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Living la vida loca

  • Apr 2, 2006
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The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells of a respectable citizen Dr Jekyll who transforms into a heinous villian by night that trolls the streets of Edinburgh in the 1800s. This dual life of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is traced in a third person account by a friend of the good doctor, who follows the evidence provided by both Jekyll and Hyde. The story itself is easy to understand and enjoyable to follow. The book is appropriate for anyone in high school or higher, and makes for a good movie script.

The analysis that has gone into this story is quite extensive, and often goes like this: this story is a commentary on good versus evil, the conflict between these two opposing forces within each individual, and the secret thoughts that lay beneath the polite veneer of everyday life. Legend has it that the author wrote this from recollections of nightmares, and hence this book is a good foreshadowing of modern psychology and the interpretation of dreams espoused by Freud.

This reviewer would like to propose an alternate explanation of this book's story; one that is not original to me, but is actually put forth in the book: "Cocaine, an unauthorized biography" by Dominic Streatfield. If you read the book and examine the behavior of Mr. Hyde and the recollections of it by Dr. Jekyll, it becomes clear that Dr. Jekyll was experimenting with drugs; probably some combination of uppers and hallucinogenics. While under the influence of these drugs, he committed acts that he would never dream of doing while sober. Afterwards, he had only a slight recollection of what happened. This sounds a lot like the lives of many drug addicts. Add that to the fact that in 1800's England, proper society was just becoming exposed to many of the chemicals now found in the drug scene, hence someone addicted back then would have been beyond the help, sympathy or comprehension of society at large. Biographical notes from both R. L. Stevenson and his peers, including his wife, hint that he might have experimented with drugs in the period immediately before he authored this book; and that these led to strong and powerful nightmares. In essence, R. L. Stevenson might have authored this book from a synthesized recollection of his own experiences (real and imagined) and those of others while under the influence of intoxicants.

All in all a great book and fun story. Highly recommended.

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review by . November 13, 2010
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review by . February 04, 2007
What would you do if you could drink an elixir that removes all guilt from your mind for a few hours and allows you to partake in things that you normally would never dream of? Robert Louis Stevenson gives us a glimpse of what could happen in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." It's a wonderful classic originally published in 1886. In it, the well-worn battle between good and evil is played out not in the forms of a hero and a villain, but inside the mind and soul of one man who toys with the idea of acting …
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Newton Ooi ()
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Hi everyone, so here is the rundown of me. I like reading and writing, nonfiction for both. I love movies, especially original ones. I like nonfiction music, eating out, and basketball. I love to travel, … more
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About this book


The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again.The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydewas published as a "shilling shocker" in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages,Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydeis still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.

This University of Nebraska Press edition is a small, exquisitely produced paperback. The book design, based on the original first edition of 1886, includes wide margins, decorative capitals on the title page and first page of each chapter, and a clean, readable font that is 19th-century in style. Joyce Carol Oates contributes a foreword in which she calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a "mythopoetic figure" like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Alice in Wonderland, and compares Stevenson's creation to doubled selves in the works of Plato, Poe, Wilde, and Dickens.

This edition also features 12 full-page wood ...

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ISBN-10: 0451528956
ISBN-13: 978-0451528957
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Signet Classics
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"Living la vida loca"
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