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02 min 
Issue Three & Reviews

A Review of Anthony O’Neill’s ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’.

Reviewed by Oscar O’Neill-Pugh.

“If he be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek”.

As I went to start working on my first book review, I found myself looking towards my bookshelf. An old paperback copy of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ stared back and I nodded at it in approval. I opened the newly arrived proof of ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’ and started a journey I had no idea I’d needed. In a decade seemingly obsessed with reboots, reunions, remakes and sequels, very few make the return trip worth traveling. What so many of these rehashes fail at delivering is validity. A remake or reboot should feel warranted. Ideally, it would pay homage to the original mythos, engage it in a new and thought provoking way, make it seem perfectly in-line with that property and all the while be well executed. Anthony O’Neill’s ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’ excels on all these fronts. It is a journey that needs to be travelled.

Set seven years after ‘disappearance’ of Dr. Henry Jekyll and the death of Edward Hyde, ‘Dr. Jekyll’ & Mr. Seek’ follows Gabriel Utterson –  the good doctor’s faithful friend, lawyer and ultimately, confidant. Set to take possession of Jekyll’s estate, Utterson is thrown into disarray when a charming gentleman swoops in, claiming to be none other than Jekyll. Of course, this must be the work of an imposter as both the reader and Utterson know that Jekyll was Hyde. However, himself being Jekyll’s sole confidant, Utterson can only look on in horror as this imposter goes about convincing old friends that Jekyll has returned. When mysterious ‘accidents’ start killing off potential doubters and challengers, Utterson is thrown into a frenzy to prove the truth, while not discrediting Jekyll’s name and memory. The reader follows Utterson as he finds his friends turning against him, begins to fear for his life and ultimately, question his own sanity.

Originally, I aimed to write notes and take the book a few chapters at a time, but O’Neill’s masterful use of paranoia, suspense and mystery made me forget my pen and paper even existed. What was supposed to be the first few chapters soon became a full read through. Once I began, I simply couldn’t stop. Anthony O’Neill creates a wonderful narrative that constantly keeps a reader engaged; doubting, questioning and guessing at every turn. The title, taken from a quote from Utterson in the original, illustrates the story a reader is taken on. Even for those who have limited knowledge of, or haven’t read the original, this is a book for you. Without feeling intrusive, O’Neill perfectly blends in recaps, throwbacks and memories from the original story, aiding a new reader without stepping on the coattails of those familiar. As an avid reader, I can say that Anthony O’Neill has written a marvellous story with a fantastic use of language that makes the novel feel authentic to its time period. As a fan of Robert Louis Stevenson’s original, I can also say that ‘Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek’ serves as a true sequel to the original, and a near perfect one at that. It is well worth your penny dreadful.

Issue Three & Poetry

On a wing and a prayer – by Anne Casey

Tiny star twinkling in the mid-morning sun

Minute emissary

Expelled from clustered time

Set adrift to witness the callistemon calyx

Wither and die

So close to fertile ground

 

Parachuting past the brush turkeys

Scruffling and scrounging

Irresistible instinct pressing them

Into early spring service

Beneath the branches where a

Gaggle of galahs cackle and gorge

 

Indifferent to their albino cousin’s difference

His anaemic peculiarity obscured

By whatever kinship lies within

Drifting in the neverspace

Solitary voyager

Cast out of cosy consort

 

Past the pair of kookaburras

Silently surveying their domain

Resolutely unperturbed by the

Noisy miners with their bombing raids

Archly arrowed

Determined to harangue

 

Yearning for the warm earth

To be swallowed up shallowly

Thirsting for the bright, soft rain

To swell and burst you

Into a new magnificence

To rise in glorious reflection

 

And adorn the morning

With your golden crown

Tiny star

Floating on a spring breeze

Aching to arrive

To be reborn

 

Adrift alone

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21 sec 
Fiction & Issue Three

Ubiquitous

By Ed Carmine

 

 The crunch of her palette cleansing salad was a detestably audible as well as visual experience. Her incisors ground the spines of her lightly dressed spinach leaves into a flecky green resin with mechanic precision. My salmon arrived, midway through her bouts of frontal lobe rattling chews and nauseating small talk, drenched in its own juices and lifeless in its bowl.

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15 sec 
Fiction & Issue Three

Avatar

By Evie Kendal

 

‘She’s gifted!’

‘Cursed you mean! Are you sure? How did this happen?’

Lady Maria Wetherford stared at the small creature smiling up at her from the crib. She cooed quietly, sucking on her tiny thumb and giggling periodically – all the while tracking her mother’s movements with unnatural closeness.

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27 sec 
Fiction & Issue Three

Skin

By Charlotte Duff

 

Oscar must be outside. Normally he’s at her by now, nuzzling at whatever part of her body happens to be protruding from the edge of the bed. A cold nose or a nibble on her big toe isn’t the nicest way to wake up, but there it is. And then those brown doggie eyes looking up at her. So she’ll get herself out of bed, bare feet on cold linoleum, to drop some more biscuits in his bowl.

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22 sec 
Issue Three

Dear Drought

By Sarah Giles

Dear Drought,

A long time ago I wrote to you. I wrote to you and I begged you for rain.

Your parched sky and dusty red ground with deep cracks that seemed to grow wider with each passing day. Long black fractures in the chalky clay. The grass was crumbling into dust and blowing away in the wind, leaving the sheep that usually wandered around the paddock out the front, with nothing.

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23 sec 
Fiction & Issue Three

Memories

By Brendan Leigh

The bike bucked as it went over the little bump in the driveway, and I bucked with it. The drain pump would have to be cleaned again this weekend, the refuse that builds up over time been forced out by sheer force of water. Dad had told me that water always followed the path of least resistance, but that when enough force builds up, you’d better move out of the way right quick.

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