Seeking Hyde

Seeking Hyde

by Thomas Reed


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Thomas Reed’s debut novel,Seeking Hyde, recounts the fascinating history of Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic horror story,Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is the tale of a young author defying his father’s wishes by becoming a spinner of romantic yarns. It is the tale of his American wife, ten years older than he, driving her husband hard to write one more great novel before his chronic lung disease carries him away. It is the tale of Stevenson reeling under charges from the mother of an old friend that he had fueled her son’s fatal alcoholism through his recklessly Bohemian ways.

Seeking Hydesticks closely to the biographical record as Robert Louis Stevenson struggles to write another book to be the successor toTreasure Island. After the infamous two characters, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, take form in a dream, Stevenson writes passionately for three days, convinced that he has crafted his masterpiece. His wife Fanny, a willful and demanding gypsy, offers a scathing critique, obliging him to start over from the beginning. While the revised tale is published to great acclaim, it is ultimately blamed for inspiring a gruesome series of murders in London’s East End. From that tragic historical irony,Seeking Hydemoves beyond the actual story of howJekyll and Hydecame to be to explore the realm of “what if?” Desperate to address his own guilt, Stevenson enters the dark underworld of Victorian London. As he follows a twisted path through this midnight landscape, the author-turned-detective wrestles with the social demons of prostitution, police corruption, and the hypocrisy of powerful men—ultimately coming face-to-face with Jack the Ripper himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825308833
Publisher: Beaufort Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Pages: 350
Sales rank: 1,181,341
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Thomas Reed has spent twenty years exploring, teaching, and writing about the life and times of Robert Louis Stevenson. His non-fiction book, The Transforming Draught: Jekyll and Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the Victorian Alcohol Debate (McFarland, 2006), examines the outsized role of Drink in Stevenson’s career and culture. In the course of his research, Reed stumbled across a profound historical irony rooted in the social impact of Stevenson’s famous novel. Only by stepping into the realm of fiction could he explore the strange turnings of the author’s fate in a way they positively cried out for.

Thomas Reed studied at Yale, the University of Virginia, and Oxford, and spent three decades teaching Victorian and medieval literature at Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He recently moved to Sarasota, Florida, to take up writing full time, where he lives with his wife Dorothy and writes each day at his grandfather’s antique desk. On occasional afternoons, they stroll to the local tiki bar to enjoy the sunset and raise a glass to the spirit of Stevenson. 

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Seeking Hyde 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished this book and immediately wanted to re-read it. In this compelling novel, Reed seamlessly blends scholarly research with accessible, engaging narrative, breathing such life into the characters that I promptly missed them after reading the final line. His Robert Louis Stevenson is both keenly intellectual and charmingly irreverent, humanly flawed and fiercely loyal; Fanny is a winning combination of wit, audacity, and tenderness. The novel offers fascinating insights into the darkness of human nature and the process of creating fiction, but it is also a flat-out good story. Accessible, clever, and fun, Seeking Hyde is that rare novel that thrills both the casual reader and the scholar.
Harry214 More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, my expectations were low when I began to read Seeking Hyde. I was less than savvy toward Robert Louis Stevenson's life and work, with Treasure Island and Jekyll & Hyde being only names to me. However, it only took a chapter for the book to really engross me. Reed writes with energy and care - he is able to translate what appears to be years of meticulous research into such concise prose that is easy for the eyes, all without losing any emotion or beauty in the process. You really care for the characters and their relationships in this book. Furthermore, for thriller fans, the last few 'Jack the RIpper' chapters build to a relentless cat-and-mouse pursuit that kept me up at night flipping pages. Stevenson scholars will definitely get a kick out of the twist to his life story, but this historical fiction truly is a cerebral and sensational read for all.
Saxonking More than 1 year ago
It’s hard to decide if you like this novel better for its cleverness and story or for the sheer sight of its scholarship. Reading “Seeking Hyde” is a trip back to England in the late 1880’s, full of the language, sights and attitudes of the day. The central moral question, the responsibility of an author for the affect of his creation, is resolved by intrigue and action. Seeking Hyde is a tour-de-force of scholarship and story-telling.
JackPrice More than 1 year ago
Thomas Reed’s Seeking Hyde is a box of chocolates for readers with a sweet tooth for Victorian thrillers. Scholarly grounded, yet highly readable and ultimately entertaining, Reed extrapolates a fantasy incarnation of Robert Louis Stevenson that is both credible and romanticized in his depiction of the author of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. An exceptional effort that provokes both psychological and philosophical questions, answering some, leaving others as substance for future writings by Reed. A very creative novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought "Seeking Hyde" from B&N a week or so ago. I loved it! Great writing, exciting adventure, and insight into one's responsibilities as a human being ... historical & fiction at its best. A great read. Thank you Thomas Reed for really introducing me to Robert Louis Stevenson!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thomas Reed's Seeking Hyde is an interesting and provocative work that uses the real life story of renowned author Robert Louis Stevenson as a jumping off point for a story whose narrative twists and turns, combined with some probing psychological inquiry, make for a most satisfying reading experience. I must acknowledge that I have known the author for many years, going back to a time when we worked together at a summer camp, but as he pursued a scholarly career as a college English professor, I went into secondary school teaching where my focus on American history and Government, made non-fiction the core of my reading. However, what began as an effort to see how an old friend had done became a reminder of the power of good fiction, of how a skilled writer can make us not only care about his characters but how he can also take us on a journey that takes us out of our current world and into another time and place. A cliche perhaps, but when it is done in a way that also leaves us thinking twice about the person we see staring back when we look in the mirror it is a powerful effort. Indeed, in the course of weaving a mystery--one that combines enough realty that this American history teacher came away with a much better sense of life in Stevenson's late nineteenth century Great Britain--one that is rooted in some intriguing and powerful questions about what it is that motivates people as well as where our words and actions may lead, Reed had given us a book whose richness of language and skillful writing only further the power of the most satisfying and thought provoking read. Hopefully it will not be the now retired Professor Reed's last work.