Review: Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Frankenstein / Dracula / Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (Signet Classics)Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / 0-451-52363-6

The classic three foundational works of horror, and the inspiration for dozens if nor hundreds of movies, are packaged here together in an attractive tight package.

"Frankenstein" is something of a love-it-or-hate-it work and I will confess of falling on the more heretical side of that equation - there's a strong didactic feel to the work and Shelley comes off a little too hand-wringing and pearl-clutching for my taste. All well and good to create a monster who is turned evil by society, but the author really must trust the reader to understand this on their own, without little "this means, of course..." moralizing asides every five pages. However, if you can get past Shelley's distracting narrative lurches, the story itself is quite superb.

"Dracula", arguably *the* foundational vampire novel, is included here and shows off the diarist form of narration so popular at the time. ("Dear diary, you won't BELIEVE who just materialized in my room...") This is always an interesting tact for a horror novel because it can mean that the suspense is lost (if you're alive enough to write the diary entry, then where is the drama?) but Stoker bypasses this problem nicely - the race here is not to "stop the vampire" or "stay alive" but rather to hunt and destroy the vampire forever, before Mrs. Harker can be completely corrupted. The hunt is a superb one, although I am biased - Dracula is one of my favorite classics.

Last, but never least, is "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". This short story is surprisingly short indeed, and it is a testament to how superbly the story is written that this short story has inspired so many movies and dramas. This is a wonderful addition to any collection and it is delightful that it is included here.

~ Ana Mardoll

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