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Listening to the Silence

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Karen Maitland
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Daniel James Brown
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David Mitchell

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Vladimir Nabokov, Dan Chaon, Robert Louis Stevenson I think everyone knows this classic tale of good and evil. A brilliant doctor begins a series of experiments that helps him to unlock a powerful transformation, allowing a person to become something he is not, or at least not on the surface.

I have to say right up to the confession I was really enjoying this book. Though written in the 19th century it wasn't as formal and overly explanatory as many books written in the Victorian era. The language was smooth, and despite knowing what would happen due to a cultural familiarity with story not owing to a previous reading of this novella, the author kept me engaged throughout. In many ways it reminded me, from a story standpoint, of The Picture of Dorian Gray, without all the negative qualities which made the latter a book which I skimmed through numerous portions.

The confession at the end of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, however, was everything I don't like about books from this time period. It was wordy, overly concerned with detail, and the language stilted. Ultimately as this was the last impression I had of the book, it dropped my rating from a solid four stars to three. I do believe it is a book people should read, and will likely recommend it to others, particularly those who enjoyed Dorian Gray and other books of this era, but the change in style really impacted my overall enjoyment of the book.