the horrible Mr Hyde. Markheim is an interesting story of guilt and conscience following a murder. Thrawn Janet, described in the preface to this edition as a masterpiece, I found however to be unreadable as it is wholly written (i.e. both the narrative and the dialogue) in Scots dialect that I simply could not get into. The Merry Men contains a lot of the same and just did not draw me in, though it had an interesting premise. Will O'the Mill started in a banal fashion, though it did have a bittersweet ending. I could not summon up the enthusiasm to read Ollala or the Treasure of Franchard on this second reading of the collection (I read the book in 1999 but remembered nothing of it, hence my re-reading). ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 21, 2007 |
"In seeking to discover his inner self, the brilliant Dr.Henry Jekyll discovers a monster.
This spine-chilling thriller is a terrifying study of the duality of man's nature, and it is the book which established Stevenson's reputation as a writer.
Also included in this volume is Stevenson's collection of short stories The Merry Men containing two other sinister tales Markheim and Thrawn Janet."
  rajendran | Jul 23, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stevenson, Robert LouisAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Editions containing both The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde should not be combined with editions containing one or the other alone.
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In seeking to discover his inner self, the brilliant Dr Jekyll discovers a monster. This spine-chilling thriller is a terrifying study of the duality's of man's nature. Also included in this collection are "The Merry Men", "Markheim" and "Thrawn Janet".… (more)

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