Book #65: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I’m probably making ridiculous demands on myself, reading-wise.  I’ve challenged myself to read 100 books this year, but I’m in rehab for that.  I’m in a book club with friends in the area.  I’m in a book club with the parents in my homeschool group.  I’m mentoring a book group with the teens in my homeschool group.  I’m subscribed to a monthly book club online where I get mentoring, audios to listen to, writing prompts and videos.  I’m in a book club with my kids.  Just writing all this down makes me realize how nuts this has become.

How can I possibly do all this reading?  Well, I’m not.  I’m at least 2 months behind on my subscription.  I’ve only read one book so far for my kids’ book club.  I only read the books that I’m interested in for my book club with friends.  I’m okay with that.  I don’t have to do it all perfectly to be happy with my progress.

What’s that got to do with the infamous Robert Louis Stevenson novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?  It was the selection for November’s homeschool group book club.  I was caught up with my reading for the teen group, I was waiting for my turn with the kids’ book, I was ignoring my subscription book, and I was caught up with my friend group.  Phew.  It was a short read, one I’ve never read before, and it was Thanksgiving break, so I knew I would have some time.

I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but it was different.  There was so much mysterious foreboding and mysterious lack of detail.  I thought Mr. Hyde would be large and imposing, but he was small and simian in appearance.  The book doesn’t really describe what he looked like.  Instead people would say that he was repulsive, but they didn’t know why.  It all had an aura of evil, but no details to explain why.  The intro in my edition of the book said that was purposeful, but if I hadn’t read the intro, I would have been puzzled by it.  I guess I don’t know enough about novels from that era.

To me, it was a story of the dangers of addiction.  The other people in my group had other takes on it, but overall, that was the message I kept hearing.  And I thought it was spooky.  Someone else kept insisting it wasn’t spooky at all, but it sure felt that way to me and it felt like Stevenson wanted it to be.  A couple of my kids will be reading it next semester for a class, so I’m interested in what they’ll get out of it. I can’t imagine I’d want to re-read it, but there is certainly plenty to discuss in it.

I think I’m also maxing out on these kinds of books, between this and Frankenstein.  Luckily, the books coming up in my groups are lighter reads.  Oh wait, one is Les Miserables.  I think I need a pep talk.

Goodreads rating: 3 stars.


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