So Many Classics! #MailboxMonday

mailboxmonday

Mailbox Mondays are hosted by the ladies over on the Mailbox Monday blog.  What finds have you added to your collection this week?


GUYS GUYS GUYS.

I am so excited because it’s been an ETERNITY since I bought books for myself.

Like, real books.  Audible gives me two audiobooks a month, but those cannot grace my glorious bookshelves!

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AH SO EXCITED.

But seriously, the reason I never buy books anymore is, frankly, I AM OUT OF ROOM.  It’s tragic.  I have 2.5 bookcases now in our small apartment, and the third is empty in the office that was supposed to be a nursery and someday, hopefully, will be.  At any rate SOMEDAY that will get filled with children’s books, so… yup.  I’m out of space.

This is why all thirteen books of A Series of Unfortunate Events is blocking my “authors whose last name begins with T” section.

BUT WHO CARES.  NEW BOOKS.

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Actually, truthfully, these were mostly replacements of ratty old copies that I wanted to update… such as…

Really, I’ve been trying to get my hands on a clean copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in particular, for ages.  Barnes & Noble was running a special on their paperback classics, so I loaded up on crisp, new copies of The Scarlet LetterThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Christmas Carol as well.

Why I had really gone to B&N’s website, though, was seeking the rest of the Oz series.  A couple weeks ago, I picked up Oz:  The Complete Collection, Volume One to replace ratty copies of books two and three, and now I needed them all.  I don’t usually go for collections, but these were just too pretty to resist.

Seriously, aren’t they just beautiful!!!

On top of all those, I occasionally stab at my “To Buy” list.  These are typically audiobooks I’ve listened to and adored, and want to add to my home library.  There aren’t too many, and I always try to get them on ThriftBooks, so it’s fairly hit-or-miss what I’ll find.  When it comes to used books, I look for them in hardcover if possible, since those hold up better, and regardless I try to find things in “Very Good” or “Like New” condition.  This plays out pretty well for me, although sometimes the book covers are a little smudgy or there’s drawings in them.

My copy of The Midnight Thief has a phallus drawn in it… in red pen. Ex-library copy, so I suppose it’s not surprising… gotta replace that one someday….

Anyways, my “To Buy” list grabs!

My husband and I both loved Menagerie and I’m pumped to add this one to the library.  Additionally, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald was the 1920s historical fiction piece I was looking for all my life.  So those are great to have.

I’m still expecting one more book from ThriftBooks, as well as my FairyLoot crate that was shipped last week.  I’ve snagged August’s OwlCrate as well (with a theme like “something wicked this way comes” how could I NOT) so there are a few more lovely reads in my future!

This will most likely be my last haul for a while, unless I decide to purge my “To Buy” list… there’s just too many books!

Who am I kidding… there is no such thing.

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“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson

audiobookreview

A man with a curiosity about the nature of good and evil creates a potion to separate the two parts of his nature.  When things don’t go as planned, the monster grows stronger and lives are lost.


jeckyllandhydeaudiobook

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Narrated by Scott Brick

❤︎ ❤︎

Series: Standalone
Genres: Classics, Fiction, HorrorScience Fiction, Mystery, Gothic, Fantasy, Literature, 19th Century, Academic, School
Published By: Tantor Audio in 2006
Original Publication: Longmans, Green, & Co in 1886 (Original UK Paperback Edition)
Format: Audiobook (3 hours, 6 minutes)

goodreads librarything publisher author

summary

An intriguing combination of fantasy thriller and moral allegory, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depicts the gripping struggle of two opposing personalities – one essentially good, the other evil – for the soul of one man. Its tingling suspense and intelligent and sensitive portrayal of man’s dual nature reveals Stevenson as a writer of great skill and originality, whose power to terrify and move us remains, over a century later, undiminished.

review

A few years ago, I picked up Treasure Island and absolutely loved it.  I figured, hey!  Jekyll & Hyde is also a classic, and written by the same author, I’ll like this one too!  Unfortunately, it just didn’t hit home for me.  Actually, I’m sort of preparing myself to be pummeled with tomatoes because out of all classics, this one seems to be the one most people like… eek!  Here goes….

Characters

We spend the book trailing a man called “Utterson” who appears to be a prominent lawyer and in service to all the important men of London.  Utterson is nosy, judgmental, and pompous.  I suppose for the time it was written, this character would have been a respectable character with high morals and great compassion, but frankly I found him annoying.  Having to see the story through his eyes was, I believe, an unfortunate choice of Stevenson’s, for it would have been so much more insightful and interesting to see it from Jekyll himself.

The other characters we come across are more or less the same, with the exception of Jekyll (who is only like Utterson half the time.  The other half, obviously, is Hyde) and his manservant Poole, who simply comes across as small and rash and a bit like the Cowardly Lion.

World

❤︎

The story takes place in London.  I found this aspect a bit interesting, actually, because although most of the tale itself is just a series of conversations and letters, you really do get a sense of the surrounding world.  In particular, I thought Jekyll and Hyde’s individual houses – Hyde’s Soho apartment and Jekyll’s sprawling manorhouse complete with operating theatre – to be particularly well imagined.  In addition, these spaces gave a visible sense of character where otherwise the reader has only to rely on an eyewitness account and a pair of letters.

Story

❤︎

The morality tale is an interesting one.  This is along the vein of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey as well, asking the question of “what if we could split ourselves into two halves, one good and beautiful, the other ugly and villainous?  We could indulge our fancies and not face the consequences”.  Unlike Dorian, Jekyll is unable to truly separate himself from that dark, hedonistic side and the consequences chase after him.  See, Dorian Grey strips himself of his conscience as well as the strings between crime and punishment, whereas Jekyll must carry the knowledge of his evil in his heart.  For both, temptation is paramount, although Dorian has more patience than Jekyll, for Jekyll is thrown into his vices rather than growing into them.  For the philosophical question alone, this book is worth reading.  It makes you think.

Writing / Narration

As mentioned above, I feel as though this story would have been much more interesting if it were presented differently.  A first person standpoint would have served it well, rather than a third person outsider.  The dialogue-style storytelling is a fairly common format for 19th century literature, especially for this sort of story where the reader may wish to distance oneself from the subject matter, but I just don’t think it works well here.  Ultimately, the story comes across as mostly a monster stamping on people and an old man being strange and reclusive.

The narration, thought, I will say was just fine.  Scott Brick distinguished the voices well and read at a good, manageable pace.  With classics, especially those written in times when the language and popular styles were a little different, it’s doubly important to have a good narrator or they are unreadable.

Personal Thoughts

All in all, I’m glad I picked up this book and gave it a try, but I don’t think that I will revisit it any time soon.

tldr

Although a classic and woven so much into our daily understanding, I think this is just plain boring.

source

I got this as part of a sale on Audible a couple years ago: I think it was Buy 2, Get 1 Free!  Or something to that effect.  I purchased this book of my own volition and this review is commitment-free.

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“Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.”

favoritequotes

“It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it. ”

“There comes an end to all things; the most capacious measure is filled at last; and this brief condescension to evil finally destroyed the balance of my soul.”

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