Mini Reviews: Classics – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Alice in Wonderland, Dracula

 
 

In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a scientist struggles with his morality while his friend tries to solve the mystery surrounding recent events. In Alice in Wonderland, a young girl falls down a rabbit hole and encounters all sorts of strange creatures. In Dracula, an infamous vampire terrorizes a town. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three classics!

*Just a note: I’ve linked to the versions on Amazon that use these covers, but I believe all of these are in the public domain and can be gotten legally for free.


Book Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson | reading, books, book reviews, science fiction, horror, classics
Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Publisher: Public Domain (cover shown: Sterling Children's Books)
Pages: 96
Rating:
 
Review:

This was actually better than I thought it'd be, considering I don't usually like classics. It was more mild than I was expecting (apparently I've seen too many exaggerated references), but also more modern, at least in the sense of being able to relate to the characters and their motives/feelings/actions. The old timey classic's even got jokes! "If he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek." And Utterson (the protag) genuinely wanted to help his friend when he thought he was in trouble which made him likeable to me. So although I can't say I loved it, I did enjoy it for the most part.

 
 
Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Publisher: Public Domain (cover shown: AmazonClassics)
Book Number: Book 1
Genre: Classics, Fantasy
Pages: 74
Rating:
 
Review:

This might be an unpopular opinion, but... Honestly, this sounded like something I would've written when I was ten and was just being "creative" and writing whatever random, made-up stuff came to mind as I went with no real understanding of plot or characters. I can't help but think this wouldn't be a popular book if it weren't somehow already a classic. Literally Alice just grew and shrank a few times, met one creature, met another, met another, etc., and none of what any creature said made any sense. At one point a baby turned into a pig and ran off into the woods. There were also lots of songs and rhymes. The end. Am I missing something? Maybe I'd feel differently if I'd first read it as a kid and felt some nostalgia. The only positive thing I can say is that it had a few lines that were so absurd they did make me smile. But mostly, I'd summarize my thoughts with this oddly perfect quote from the book: "I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it."

 
 
Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker | reading, books, book reviews, horror, vampires
Title: Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Publisher: Public Domain (cover shown: Vintage Digital)
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 349
Rating:
 
Review:

This book took me a while to to read because it took like ten pages for every character to say something as simple as, "I'm doing well," or to write in their journal, "Today we traveled through X city without incident." Eventually I started skimming and skipping whole sections, something I almost never do, because I could see they were just more repetition or long, drawn-out descriptions of unimportant events. Even doing that, it still felt like the book was never-ending. It picked up toward the end when they were finally hunting down Dracula, but even then I was skipping unnecessary parts.

That being said, the story itself and the concept of Dracula were interesting. And it took me a while to warm up to the characters, but I ended up liking them and feeling for them *SPOILER* (even if they made ridiculously bad decisions in regards to not properly protecting Mina and were frustratingly oblivious in not realizing she was being drained). *END SPOILER* I could feel how much they cared about each other and thought their friendships were sweet. So although I do feel there was way too much unnecessary description and long-windedness, I'm glad to have finally read this since I did enjoy certain aspects, and I no longer feel like a disgrace of a vampire book fan.

 
 
 

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  1. Bookworm Brandee

    I love your mini reviews! It’s been a looooong time since I read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dracula. And honestly, I don’t think I read Alice in Wonderland but I did read Through the Looking Glass about 5 years ago (at my son’s request) and I wasn’t all that impressed. But he and I were able to have a nice discussion about it. ;) I had to laugh over your description of DJ&MH being milder than you’d anticipated as well as at your saying Stoker took pages to say a simple sentence. Stoker’s writing, in particular, makes me think of Dickens’ which, although I’m a fan of great detail, kinda bored me with all the detail. ;) Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on these classics, Kristen!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Tbh it’s been years since I read them too, I just take forever to get my reviews posted lol. Seriously though, all the references are big, hulking kind of literal monsters wreaking complete havoc. Honestly that long-windedness is how a lot of classics are!

  2. Ash

    Oh no! I love Alice! Totally understand how it’s not for everyone though. I haven’t read Dracula or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde yet.

  3. ShootingStarsMag

    I think some classics definitely stand the test of time better than others – in terms of writing AND just being more relatable. I’ve never Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but it’s been years now. I remember liking it okay though. The concept is cool. I haven’t read the other two, but I have read many classics in my life. haha I do really love certain ones.

    -Lauren

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Currently: March 2019 Edition

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does seem that some of them are more modern-feeling than others. Honestly it’s been years since I read these too lol, I just take forever to get reviews posted. That’s awesome that you’ve read a lot of classics!

  4. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland a few years ago and didn’t care for it at all. It was much shorter than I thought it would be (which was a good thing, actually) and it just did nothing for me. It was weird and I don’t even think it would have captured my interest as a child.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Same, honestly. I find that most classics, much like Dracula, just have soooo many words that they drag on and on. Retellings are great! I like to read the original before I read retellings though.

  5. Olivia Roach

    I’ve read all of these books. Ready?

    I absolutely hate Alice in Wonderland and I am kind of glad you did too? It’s so awful. It makes no sense at all and it does seem like a kid wrote it. It was just messy. I even pushed on to reading the sequel and still couldn’t get behind the story. I quite liked Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As you said, it reads quite modern? Which is surprising! It was simpler than I thought it would be and of course I knew what would happen, but I liked it. I thought that Dracula was brilliant though. I didn’t love it when I read it because it is so slow… but then I loved it after I read it, when I kept thinking about the details and other little things after finishing. It lingered in my mind for two weeks and it is rare for me when that happens with a book!

    Olivia Roach recently posted: February Wrap Up! [2019]

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeeeeesssss. I always feel so vindicated when other people hate Alic in Wonderland too lol. Oh gosh, I don’t think I can ever bring myself to read the sequel. Jekyll/Hyde really was surprisingly modern! That’s the thing about Dracula. I like a lot of things about it, but all those WORDS made it so slow and kind of a slog to get through. But it is a good book, and I’m glad you ended up loving it!

  6. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I’ve really not read that many classics but I have read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and I am the opposite. Even though I read as an adult I really enjoyed the weirdness of the book. It isn’t logical but it really charmed me somehow, but I suppose that’s books for you, everyone has their own opinion.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ahhhh I just couldn’t with Alice, but I’m glad you liked it! That’s definitely one of the interesting things about books, how we all feel so differently about them :-)