The strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Litphonix

Feb 11 Narrating

This whistle-stop thriller is truly the stuff of nightmares. Stevenson’s masterpiece is like the vodka shot of gothic literature – short, sharp and mind-warping; some even credit him as the originator of the superhero genre for dabbling with the idea of a split personality. Its appeal is (ironically) twofold – for while its sheer sensationalism initially attracted readers, what keeps it on the shelves is the rich seam of philosophical wisdom running through it that discloses the truth of human flirtation with the darker side of life.

Dr Henry Jekyll has a dark secret – something us literature nuts are terribly fond of – and that secret has made him a stranger to even his most intimate acquaintances. It all kicks off with one Gabriel John Utterson, an amiable lawyer whom we learn – to our great suspicion – is in the habit of being ‘the last reputable acquaintance and the last good influence in the lives of down-going men.’ Hmmm…

Now, Mr Utterson is out one day with his friend Richard Enfield, who tells him about an incident involving local undesirable Mr Hyde, who seems to have appeared from nowhere to wreak havoc in the neighbourhood. It is revealed that, for some unknown reason, Mr Hyde has a peculiar influence on Dr Jekyll, and Mr Utterson fears that there is something sinister behind it.

When Hyde is implicated in the murder of local MP Sir Danvers Carew, one of Utterson’s clients, and Jekyll retreats into a state of complete isolation, Utterson wants answers – but the truth of the situation is so horrifying, it made his friend Dr Lanyon die of shock…

If you want a short but gripping read you can knock out in a couple of hours, this is the book for you. Occasionally, a work of literature just goes that extra mile outside the box and it works; occasionally, we find the outlandish incredibly relatable, and Dr Jekyll’s predicament is one that, admittedly on a smaller scale, is familiar to most of us.

We’re very excited to hear how you tackle the contrast between Jekyll and his prickly alter ego. Head over to the narrate section now and test your mettle against the harrowing twists and turns of Stevenson’s demented brainchild. Get narrating!