Scots writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is the author of Treasure Island, A Child's Garden of Verses, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and other great classics. Katherine B. Linehan is Professor of English at Oberlin College. She is the author of articles on Robert Louis Stevenson, George Gissing, and George Eliot.
Stevenson's pioneering psychological thriller was released in 1886, but unlike 1883's Treasure Island and Kidnapped, also 1886, where the story is propelled through action, this tale is dominated by talk. The dreaded Edward Hyde remains an elusive character, appearing quite sparingly. Very little actually transpires, and the eventual solution to the mystery and the revelation of Hyde's true identity unfurl through Jekyll's first-person narrative related after his death. Despite its brief length, the familiar story moves slowly. Stevenson's prose, however, is crisp, lush, and a delight on audio. VERDICT Oscar-nominee Ian Holm acts the story rather than reads it, providing a virtuoso performance that's a treat for listeners. The novel's brevity makes it prime travel fodder or for playing aloud in a classroom to students. Nice price, too.-Mike Rogers, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.