Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday's Film Adaptation: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called "split personality", referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr. Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

“Did you ever remark that door?” he asked; and when his companion replied in the affirmative, “It is connected in my mind,” he added, “with a very odd story.”

“But I have studied the place for myself,” continued Mr. Enfield. “It seems scarcely a house. There is no other door, and nobody goes in or out of that one but, once in a great while, the gentleman of my adventure. There are three windows looking on the court on the first floor; none below; the windows are always shut but they’re clean. And then there is a chimney which is generally smoking; so somebody must live there. And yet it’s not so sure; for the buildings are so packed together about that court; that it’s hard to say where one ends and another begins.”

Round the corner from the by-street, there was a square of ancient, handsome houses, now for the most part decayed from their high estate and let in flats and chambers to all sorts and conditions of men: map-engravers, architects, shady lawyers and the agents of obscure enterprises. One house, however, second from the corner, was still occupied entire; and at the door of this, which wore a great air of wealth and comfort, though it was now plunged in darkness except for the fan-light, Mr. Utterson stopped and knocked. A well-dressed, elderly servent opened the door.

“Is Dr. Jekyll at home, Poole?” asked the lawyer.

“I will see, Mr. Utterson,” said Poole, admitting the visitor, as he spoke, into a large, low-roofed, comfortable hall, paved with flags, warmed (after the fashion of a country house) by a bright, open fire, and furnished with costly cabinets of oak. “Will you wait here by the fire, sir? or shall I give you a light in the dining-room?”

“Here, thank you,” said the lawyer, and he drew near and leaned against the tall fender. This hall, in which he was now left alone, was a pet fancy of his friend the doctor’s; and Utterson himself was wont to speak of it as the pleasantest room in London. But to-night there was a shudder in his blood; the face of Hyde sat heavy on his memory; he felt (what was rare with him) a nausea and distaste of life; and in the gloom of his spirits, he seemed to read a menace in the flickering of the firelight on the polished cabinets and the uneasy starting of the shadow on the roof. He was ashamed of his relief, when Poole presently returned to announce that Dr. Jekyll was gone out.

“I saw Mr. Hyde go in by the old dissecting room door, Poole,” he said. “Is that right, when Dr. Jekyll is from home?”

“Quite right, Mr. Utterson, sir,” replied the servant. “Mr. Hyde has a key.”

“Your master seems to repose a great deal of trust in that young man, Poole,” resumed the other musingly.

“Yes, sir, he do indeed,” said Poole. “We have all orders to obey him.”

“I do not think I ever met Mr. Hyde?” asked Utterson.

“O, dear no, sir. He never dines here,” replied the butler. “Indeed we see very little of him on this side of the house; he mostly comes and goes by the laboratory.”

It was late in the afternoon, when Mr. Utterson found his way to Dr. Jekyll’s door, where he was at once admitted by Poole, and carried down by the kitchen offices and across a yard which had once been a garden, to the building which was indifferently known as the laboratory or the dissecting rooms. The doctor had bought the house from the heirs of a celebrated surgeon; and his own tastes being rather chemical than anatomical, had changed the destination of the block at the bottom of the garden. It was the first time that the lawyer had been received in that part of his friend’s quarters; and he eyed the dingy windowless structure with curiosity, and gazed round with a distasteful sense of strangeness as he crossed the theatre, once crowded with eager students and now lying gaunt and silent, the tables laden with chemical apparatus, the floor strewn with crates and littered with packing straw, and the light falling dimly through the foggy cupola. At the further end, a flight of stairs mounted to a door covered with red baize; and through this, Mr. Utterson was at last received into the doctor’s cabinet. It was a large room, fitted round with glass presses, furnished, among other things, with a cheval-glass and a business table, and looking out upon the court by three dusty windows barred with iron. The fire burned in the grate; a lamp was set lighted on the chimney shelf, for even in the houses the fog began to lie thickly; and there, close up to the warmth, sat Dr. Jekyll, looking deadly sick.

It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it; and it may be doubted if, from that day forth, Utterson desired the society of his surviving friend with the same eagerness. He thought of him kindly; but his thoughts were disquieted and fearful. He went to call indeed; but he was perhaps relieved to be denied admittance; perhaps, in his heart, he preferred to speak with Poole upon the doorstep and surrounded by the air and sounds of the open city, rather than to be admitted into that house of voluntary bondage, and to sit and speak with its inscrutable recluse. Poole had, indeed, no very pleasant news to communicate. The doctor, it appeared, now more than ever confined himself to the cabinet over the laboratory, where he would sometimes even sleep; he was out of spirits, he had grown very silent, he did not read; it seemed as if he had something on his mind. Utterson became so used to the unvarying character of these reports, that he fell off little by little in the frequency of his visits.

The court was very cool and a little damp, and full of premature twilight, although the sky, high up overhead, was still bright with sunset. The middle one of the three windows was half way open; and sitting close beside it, taking the air with an infinite sadness of mien, like some disconsolate prisoner, Utterson saw Dr. Jekyll.

“What! Jekyll!” he cried. “I trust you are better.”

“I am very low, Utterson,” replied the doctor drearily, “very low. It will not last long, thank God.”

“You stay too much indoors,” said the lawyer. “You should be out, whipping up the circulation like Mr. Enfield and me. (This is my cousin—Mr. Enfield—Dr. Jekyll.) Come now; get your hat and take a quick turn with us.”

“You are very good,” sighed the other. “I should like to very much; but, no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not. But indeed, Utterson, I am very glad to see you; this is really a great pleasure; I would ask you and Enfield up, but the place is really not fit.”

“Why then,” said the lawyer, good-naturedly, “the best thing we can do is to stay down here and speak with you from where we are.”

“This is just what I was about to venture to propose,” returned the doctor with a smile. But the words were hardly uttered, before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded by an expression of such abject terror and despair, as froze the very blood of the two gentlemen below. They saw it but for a glimpse, for the window was instantly thrust down; but that glimpse had been sufficient, and they turned and left the court without a word. In silence, too, they traversed the by-street; and it was not until they had come into a neighboring thoroughfare, where even upon a Sunday there were still some stirrings of life, that Mr. Utterson at last turned and looked at his companion. They were both pale; and there was an answering horror in their eyes.

Thereupon the servant knocked in a very guarded manner; the door was opened on the chain; and a voice asked from within, “Is that you, Poole?”

“It’s all right,” said Poole. “Open the door.”

The hall, when they entered it, was brightly lighted up; the fire was built high; and about the hearth the whole of the servants, men and women, stood huddled together like a flock of sheep. At the sight of Mr. Utterson, the housemaid broke into hysterical whimpering; and the cook, crying out “Bless God! it’s Mr. Utterson,” ran forward as if to take him in her arms.

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of a scientist who unleashes the beast within.

Release Date: December 31, 1931
Release Time: 98 minutes

Fredric March as Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde
Miriam Hopkins as Ivy Pierson
Rose Hobart as Muriel Carew
Holmes Herbert as Dr. Hastie Lanyon
Halliwell Hobbes as Brigadier General Sir Danvers Carew
Edgar Norton as Poole
Tempe Pigott as Mrs. Hawkins
Douglas Walton as Blonde Student
Pat Harmon as Music Hall customer (uncredited)
Arnold Lucy as Utterson (uncredited)

1932 Academy Awards
Best Actor - Fredric March - Won(Tied with Wallace Beery for The Champ)
Best Cinematography - Karl Struss - Nominated
Best Writing, Screenplay - Percy Heath and Samuel Hoffenstein - Nominated

Author Bio:
Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the Western canon.

On December 3rd, 1894, he died of an apparent cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 44.




Book Blitz: Malachi and I by JJ McAvoy

Title: Malachi and I
Author: JJ McAvoy
Genre: Contemporary, Adult Romance, Mystical
Release Date: September 27, 2017
A Contemporary Mystical Romance

What if I told you the greatest love stories ever told—Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Salim and Anarkali, Romeo and Juliet and so many more—are far greater tragedies than anyone has ever realized?

What if I told you that you haven’t been reading a new story… just a new chapter in one epic saga?

If I told you…all of those lovers…were actually the same two souls seeking their happily ever after over and over again, would you believe me?

Would you believe them?
Born again,
Love again,
Part again,
Was their curse.

In this modern era, will they find eternal love or will they be doomed to repeat the cycle forever?

1599 Bhadra (August) – Lahore, Capital of Hindustan, the Mughal Empire. 
“Returning from the war, as I sat by the king’s side, love came to me and asked, ‘Will you die for me? Will you walk through fire for me? Would you forsake the sweetest of wines and the greatest of feasts to never let go of my hand?’”

She glanced up from her instrument, golden rings upon her fingers, dressed in the most beautiful greens and jewels, her feet bare upon red tiles of very best of the courtesan quarters which Emperor Akbar, my father, had given her. Her long, brown braid lay over her shoulder where it spilled onto her lap. Seeking to deny me her smile and the beautiful warmth of her sun-colored eyes, she returned to her instrument, gently playing as she inquired, “And your answer to love was?”

“My answer,” I repeated following the shapes on the ground—green and gold on the other layer, following the pattern to her. “My answer was as love expected.”

“Love expects nothing. Not even love in return,” she murmured, her hands and eyes still fixed on the instrument.

Reaching the red flower pattern right behind her I placed my hand on the side of her cheek and she leaned on it. “My love does,” I whispered as I stroked her cheek. “So I said yes. I said yes to love. What is life without you? Let me die for I wish never to know. What is fire to one whose heart is ablaze? For I am fire for you.”

“And what of wine and feast?” she asked as I sat down beside her.

“That I could not release.” And before she could look away I placed my thumb on her pink lips. “For the sweetest of all wines are your lips, and greatest of feasts are the ones in which I may share with you.”

“Salim.” She giggled. “You are a prince in this life and yet you are still a poet.”

“Anarkali.” I grinned. “Who would not become a poet at the sight of you?”

Author Bio:
J.J. McAvoy was born in Montreal, Canada and is currently studying Humanities at Carleton University. She is the oldest of three and has loved writing for years. She is inspired by everything from Shakespearean tragedies to Pop Culture. Her novel "Ruthless People", out July 17th, hopes to push boundaries and take her readers on a ride through the dark side. Please feel free to stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and youtube, where she video blogs.


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Book Blitz: Red Dagger by HG Lynch

Title: Red Dagger
Author: HG Lynch
Series: Reaper Born Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: August 24, 2015

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Ruairidh is a Demon Hunter, like his father. But when his father is murdered by a demon he was hunting, Ruairidh must move back to Scotland to live with his mother and brother.

He vows to kill the demon who murdered his father, but he struggles to balance Hunting with college, and his hostile brother makes it clear he wishes Ruairidh had never come back.

Doesn’t help that Ru is falling for the girl his brother is crushing on.

Life is going to get very tricky for Ruairidh, but as long as he has his sword and his wits, he’s ready to take on whatever comes at him.

Slowly, he pulled back, and I let out a long breath, feeling like my chest might explode. His eyes were burning emerald as he looked at me, his lashes lowered and his expression serene, like he’d been carrying a huge weight on his shoulders and he’d just let it go. My lips felt damp and a little tender, and when I touched them, I felt a small dent from where his lip-ring had pressed into my skin. Oh God, I was trembling all over. Christ. This man had some insane power over me.
Ruairidh smiled slowly, licking his perfect lips, and my breath hitched in my throat on a sound embarrassingly close to a whimper. His voice, when he spoke, was low and husky, and the deep timbre made the butterflies in my gut kick up wildly. “I’ve been dying to do that for weeks. It was so worth the wait.”

Author Bio:
H.G. Lynch is a Paranormal Romance author from Scotland. She is an avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat off her laptop. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.

Her books are dark paranormal romances.


Red Dagger #1
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Poison Arrow: Reaper Born Novella

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