Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Other Stories | R.L. Stevenson

I have finished the 'other stories' included in my R.L. Stevenson book, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories". I've read "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" twice previously, and it's still possible that I'll give it another read. I'll present a brief synopsis of each of the short-stories to the reader, who could pick up any number of editions of Stevenson short-stories, or a few in isolation.

The Bottle Imp - a story about an imp in a bottle, who grants the owner any number of wishes he/she would like to have. However, if the possessor of the bottle dies while in ownership, that person is confined to hell for eternity. As such, each owner is liable to get rid of the bottle while in his/her possession and find a new owner - who must pay a sum less than what it was sold to them from the previous owner. What happens when that sum falls to 1 cent? Find out.
Markheim - about a man who burglarizes a pawn shop and confronts the devil. He ultimately has to make a choice regarding the morality or lack thereof, of his life.

The Beach of Falesa (see previous post)

Thrawn Janet - a wife of a parishioner who dies suddenly after a dark man passes through Ireland, believed to be an apparition. The wife comes back as a ghost and had an encounter with her holy former-husband.

The Isle of Voices - A man, intrigued by his father-in-law's never ending source of 'new' gold coins, travels with him to the isle of voices to find out how these coins came to be. He asks to return to the isle to collect some coins for himself. Whilst in transit to the island, the father-in-law turns into a giant and leaves him in the middle of the ocean. Eventually, the man finds the island (a place where people move about unseen, where only voices are heard). There's an interesting twist at the end, which I will not divulge.

Will O' The Mill - a story about a boy who dreams of what it's like to travel down the river into the valley, away from his hometown. When he admits this to a traveller staying at his inn, this traveller convinces him that a simple life without want of a change of scenery, is the key to happiness.

The Bodysnatcher - medical students who work for a man who brings them cadavers to dissect, eventually dig up the grave of a woman and realize they've dug up something they did not anticipate.

Providence and the Guitar - a story about what it means to be 'an artist' and why choosing the path of something you love is more important than choosing what society respects.

The Enchantress - a story about a woman who enchants a beggar who has lost all his wealth in a casino. He falls in love with her and she takes advantage of him... but how?

Robert Louis Stevenson has a way of making you sit on the edge of your seat, reading as quickly as possible to get to the ending. The moral is often quite simple and often non-noteworthy, but the story in itself captivates. Adventure is never lacking and intrigue, mysticism and fables give the reader something that lasts in the mind.

No comments: