Category Archives: Friday Firsts

Friday Firsts: Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Today’s Friday First:

Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable.

  • Book: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Genre: Gothic, Mystery, Classics
  • ISBN: to many printings to post just one ISBN
  • Publication date: 1886
  • Summary (from Amazon): The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a “shilling shocker” in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.
  • Average review (from Amazon) 4/5

Not the most exciting first sentence, but keep reading it gets better.

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Friday Firsts: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Surprising as it may seem by going through my archives, I am currently reading Brave New World.

So for today’s Friday First, its opening line:

A SQUAT grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and, in a shield, the World State’s motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY.

  • Book: Brave New World
  • Author: Aldous Huxley
  • Genre: Sci-Fi, Classics
  • ISBN: to many printings to post just one ISBN
  • Publication date: 1932
  • Summary (from Amazon): Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…
  • Average review (from Amazon) 4.3/5

This first sentence (OK, two sentences) completely hooked me. I just wanted to keep on reading to know what were all those things being mentioned and understand that motto.

So far, I still don’t know if I’ve been cleverly tricked into reading a book with just a good catch or an actual good book. I guess there is a reason why it is a classic, but then again, a lot of people may be giving it good reviews just to sound more intellectual than they are. I’ll keep you posted on that one.


Don’t forget to visit the Friday Firsts page to see all the other posts.


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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Friday Firsts


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