by Marcus Kaulback | Slowing down a little and breaking out a good book is never a bad idea. But what to read? You could walk into any bookstore and roll the dice on a recent release, but here’s another option: pick up a book that you last put down 5, 10, or 20 years ago. For the next book in Scout’s Read It (Again) series, we’re checking Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.
Why You Should Read It Again: Classic is too weak a word to describe this novella, the very title of which has come to occupy a space in the lexicons of psychiatry and sociology. This “fine bogey tale” suffers though from its notoriety, for everybody and their dog now knows the mystery of who Mr. Hyde is. Nevertheless, the beautiful language and effusive description Stevenson employs on every page really do transport you to the streets and parlours of Victorian London…and isn’t some kind of transportation the point of every good novel.
Pair It With: Wait for a truly wet day and repair to the basement of the Alibi Room, housed in a DTES heritage building on Alexander Street. Get (re)acquainted with the academic and gentlemanly Dr. Jekyll and the irascible and remorseless Mr. Hyde over your own personal transforming draught (preferably the limited release from Iain Hill at Yaletown Brew Pub that Alibi is currently pouring). Described as an Imperial Stout with a “hefty whiskey kick”, it weighs in at about 9% ABV, and promises to give you that bubbly feeling Jekyll knew all too well: “There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body…”