The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

One pitch-black London morning, a ghoulish little man tramples a young girl and continues heedlessly on his way. Caught by a passerby and returned to the scene of the crime, the man is forced to pay £100 in restitution. He produces ten pounds in gold and a check for the remainder. Curiously, the check bears the signature of the well-regarded Dr. Henry Jekyll. Even stranger, Dr. Jekyll’s will names this same awful and mysterious little man, Mr. Hyde, as the sole beneficiary. Troubled by the coincidence, Dr. Jekyll’s attorney visits his client. What he uncovers is a tale so strange and terrifying it has seeped into the very fabric of our consciousness.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Published January 5, 1886 by Longmans, Green & Co.
Format: e-book/audiobook; 64 pages/3 hours 3 minutes
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: Treasure IslandKidnapped
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to reading this spooky gothic classic by Robert Louis Stevenson, especially during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. While the novel’s plot and characters were intriguing, I found the writing style incredibly boring. It took me at least two weeks to finish a three hour audiobook, mainly because I kept zoning out and losing interest as the story went on.

Everyone knows the basic plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a curious scientist drinks a potion that turns him into a murderous lunatic, and overtime Dr. Jekyll becomes consumed by this psychotic half of his split-personality. It’s a fascinating plot for a story, which is why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde remains so popular over a century later. While I did enjoy the beginning and the end of this novel, I felt that the middle dragged on without very many exciting things happening, aside from some very lengthy passages of dialogue that could have used a sentence or two of description.

I would recommend this book to fans of gothic lit and classic sci-fi (namely H.G. Wells’s novels), but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend an audiobook version unless the narrator is extremely entertaining. I believe the version I listened to was from Librivox.

You May Also Enjoy:

img_1269FrankensteinThe Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Advertisements

Warleggan (The Poldark Saga #4) by Winston Graham – Audiobook Review

Warleggan

When Ross Poldark plunges into a highly speculative mining venture, he risks not only his family’s financial security but also his already turbulent marriage. When his old flame, Elizabeth, reenters his life, Ross is tested like never before. But soon his wife, Demelza, retaliates, becoming dangerously involved with a handsome Scottish cavalry officer of her own.

With the looming threat of bankruptcy and scandal, the Poldarks now face the possibility of disaster on all fronts. Will they be able to keep it together before everything falls apart?

A tale of romance, revenge, and risk, Warleggan brings you characters and rivalries you won’t soon forget.

Warlegga(The Poldark Saga #4) by Winston Graham
Published 1953
Format: audiobook; 14 hours 19 minutes
Classics/Historical Fiction
Also By This Author: Ross Poldark (The Poldark Saga #1)Demelza (The Poldark Saga #3), Jeremy Poldark (The Poldark Saga #3), Cordelia
Goodreads
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts

Honestly, I was dreading reading this volume of the Poldark Saga. If you watch the BBC/Masterpiece show, you’ll understand why. Without giving away too many spoilers, Ross does something unforgivable, and it threatens to destroy his entire family. Fortunately, I watched Season 2 before reading Jeremy Poldark and Waleggan (the two books Season 2 is based on), so I was prepared, and although it was a really difficult section of the book to read, the ending was very sweet and made up for it (mostly).

Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying Warleggan more than its predecessor. It felt like so much more happened in this novel than in Jeremy Poldark, and near the end I was more into the book than I originally anticipated.

Season 2 of Poldark is still rather fresh in my mind since I recently rewatched the last few episodes before Season 3 premiered, so I was doing a lot of comparing and contrasting between the novel and it’s on-screen adaptation. In my opinion, the tv show handles Ross’s infidelity and the other characters’ reactions to it in a much more realistic and forgiving light. In the book, it feels like Ross pretty much has his way and the female characters involved simply submit to his will and desires. I was very disappointed with how almost passive Demelza was in the book. She’s one of the fiercest literary characters I know of, and I felt that her reaction in the tv show was more realistic. I think this may be the part of the series where TV Demelza branches off from Book Demelza. I think this can probably be attributed to the fact that the show’s writer is a woman ;)

Audiobook Review

For the most part, I really enjoyed this narration of Warleggan. The narrator, Oliver Hembrough, has an entertaining voice that is easy to listen to. The only letdown for me was that his voice for most of the ladies, Demelza especially, was pitiful. Demelza is fierce, yet the narrator depicted her in a moping way that I was not a fan of. I can understand Elizabeth sounding that way, but not passionate Demelza.

Final Musings

The ending of Warleggan was very touching, and there are several reconciliations that will pull at your heartstrings. I’m very tempted to pick up the next book before this season is even over, but at the same time I don’t want to spoil anything! I enjoy watching the show and then reading the books afterwards.

Just for fun, and because it doesn’t actually happen in the novel, here’s my favorite scene from Season 2 of Poldark:

 

 

Jeremy Poldark (The Poldark Saga #3) by Winston Graham

Jeremy Poldark

Ross Poldark faces the darkest hour of his life in this third novel of the Poldark series. Reeling from the tragic death of a loved one, Captain Poldark vents his grief by inciting impoverished locals to salvage the contents of a ship run aground in a storm-an act for which British law proscribes death by hanging. As Ross is brought to trial for his involvement, his wife Demelza tries to rally support to save him and their family. But plenty of enemies would be happy to see her husband convicted, not the least of which is George Warleggan, the powerful banker whose personal rivalry with Ross threatens to destroy the Poldarks.

The third book in Winston Graham’s hugely popular Poldark series,
Jeremy Poldark brings to vivid life the clash of rich and poor, loss and love, powerful and powerless in a mesmerizing saga you won’t forget.

Jeremy Poldark (The Poldark Saga #3) by Winston Graham
Published 1950
Format: paperback; 244 pages
Classics/Historical Fiction/Romance
Also By This Author: Ross Poldark (The Poldark Saga #1)Demelza (The Poldark Saga #3)Marnie, Cordelia
Goodreads
My Rating: ♥♥♥

 

Thoughts:

I’ve finally started catching up on the Poldark novels, now that Season 3 has premiered. If, like me, you are a fan of the BBC/Masterpiece show Poldark, Jeremy Poldark covers the events from the first half of Season 2. If you haven’t watched up to that point in the show, or if you haven’t read the first two novels, beware of spoilers :)

Jeremy Poldark gets its name from a character that isn’t even introduced until the end of the novel; for the most part the book follows Ross Poldark’s trial (remember: he was arrested at the end of Demelza) and his ever growing rivalry with George Warleggan. Like the previous Poldark novel (and what I’m gathering is an interwoven theme throughout the entire series), this book has its fair share of heartbreak. Ross and Demelza are very much grieving the death of their daughter Julia, but they also have tender moments between themselves and close friends.

My favorite part about this novel is the blossoming relationship between Dr. Dwight Enys and Caroline Penvenen. Since I’m watching the show first before reading the books each season is based on, I was already a fan of Dwight and Caroline, but this book made me fall in love with both characters and their relationship even more. Book-Caroline is as headstrong as TV-Caroline, but she also has an even deeper streak of sassiness that I wish we saw more of on the show.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy family sagas, especially ones including plenty of tension and drama.
…you’re a fan of historical fiction.
…you are intrigued by novels that feature opposing socioeconomic classes.
…you’ve already read Ross Poldark and Demelza.

Final Musings:

Here’s a trailer for Season 2 of the show (they make it look like a dramatic soap opera, I know, but it kind of is in some ways). I’ll let you guess what my favorite scene is (even though it doesn’t even happen in the books)…

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

img_1269

Notable for its sheer invention, suspense, and psychological nuance, The Invisible Man focuses on Griffin, a scientist who has discovered the means to make himself invisible. His initial, almost comedic, adventures are soon overshadowed by the bizarre streak of terror he unleashes upon the inhabitants of a small village.

 

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
Published 1897 by Pearson’s Weekly
Format: e-book/library hardcover/audiobook; 192 pages (clearly I couldn’t put this book down!)
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: War of the Worlds, The Time Machine
Goodreads
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

What a creepy story! I have to admit, when I first picked up The Invisible Man, I was not expecting it to be a Gothic suspense story, so I was pleasantly surprised to read the subtitle: a grotesque romance. I love Gothic literature, especially when paired with science fiction! [side note: there is no romance in this novella; according to the footnote, that description refers to the fact that this story deals with supernatural incidents that are removed from every day life.]

The Invisible Man starts off right away by throwing readers into suspense and intrigue. We meet our antihero, whom we later learn is called Griffin, as he arrives at an inn and begins terrorizing the local townspeople. Terrorizing is a little harsh; at first he is simply worrying them with his shroud of mystery, but as the novel progresses and Griffin’s condition worsens, he enacts a self-proclaimed reign of terror.

I must confess that in the beginning I liked Griffin, despite the fact that he was impatient, rude, and prone to outbursts. He reminded me of Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre and he had an unusual sense of humor about him. But then Griffin started harming other people without remorse, and I felt torn over my former sympathy for his predicament and my later fear of and disappointment in his mental decline.

There are several minor characters, but none of them are nearly as interesting as Griffin; however, I did feel for both Marvel and Dr. Kemp at times.

The ending was appropriately abrupt, and the story was resolved in a surprising and inevitable way (the best type of ending!). This was my third H. G. Wells novel, after War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, and I will definitely be reading more of his novels in the future.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy classic novels and science fiction.
…you appreciate Gothic literature.
…you’re interested in books that feature a villain or antihero as the main character.
…you’re looking for a suspenseful story that has a fair amount of creepiness.

You May Also Enjoy…

waroftheworldsFrankensteinThe Birthmark

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine.jpg

The Time Traveller embarks on an astonishing journey into the future. His Time Machine transports him to a far-distant but dying world where humanity is divided into two classes: the graceful, idle Eloi who inhabit the idyllic surface of the world, and the Morlocks, ugly nocturnal creatures who live and work underground. In The Time Machine, Wells created one of the first and finest science fiction stories: a social allegory that is both vivid and perturbing.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
Published 1895 by William Heinemann
Format: paperback; 118 pages
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: War of the WorldsThe Invisible Man
Goodreads
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I remember watching what was quite possibly my first ever live-action sci-fi movie. However, for years afterwards I could not remember the title, or the basic plot, or even the actors; I could only remember one scene that involved a beautiful, misfortunate lady in a red dress and a man determined to save her life. For years I longed to find this movie and watch it again. It bothered me like an itch I just couldn’t scratch, and I started to believe that I had dreamed the whole thing up.

Then one day, somehow, I stumbled across the movie The Time Machine. I probably picked it up for one of two reasons: Guy Pierce was on the cover, and it was about time travel. But then I watched it, and my heart filled up with excitement because at long last I had been reunited with THE movie!

Since then I have watched and re-watched The Time Machine multiple times, and I credit it as the movie that sparked my love for all-things time travel. But, until only recently, I had never actually read the novella that the movie is based on. H.G. Wells is often regarded as the father of Science Fiction, and The Time Machine is what originally brought him critical acclaim at the end of the 19th century. It was one of the first stories of its kind, and it propagated sub-genres of science fiction that remain wildly popular today.

The Time Machine is told through the narrator, known only as The Time Traveler. In the same manner Jules Verne, another pioneer of science fiction, introduced Phineas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, H.G. Wells introduces The Time Traveler and his time machine by presenting them to a group of intelligent and skeptical peers. The majority of the novella is told as a recounting of The Time Traveler’s journey to the very distant future, when the human species has devolved into two opposing and rival species. The Eloi, which represents the consequences of mankind’s political and cultural aspirations, is a frail and indistinct group that has few interests or emotions in general. Their way of life is free from burden, work, or even relationships. The Morlock tribe, on the other hand, symbolizes the savage and industrial sides of mankind. They are completely nocturnal and reside underground, surfacing only at night to hunt.

The suspense in The Time Machine is incredibly thick and mystical. Even though, through Wells’s use of foreshadow, you know what is going to happen, you can’t help but become caught up in The Time Traveler’s journey to and escape from the future. The imagery of dying Earth and the fall of humanity is both fascinating and worrisome. When coupled with H. G. Wells’s technical voice, it’s easy to pretend you’re reading a memoir and not merely a science fiction novella.

Read This Book If…

…you appreciate both classics and science fiction.
…you are looking for a book that can be read in one sitting.
…you have a healthy imagination and sense of curiosity.
…you love stories about time travel and dystopian societies.

You May Also Enjoy…

Around the World in Eighty DaysjourneyThe Martian Chronicles

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

 

Final Musings

The Time Machine

Does anybody else love the movie The Time Machine? Fun fact: it is directed by H. G. Well’s great-grandson.

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery – Audiobook Review

AnneOfTheIsland_2400x2400

Anne of the Island was published in 1915, seven years after the best-selling Anne of Green Gables, partly because of the continuing clamor for more Anne from her fans – a fan base that continues to grow today!

In this continuation of the story of Anne Shirley, Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Nova Scotia. Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as does Anne’s friend from Queen’s Academy, Priscilla Grant. During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa (Phil for short) also happens to be from Anne’s birthplace of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia. Anne, always the good scholar, studies hard, but she also has many life lessons. This book sees Anne leave behind girlhood to blossom into a mature young woman.

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
Published 2014 by Post Hypnotic Press (Originally Published 1915)
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours, 20 minutes
Classics / Young Adult
Also By This Author: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Emily of New Moon
Goodreads | Audible | Publisher
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Even though I’ve read Anne of the Island several times, and there are still five books that follow it, I feel sad, as if Anne’s story is over. Which it isn’t, honestly! Anne of the Island only marks the end of Anne’s beginning. So I will contribute these sad feelings to what I like to call a “book hangover.” Apparently it is still possible to be wrapped up in a book you’ve read and reread multiple times.

Anne of the Island is often regarded as the most popular installment of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne series, and that is most likely due to the fact that this novel is a culmination of events that started back in Anne of Green Gables. Anne finally gets to go off to college, after having put her education on hold to save up money through teaching. She also experiences romance in several different and, in one particular case, hilarious ways. Finally, Anne gets to see multiple dreams of hers realized, and the outcomes are particular surprising.

Although Anne of Green Gables is my favorite novel, Anne of the Island (and book #5: Anne’s House of Dreams, as well) holds a very dear place in my heart. There are so many sweet and sentimental scenes in this book that really pull on your heartstrings. Anne experiences heavier emotions, such as love and grief, but now as an adult. In Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, Anne is still growing up and learning about who she is and who she wants to be. In Anne of the Island, Anne has to actually make decisions about her future, and, as she says perfectly, “I do know my own mind…the trouble is, my mind changes and then I have to get acquainted with it all over again.”

Read This Book If…

…you’ve previously read Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea and you need more Anne in your life!
…you are looking for a book that makes you feel.
…you appreciate good storytelling.
…you love books that make you laugh, cry, swoon, and feel suspense.

Audiobook Review

I’ve been listening to many different audiobooks lately, and I can tell you that a narrator can either enlighten or ruin a story. Colleen Winton does a fantastic job at bringing Anne Shirley and the rest of the rest of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved characters to life. I would love to know if there were plans to have her narrate the rest of the Anne series, because I would definitely enjoy listening to them!

colleen-wintonAbout the NarratorColleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer…and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honored with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

Anne of Green Gables Giveaway: Three Winners

If you are interested in this audiobook, enter into a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Colleen Winton’s narrations for Anne of Green GablesAnne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island! Good luck!

Anne of Green Gables Tour Banner.png

I’m reviewing Anne of The Island as part of a blog tour hosted by Jess at The Audiobookworm. Stop by the tour page to check out other blogger’s reviews for Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island!

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery – Audiobook Review

AnneOfAvonlea-2400x2400.jpg

Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), this book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. We learn of Anne’s doings from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones: Mr. Harrison and his foul-mouthed parrot, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora (sweet and well behaved) and Davy (mischievious and in constant trouble). Anne matures, slightly, but she gets into a number of her familiar pickles, as only Anne can: She accidentally sells her neighbor’s cow (having mistaken it for her own), gets stuck in a broken duck house roof while peeping into a pantry window, and more.

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
Published 2014 by Post Hypnotic Press (Originally Published 1909)
Format: e-audiobook; 9 hours, 5 minutes
Classics / Young Adult
Also By This Author: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of the Island, Emily of New Moon
Goodreads | Audible | Publisher
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Anne of Green Gables Teaser 2

It’s amazing what you pick up from a book when you listen to the audiobook version, even if you’ve read the book countless times before. I have read and reread Anne of Avonlea several times since I was in elementary school, but I had never connected with this quote before now: “She seemed to walk in an atmosphere of things about to happen.” What a perfectly lovely description of Anne!

In Anne of Avonela, a lot of things do happen to Anne: she becomes a teacher, she turns a grumpy old neighbor into an unlikely friend, and, my personal favorites, she stumbles upon an enchanted cottage in the wood and helps to reunite two lost lovers. In this novel we discover Anne the opportunist, who never shies away from the prospect of an adventure.

Besides Anne, we also reconnect with Marilla, Diana, and Gilbert, and we are introduced to several new brilliant characters, including Mr. Harrison and his spiteful parrot, Ginger, ethereal Ms. Lavender, and the polar opposite twins, Davy and Dora (more on Davy down below!). L.M. Montgomery is a master story teller and through these complex characters she tells the most delightful and inspiring stories.

Like many other second installments in a series, it’s may be easy to overlook Anne of Avonlea as merely a bridge between Anne of Green Gables and Anne of the Island, but I have always regarded this novel as one of the best in the series. Anne is becoming more of who she will be as an adult, but she still has her typical mishaps and serendipitous adventures that made the world fall in love with her in Anne of Green Gables.

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy classics and/or young adult fiction.
…you love novels with romantic depictions of nature and rural 19th century life.
…you prefer character-driven books.
…you’re looking for a new audiobook to listen to (keep reading below!).

Audiobook Review

If you read my recent review of Anne of Green Gables, you already know that I really enjoy Colleen Winton’s talents as a narrator. In Anne of Avonlea, Ms. Winton continues to bring L.M. Montgomery’s beloved characters to life in her own dramatic way. My favorite aspect about this audiobook is Ms. Winton’s portrayal of darling Davy Keith. Davy is without a doubt one of my favorite characters in the Anne of Green Gables series. He is mischievous, adorable, and spunky, and his antics are depicted wonderfully by Colleen Winton. I always smiled when she said Davy’s trademark line, “I want to know!”

I’m really looking forward to listening to Anne of the Island; I’m positive that Colleen Winton will do a fantastic job with the next series of characters we meet!

colleen-wintonAbout the NarratorColleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer…and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honored with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

Anne of Green Gables Giveaway: Three Winners

If you are interested in this audiobook, enter into a giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Colleen Winton’s narrations for Anne of Green GablesAnne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island! Good luck!

Anne of Green Gables Tour Banner.png

I’m reviewing Anne of Avonlea as part of a blog tour hosted by Jess at The Audiobookworm. Stop by the tour page to check out other blogger’s reviews for Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, and Anne of the Island!

DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.