Robert Louis Stevenson originally wrote Dr. Jekyll And Mr Hyde as a "chilling shocker."
He then burned the draft and, upon his wife's advice, rewrote it as the darkly complex tale it is today. Stark, skillfully woven, this fascinating novel explores the curious turnings of human character through the strange case of Dr. Jekyll, a kindly scientist who by night takes on his stunted evil self, Mr. Hyde. Anticipating modern psychology, Jekyll And Hyde is a brilliantly original study of man's dual nature as well as an immortal tale of suspense and terror. Published in 1866, Jekyll And Hyde was an instant success and brought Stevenson his first taste of fame.
Though sometimes dismissed as a mere mystery story, the book has evoked much literary admirations.
Two comic-book veterans condense Stevenson's well-known psychological thriller into 40 pages in this slim graphic-novel adaptation. Following closely to the original, Grant's adaptation portrays the enigmatic Dr. Jekyll, as pursued by the lawyer Mr. Utterson. When Utterson hears rumors of a ruthless maniac named Mr. Hyde, he begins an investigation into Hyde's background. As he deepens his search, he makes the startling discovery that Jekyll and Hyde are actually the same person. Grant's reworking should serve as an adequate introduction for younger readers interested in Stevenson's work. Kennedy's illustrations, while brightly colored, are somewhat flat, with a consistently straight-on point-of-view; the overuse of this angle becomes tiring. As far as graphic-novel adaptations go, this one is rather pedestrian: There are no real standout features, though no glaring detractions. And not much popular appeal, either, unless classics adapted in this form are actively being sought. (Graphic fiction. 10 & up) (Kirkus Reviews)