Summary and book reviews of Hyde by Daniel Levine

Hyde
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2014,
    416 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Bob Sauerbrey

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Book Summary

What happens when a villain becomes a hero?

Mr. Hyde is trapped, locked in Dr. Jekyll's surgical cabinet, counting the hours until his inevitable capture. As four days pass, he has the chance, finally, to tell his story - the story of his brief, marvelous life.

Summoned to life by strange potions, Hyde knows not when or how long he will have control of "the body." When dormant, he watches Dr. Jekyll from a remove, conscious of this other, high-class life but without influence. As the experiment continues, their mutual existence is threatened, not only by the uncertainties of untested science, but also by a mysterious stalker. Hyde is being taunted - possibly framed. Girls have gone missing; someone has been killed. Who stands, watching, from the shadows? In the blur of this shared consciousness, can Hyde ever be confident these crimes were not committed by his hand?

Day One

Morning

Henry Jekyll is dead.

I whisper the words and then listen, as if I've dropped a stone into a well and await the plunk and splash . . . But inside my head there is only silence. All around me a chorus of celebratory noises fills the void: the simmering pop of the coals in the stove, the nautical creak of the whole wooden cabinet, and a faint, high-pitched cheeping from beyond the windows that sounds almost like baby birds. Here I sit in Jekyll's chair by these three encrusted casement windows, with his mildewed overcoat draped about my shoulders like a travelling cloak. My journey's end. The transformation has never felt so smooth before. No spinning sickness, no pain. Just a gentle dissolution: Jekyll evaporating like atomic particles into the air and leaving me behind in the body. This time for good.

Extinction. That was the word Darwin used in his book, which Jekyll befouled weeks ago and then dumped from the chamber pot out the window (no ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

There’s much hidden in Hyde and much also hiding in Jekyll, perhaps even from himself. And us? How many of our hidden desires and thoughts would we wish to act out and at the same time still deny? What shameful horrors appear in our dreams? In Hyde, Daniel Levine shines a light that passes through Jekyll and Hyde to fall on each of us who must question the reality of our judgments on our own lives – and what does that tell us about the judgments we so readily make about others?   (Reviewed by Bob Sauerbrey).

Full Review Members Only (1244 words).

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Cleverly imagined and sophisticated in execution, this book may appeal to those who like magical realism and vampire stories, but the latter should know that the book is more intellectual than thriller.

Booklist

A fascinating companion piece to a classic story.

Library Journal

Levine's debut novel is deviously plotted but relies a great deal on readers having a close familiarity with the parent text, while the anachronistically graphic descriptions of sex and violence may be off-putting for some. On the other hand, readers who enjoy the grittier crime fiction of Dennis Lehane, James Ellroy, and John Connolly might give it a try.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This ambitious first novel provides an alternate perspective on Jekyll's chemical experiments on the split personality.

Author Blurb Jon Clinch, author of Finn
You may think you know Dr. Jekyll, but this Hyde is a different beast altogether.

Author Blurb Ronald Frame, author of Havisham
Prepare to be seduced by literary devilry! Go back to Victorian times to find a very postmodern whodunit. Visceral prose, atmosphere you could choke on, characters who seem to be at your very shoulder.

Author Blurb Patrick McGrath, author of Asylum
Hyde brings into the light the various horrors still hidden in the dark heart of Stevenson's classic tale of monstrosity and addiction. Devious and ingenious, it is a blazing triumph of the gothic imagination.

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Seek What Hides: The Shadow

Richard Mansfield as Jekyll/HydeRobert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Daniel Levine's Hyde deal with the experience of fragmentation or alienation in our human experience. This is not a new insight, but one that has baffled humanity for millennia. Plato saw two worlds - one ideal, good, and true, and the other material, limiting, and ultimately false. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, speaks of what he feels to be two persons struggling within: "What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise." (Romans 7:15 MSG) The search for one's true self has pervaded literature, both in the East and West. In the Western tradition, the answer to the ...

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