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Strange Trial of Mr. Hyde

New Look at the Nature of Human Evil

By (author) John A. Sanford
Format: Hardback
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States
Imprint: Joanna Cotler Books
Published: 30th Sep 1987
Dimensions: h 220mm
ISBN-10: 0062507613
ISBN-13: 9780062507617
Barcode No: 9780062507617

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Kirkus US
A Jungian analyst and Episcopalian priest, Sanford had the notion of continuing Stevenson's classic tale, in order to give a fictionalized account of the subsequent trial of Edward Hyde. The premise is useless as Edward Hyde was dead by the end of Stevenson's story. Nevertheless, we start out with an introduction of crushing banality: "We see certain things people do as good and desirable and other things as evil and abhorrent." Then we learn that we "encourage" good actions and "discourage and may even punish as crimes" the bad. After this news, we are scarcely ready for the exercise that follows: Not a single cliche of courtroom doings has been omitted here. "The jury sat stiffly. . .The advisers sat stiffly. . ." The prose sits stiffly too, as unconvincing dialogues are offered as an excuse for philosophical blather: "I cannot say that I agree entirely with this argument. Can we say that fictional characters have an existence of their own?" There is the expected "low murmur of disbelief" that "becomes audible" in the courtroom, and the district attorney is actually described as playing a game of "cat and mouse" with the witnesses. When a defendant stops speaking, sure enough, "the courtroom" is "hushed." This farrago of literary ineptitude adds up to the main substance of the book. The remainder is notes and commentaries on the above. (Kirkus Reviews)