I have been rendered almost speechless. Other than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I had no idea this author wrote such unusual stories!
I don’t really know how to begin writing a review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
I saw the classic movie, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) with Spencer Tracy. There are some differences, however, the film is a good book to film adaptation.
The story is short, although not a quick read.
So, it’s the story of one man, but two natures in one human being. Is that the word I want ~ natures? Dr. Jekyll the good man and Mr. Hyde the evil inside the same man. Dr. Jekyll in an attempt to abolish the evil within mankind, created a formula. He was searching for a potion that would eliminate the evil in the human being. Instead, he unleashed something very different.
The story begins with an attorney, a Mr. Utterson. He “was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile: cold, scanty and embarrassed by discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.” (p. 5)
Mr. Utterson and Mr. Richard Enfield are walking and talking when they walk near a home that had “the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence.” (p. 6)
The house, Mr. Utterson says, is connected “with a very odd story.” (p. 7) And so, the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde begins.
Mr. Utterson is front and center throughout the short book. He is following the story, deeply puzzled and distressed about the strange happenings going on around him. In pursuit of the puzzling situation and in an attempt to solve the mystery Mr. Utterson does meet the strange Mr.. Hyde.
“Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice . . .” (p. 18).
As the story continues, we learn more and more about the strange Mr. Hyde.
Dr. Jekyll at times seems deeply troubled about what he has done, while at the same time, he seems to crave Mr. Hyde and his dark ways.
I did like the story, I wasn’t unfamiliar with it though, but, in the end, I’m not sure how I felt about it. I wasn’t disappointed but it left me with a . . . ??? I’m not really certain the word I want.
I do recommend it.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Spencer Tracy Ingrid Bergman Lana Turner Donald Crisp Ian Hunter
A Lodging For The Night
The reader finds himself in Paris on a cold winter’s night. I like the way the author describes the frigid darkness.
“The snow fell over Paris with rigorous, relentless persistence; sometimes the wind made a sally and scattered it in flying vortices; sometimes there was a lull, and flake after flake descended out of the black night air, silent, circuitous, interminable.” (p. 81)
The story is about “Master Francis Villion the poet.” (p. 82)
Villion and his nefarious friends are by the fire keeping warm on a dark, cold night. After a shocking incident in the warm house, Villion finds himself out on the streets in the bitter cold. He soon finds lodging, for the night, with a knight.
“A tall figure of a man, muscular and spare, but a little bent . . . ” (p.93).
This knight is a much revered military hero. Villion a thief. Villion must listen and participate in a discussion with the hero about ethics and a morally sound life, in exchange for warmth and food. Villion has his own code of living ~ he must steal to eat. The two men have quite an interesting discussion. Not a bad short story.
The Suicide Club ~ Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts
This is a strange story, but I think I get it.
In Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts, Prince Florizel of Bohemia and his more than able body assistant, Colonel Geraldine gain access to a secret organization where the individuals involved wish to end their lives. I personally think Prince Florizel and the Colonel joined the peculiar club to bring down the President and disolve the club.
The story did have an element of suspense in it, but I thought the story was odd and I’m not sure I liked it.
The Suicide Club ~ Story of the Physician And The Saratoga Trunk
My my my. I liked this story. 🙂
As the reader begins the story, we meet Mr. Silas Q. Scuddamore. Mr. Scuddamore is a young American visiting Paris from the New England area. During his visit, he becomes the victim of a cleverly plotted manipulation. However, our heroes, Prince Florizel of Behemia and Colonel Geraldine become involved, so it ends well. This would be a good Hitchcock movie.
The Suicide Club ~ The Adventure of the Hansom Cab
Intriguing! Lieutenant Brackenbury Rich goes out for the night. It starts to rain and he hails a hansom cabman. He tells the driver to take him wherever he pleases, so, off they go. And thus begins a creepy but interesting adventure. They arrive at a home that is having a gentlemen’s party. The Lieutenant always observing, notices some unusual behavior in the host. Soon, it is all made clear. Oh yea. 🙂 The host has been slowly scrutinizing his guests and asking certain ones to leave. At the end of the party the host has only a handful of people in the home. The few are to participate in a secret mission. The small group travel to an out of the way location and discover the full meaning of the nights strange events.
This is another good short story. It is creepy, however, because the story is short, the creepyness is good, but at a minimum.
“Almost immediately after the postern door was cautiously opened, a white face was protruded into the lane, and a hand was seen beckoning to the watchers.” (p. 177)
I love that sentence!!! Good story!
If you read the three short stories of The Suicide Club, I recommend you read them in order. When I finished reading, Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts, I was puzzled. However, after I finished reading the next two short stories in The Suicide Club, I felt I had a much clearer understanding of the first story.
Hmm. What an interesting story. And! I need to say, the author wrote this story in the Scottish brogue, so, I did read it, but I had to do some research for a better understanding.
So! There is a new preacher in a village and he hires Janet to be his housekeeper. I thought she was going to be his wife??? That clearly reveals how much of the brogue I understand! 🙂 The people of the village believe she is a witch. A few of the women in the community try to dunk her in the river. The preacher saves her from drowning and insists she denounce the devil. Janet’s appearance is changed. She isn’t looking good at all. After seeing a man in the churchyard, the new preacher discovers Janet’s body hanging in her room. The dead woman chases him until he cries out to God for help. Janet’s body turns to ash and the mysterious man in the churchyard disappears.
This was my least favorite of the short stories.
Oh my word! I didn’t know Robert Louis Stevenson wrote stories like this one! Macabre! Morbid! Dark! Creepy! Unexplainable! As my neighbor was known to say ~ “never in all my born days!”
While attending medical college, two students Macfarlane and Fettes are assigned the duty of receiving dead bodies from sinister looking characters, and paying them for their services. The medical students dissect the bodies and after the work is done, the bodies are destroyed. Fettes, although suspicious, is innocent of the macabre work going on. These poor people are actually being murdered. When Fettes recognizes one of the victims, he’s told to continue his work and keep silent or pay the consequences. When there is a shortage of dead bodies Macfarlane and Fettes travel to a cemetary and dig up the body of a recently dead woman. While transferring her body something macabre and unexplainable occurs. This is without a doubt a horror story. It’s based on the Burke murders of the early 19th century. I recommend it if you like horror stories. I’ve never seen the film.
The Body Snatcher (1945)
Boris Karloff Bela Lugosi Russell Wade Henry Daniell
So, Markheim enters a shop, informing the proprietor he would like to purchase a Christmas gift for a lady. It’s Christmas day and the gentleman isn’t in the best of moods because Markheim has interrupted his holiday. As their discussing a mirror the proprietor suggests Markheim purchase for the lady, Markheim unexpectedly murders the man, stabbing him to death!
Then the author shares with the reader, the fallout in Markheim’s mind as a result of this murder. This mental torment goes on for several pages, when a mysterious man enters the store. Markheim is surprised when, through conversation, this mysterious seemingly supernatural man, seems to know Markheim
The visitor smiled, “You have been a favorite of mine,” he said; “and I have long observed and often sought to help you.” (p. 237)
Markheim thinks the man is the devil!
The two men have a somewhat lengthy conversation about Markheim. At the end of the story it seems clear the man is supernatural when he goes through a transformation, and the ending is . . . the ending.
Well! One thing is certain. I had no idea the author wrote such interesting stories. He’s a good writer and I am thinking about reading Kidnapped” and “Treasure Island” in the future.