Author: Daphne du Maurier
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn. From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls — or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions … tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.
I first read this book back when I was in college. I was working on campus during the summer and I’d spend my lunches in the library reading and exploring … I know, I was a nerd. I had already read Rebecca in high school so I knew du Maurier was a great author.
Jamaica Inn is almost as good as I remember! It’s suspenseful, gothic, and kinda scary. I’ll admit that Mary felt a little overdramatic at times, which is why I gave it 4 stars, but when the problems were revealed, most of her reactions became justified. I also found it amusing that du Maurier was obsessed with gender in this book. Every other conversation was, “were I not a woman,” or “if you were a man”. Thankfully, it was mostly said in jest or “what if” scenarios, but it added an interesting perspective to a classic gothic tale. The plot also moved steadily and had a good twist, that I suspected, but was not obvious.
I’m pretty sure that Jem Merlyn was one of my first fictional crushes; he’s adorable! I enjoyed my rereading and I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Eyre-esque stories.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & The Body Snatcher
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustrator: Robert Smith
Published: May 1, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The dark tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson was first published in 1886. The novella went on to become one of the most well-known horror stories of all time and has been adapted for numerous film, TV and stage productions. Here it is retold in graphic format through Robert Smiths visually arresting illustrations.
Also included is the short story The Body Snatcher, a fictionalised account of the exploits of Mr Burke and Mr Hare, two real-life grave-robbers who operated in Edinburgh in 1828.
Anyone who hasn’t read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde needs to drop what they’re doing and go read it right now! It’s a classic tale of horror and the duality of man. Does a man have both angel and demon living within him? Do the actions of his inner demon define him? Obviously, the best is the original short story, but this graphic novel is a pretty good substitute. Normally I don’t like graphic novels, but I decided to give this one a try. I enjoyed it. The art is not Michelangelo by any means, but it’s engaging and colorful and conveys the plot nicely. The Body Snatcher story is also a good one and doesn’t take long. Both stories are creepy and perfect for a quick horror fix. Overall, this book is a good one for those who like graphic novel adaptations!
Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Published: September 17, 1954
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
As provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, Lord of the Flies continues to ignite passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary boys marooned on a coral island has been labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, and even a vision of the apocalypse. But above all, it has earned its place as one of the indisputable classics of the twentieth century for readers of any age:
At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.
What. A. Read. I mean holy cow! I’ll admit that I should have read Lord of the Flies many years ago, but for whatever reason, I just read it recently. I’m actually glad I didn’t read it in high school, ‘cuz I guarantee you, I wouldn’t have understood, nor appreciated it. Plus, I wouldn’t let most teens read it anyway. It’s incredibly mature for teens and I’m not sure it can be justified as high school reading. Maybe senior year . . . Maybe.
It started off slow. I had no idea what was happening. As with much great literature, Lord of the Flies is all about the journey, the growth. I spent most of the book trying to understand what the heck Golding was trying to say. Ivan and my dad kept telling me to stick with it, the ending will be worth it, you’ll get it at the end. That’s the reason it’s getting 4 stars, it did get a bit monotonous in the middle and there was no end in sight. It did get a little frustrating. But I kept reading, and boy were they right! The end is everything! It all comes down to one line and it reveals the entire reason Golding wrote Lord of the Flies. I can’t quote it ‘cuz I don’t want to spoil it. I would absolutely recommend that every college student be required to read Lord of the Flies. And anyone who hasn’t read it yet, needs to! An excellent book!