Daniel Levin: Hyde

(Courtesy of Goodreads.com)

ImageDaniel   Levine

Are just a few of us truly wicked, or does darkness lurk in all of us? Few classics tackle this question with more pulse-pounding gusto than Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which a respected physician takes a potion that reveals his violent hidden self. The Jekyll/Hyde dichotomy has become shorthand for good juxtaposed with evil, but debut author Daniel Levine felt that there was much more to the story. His historical novel, Hyde, retells the suspenseful tale from the villain’s point of view, imagining how the rougher half of the doctor may have been misunderstood or even manipulated. In Levine’s gritty and chaotic Victorian London, good and evil are not so easily defined, and this moral ambiguity brings some psychological realism to Stevenson’s Gothic thriller. A creative writing teacher hailing from Colorado, Levine shares some of the visual inspiration for his mysterious, and perhaps heroic, Mr. Hyde. 


Goodreads: What hooked you and inspired you to write your own novel about the tortured duo Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? 

Daniel Levine: I first read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in tenth-grade English. Our teacher divided the class into small groups and assigned portions of the novella for us to present to the other students. My two friends and I filmed a dramatic reenactment of our scenes, which included the killing of Carew and Hyde’s subsequent “cover-up.” I played Hyde, scowling and sneering at the camera, and bucking about in the agonizing throes of transformation. Even then I recognized that Hyde was something more than the apotheosis of pure evil, as Jekyll insists. There is a wretched humanity to him, an underdog quality that captured my interest and sympathy. Similarly there is a suspicious aspect to Jekyll’s self-affirmed goodness and innocence. His actions are hardly those of a victim—he flirts with danger and exposure as if he wishes on some level to be caught. The idea for Hyde came to me 15 years later, in my sleep: I woke one morning, staring at my hand, and remembered suddenly the scene when Hyde awakes unexpectedly in Jekyll’s bed, gazing at his own transformed hand. When I went back and reread Stevenson’s novella (the same edition I’d used in high school), my original impressions were strongly confirmed. Hyde was not a mindless monster. He was a vehicle for Jekyll’s deeply suppressed libidinal urges, an avatar through which Jekyll could behave as constrictive Victorian society—and his own exacting scruples—would never allow him to behave. The story isn’t a parable of good and evil. It’s a psychological case study of a man at war with his own animal instincts and a commentary on the masks all humans must wear in order to function in civilization and appear “normal.” I am very aware of this split within myself, the battle between primal impulse and proper etiquette. I wanted to explore this schism and give the misunderstood and maligned Hyde the chance to tell his side of the story at last. 

To carry on reading the story click here.


Gone by Julie Elizabeth Powell

Gone by Julie E. Powell

A two year old girl’s heart stops and she dies but is brought back too late, her memories wiped, character vanished. One question haunts her mother’s anguished mind: Where had her daughter gone? This story is one answer to that question. Inspired by truth.

After Charley dies in her office chair, how is it that she finds herself propelled into the mysterious world of Avalon?

Upon encountering an essence, which insists is her daughter – the one she knows she left behind – insanity battles with fear inside her mind.

The further she delves, the more puzzling things appear, especially after she rises into the Orb of Caprice – a realm of fairies, talking flowers and goblins…and something else, something that lurks in the shadows ready to swallow her whole.
Can she realize in time what it is she must do…or has she left it too late?

Unique fantasy is the genre that many have given this book, a tale that’s inspired by true events. I think this is a book different to a lot of others, the blurb says it all! So if you’e looking for something a little more unusual then why don’t you pick this book up?

A big book for January 2014

A big book for January 2014

Here’s one of the books that has been growing in popularity a lot this month: Red Rising.

The war begins…

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable – and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda…

Genre: Dystopian, War, Epic, Teen, Adult, Science Fiction Fantasy

Some facts about Books.

Here are some interesting facts about books you might not have known!

  1. Over 20,000 books have been written about the game Chess.
  2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo has one sentence that is 823 words long. When Victor wrote to his editor inquiring about their opinion of the manuscript, he wrote, “?” And they answered, “!”
  3. In America 57 books are bought each second.
  4. It took Noah Webster 36 years to write his first dictionary.
  5. If you read, the chances of you getting Alzheimer’s Syndrome decreases two and a half times!
  6. Edgar Allan Poe wrote about death and all other things dark and macabre. His life itself is a pretty dark story. But his themes and his life are not the most creepy details about Mr. Poe. He wrote a short story in 1838, titled “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.” In the story, three shipwreck survivors in an open boat kill and eat the fourth man, named Richard Parker. In 1884, (almost 50 years LATER) three real-life shipwreck survivors in an open boat killed and ate the fourth man, whose name was also Richard Parker. Weird coincidence. 
  7. Shakespeare makes Lear, whose character was an early Anglo-Saxon King, mention spectacles. In Macbeth, who dies in 1054, and when writing of King John’s reign in 1200, Shakespeare mentions cannons. A clock strikes three in Julius Caesar. What’s wrong with these things? Spectacles, cannons and clocks were not invented until the fourteenth century, long after the times in which he set these tales. The lesson for you here: Research IS necessary.

So there’s your facts, I hope you all read at least one thing mildly interesting. 🙂


My review of Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where to start with this book? It was amazing! Yes that sounds good. When I was reading the first page or so, if I’m honest with you I thought this was going to be a boring high school romance or something like that. I wasn’t in the mood for all that soppy teenage romance, because let’s be honest it get’s old, it gets boring. 
So as you can imagine I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it wasn’t the plain book I thought it was going to be. The first clue was the ‘static electricity’, why I do not envy Marsha for that. Imagine not having a phone, a proper computer, or any of the electrical devices we have now, well having them but braking them!
I don’t like Bri, that section in the middle of the book so mean towards Marsha, luckily it all gets sorted out so I’m not quite sure what the point of including that in the story was, it seemed so petty compared to all the other drama going on and it was sorted so quickly it was like it didn’t actually happen…. Overall, this better be a series, I loved the storyline (most) of the characters. I don’t believe how fast the pages went by, I just couldn’t stop reading it, I made so many excuses to sneak away to read a few pages!

To see my full review click on this link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/739718185