Review: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson



‘All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil’

Published as a ‘shilling shocker’, Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the idea of the split personality. The story of respectable Dr Jekyll’s strange association with ‘damnable young man’ Edward Hyde; the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer; and the final revelation of Hyde’s true identity is a chilling exploration of humanity’s basest capacity for evil.


I read this novel as my BookBum Club book for April! Check out this page to find out more about my very own Book Club!

I’m glad I finally read this one, as it’s one of those “must read books in your lifetime”. I thought the novella average at best. It didn’t really grab me, and personally, I only found the last chapter from Jekyll’s perspective interesting.

Being an old book, the horror of the story would have been super shocking at the time, I can totally appreciate that, but I don’t think it really kept it’s spookiness over the years. There was plenty of atmosphere about the dark, mysterious streets of London, but the actual story left me wanting more.

I also found the characters really uninteresting. I really didn’t feel like any of them had much of a personality. If we had learnt more about Jekyll maybe I could have sympathised more with his terror and troubles, but since I felt there was a distance between him and me as the reader, I wasn’t that sympathetic.

Like I said earlier, it was only right at the end, when Jekyll was describing what had happened, that my interest really piqued. It was interesting reading the events through his own eyes and getting the full picture of his demise. Unfortunately this interest came a little too late and I ended up only semi-enjoying this story.

Overall, I could have gone my lifetime without reading this one, but I feel better for having given it a shot (FOMO lol). If you like slow, and older fiction then I’m sure you’d probably get on with this one but I really love fast-paced horror, which this wasn’t.

*Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository | Wordery

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17 Replies to “Review: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson”

  1. I agree that the ending is the best part of this, and the part that has aged the best. (Kinda like how I feel the beginning section of Dracula is the part that has held up the best.) It’s one of the risks with classic fiction. However, for myself, I’m glad that I read it so that I truly get any references to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I only recently read (or listened) to this too and was surprised by how little was from Jekyll’s pov. I probably enjoyed it a little more than you but that may have been due to the narrator. I would listen to him narrating the phone book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, how I remember this book. I always thought the concept was fantastic and the writing well-done, but I have to agree that I wanted more fleshed out characters. It was hard to really have a connection with them. Funny enough, I was in the “Jekyll and Hyde” musical once upon a time, and I found the writing for that really captures the characters much more! Oh, and the death scenes are GRAPHIC in the musical…but really cool…anyways, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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