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Frankenstein | Dracula | Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1978)

by Mary Shelley (Author), Robert Louis Stevenson (Author), Bram Stoker (Author)

Other authors: Stephen King (Introduction)

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These three together are the horror classics modern authors like King, Rice, Crichton, Thomas Harris are greatly indebted to. I think Stoker's Dracula is the strongest novel of the three--one with unforgettable characters, a propulsive narrative, and one where the narration and dialogue feels more natural. All three interestingly enough have first person elements. Dracula is almost entirely told through journals and letters; Frankenstein is framed as a letter about Victor Frankenstein including his (and the monster's) own account of the creature's creation and his ruin. A short novel, it's perhaps the most different than what popular culture would lead you to expect--more literary and philosophical, but also at times rather flowery and emo. Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, a short novella, is mostly told in third person through the perspective of Dr Jekyl's friend and lawyer, but ends with Jekyll's letter giving his own account of what led to his transformation. That ending to me made the novel feel disjointed and abrupt, since we never get his friend's reaction to events. Dracula is a more sustained, lengthy novel, and in my opinion, the scariest. All three are worth a read--Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll are as much science fiction as horror, indeed their themes have to do with the horror in science. Dracula I think is all the more interesting then because it uses the science of its day, from blood transfusions to telegrams, to fight the horror from a superstitious age. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Oct 30, 2010 |
This is a great collection. Three of the most famous stories in the horror genre are brought together.

Frankenstein is actually one of the very first science fiction stories, and one of the first mentions of the term "scientist". I always enjoy Frankenstein, as it shows that while science may seem to get out of hand, it is actually very benign. The monster was monstrous because of what he looked like, not what he did. It shows that seeming brutes actually have intelligence.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seems to take the opposite idea. The carnal, animal side of us seems not to be quite as intelligent. However, one must question the intelligence of dabbling in dangerous alchemy.

Dracula I've always seen as more to do with religion, superstition, and of course sexuality. Not as much to do with science, but definitely more deep exploration of the human and animal sides of ourselves. ( )
  Arkholt | Sep 28, 2009 |
Both Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde are cautionary tales: beware the fruits of science, for you may get more than you bargained for! And, of course, the steps of the scientific investigations that brought about the feats of Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll must be destroyed and never reproduced again.

This cautionary-tale theme has been reproduced countless times before and hence, going back to and even further than Faust and his infamous deal with the devil. Of course, this scenario is viable only if scientific investigation and its results are seen as a black box, whose inner workings no-one can understand. What history has shown again and again, is that this view of science is highly inaccurate: more knowledge has consistently brought more and more benefits to humanity. What's unfortunate, is that this be-cautious-of-science theme is still present to a considerable degree in modern culture.

Both works have nuggets of truth that have not aged. Frankenstein lays bare the inborn human prejudice of the other, the unknown. Jekyll & Hyde deals with the struggle between primitive human desires and the notions of social propriety. Unfortunately, neither offers a satisfactory resolution to these struggles, if any.

Dracula, I believe, is a novel qualitatively different from the other two. It is very much a fast paced thriller, without much dwelling on the nature of the human condition. Although, to be fair, there is a bit of musing on the nature of human sanity. On the other hand, the overall feel of Dracula is much more positive than the other two. In my view, it does a good job of pitting superstition versus science, with the latter winning in the end, as it should. Moreover, although I'm not well versed in relevant history, I think it was fairly progressive at the time with respect to the role of women in society. IMHO, Mina Harker is an early prototype of Lara Croft. ( )
  igor.kh | Apr 7, 2008 |
Frankenstein I was not so fond of. Too whiny. That is a very brief evaluation of a novel which deserves more, but I don't feel like going into details over it. I didn't like it.

Dracula, on the other hand, I loved. Exciting, though one did get tired of how stupid everybody was in fighting the vampires. Still. The evil was very evil and was soundly defeated in the end. No other vampires measure up to these in my opinion.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I liked for all its introspective thoughts. Nothing I've seen of any of the reproduction stories are as good as this original. ( )
  MrsLee | Apr 2, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shelley, MaryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, Robert LouisAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Stoker, BramAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
King, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Frankenstein:
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
to mould me Man, did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?
Paradise Lost, X, 743-45
Dedication
Dracula:
To My Dear Friend HOMMY-BEG
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Disambiguation notice
This is a single volume containing Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley; Dracula, by Bram Stoker; and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
This is actually an omnibus edition of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, not any of the individual works.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451523636, Mass Market Paperback)

Three horror classics—with an introduction by Stephen King

Some of literature’s most popular and enduring horror icons in one indispensable tome.


@NotoriousDOC Just did a bit-torrent-style grave robbery. My new ‘man’ will be an artful collage. Also, good conversation starter.

It’s alive! I’d better beat it over the head repeatedly with a fire extinguisher.

So sometimes you build something, and it gets away. They’re gonna can me at the university if they find out about this.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:39 -0400)

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