The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

“You start a question, and it’s like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others…”

There are certain works of art where the more you learn about their creation, the more you appreciate how brilliant they are. Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley is a brilliant poem, and one of my favourites, yet it gains an extra levels of “wow” when you realise he wrote it on a whim in a friendly poetry competition with a friend. So it goes with Jekyll & Hyde, which is a brilliant book in its own right but becomes even more amazing when you realise Robert Louis Stevenson wrote it in six weeks, in bed, while recovering from illness. (And, in honour of that marvellous feat, I have elected to write this review in bed too, and to try and write it as quickly as possible!)Read More »

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The Turn of the Screw

Dear Mr Henry James,

If it wasn’t already clear in my review of Heart of Darkness, my fascination with a book and the level of ambiguity with which it’s written tend to correlate quite well. When reading your wonderful novel The Turn Of The Screw, it struck me that not only must you have discovered this, but you had so clearly set yourself a challenge to see how much of a novel’s particulars you could keep under wraps while still maintaining my interest in the story. Read More »

Frankenstein

To be honest, I was not expecting to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein anytime soon. I studied the Gothic genre during my A Levels, and this was on my “Read Me Soon Please” list throughout, but I never got around to reading it at the time. Unexpectedly, however, recent circumstances led me to put down the book I’ve been reading for almost two months (which I have now resumed, and a review of which shall appear as soon as I can muster enough brain power to wrap my head around it) in order to read “Frankenstein” quickly and messily.Read More »