Robert Louis Stevenson Book Review (He said…three stars)

Robert Louis Stevenson Book Review (He said...three stars)

Matt Dwyer, Senior Staff Writer

The Suicide Club by Robert Louis Stephenson is a collection of three short stories chronicling the adventures of the Prince of Florizel and his assistant Colonel Geraldine in ninetieth century England.

While out on a late-night exclusion, they meet a strange man who invites them to join his club: the Suicide Club, a society for people who want to end their lives, but lack the courage. The club provides an assisted suicide service, in which one lucky member is chosen to be killed at every nightly meeting.  After their initiation, the Prince and Colonel set out to end the club, facing opposition from the club’s maniacal president. While the book has an intriguing premise and presents imminent conflict, the suspense eventually peters out, especially in the second and third short stories.

In the first of the three short stories, “The Story of the Young Man and the Cream Tarts,”the circumstances of Prince and Colonel created suspense and an immediate threat: after their initiation into the Suicide Club, the Prince was chosen to be killed. I appreciated that this anecdotal conflict was maintained throughout the rest of the first story.

The second short story, “The Story of the Physician and the Saratoga Trunk,” strays from the Suicide Club itself. However, it caught my interest with an immediate threat: the Prince is accused of murder.

The third story, “The Adventure of the Hansom Cab,” however, lacked suspense, only presenting conflict in at the end with a confrontation between the Prince and the President of the Suicide Club.

Although the stories had good premises, as they progressed they became slower and less exciting. The first story was the strongest, with the constant presence of the Suicide Club itself creating intrigue. Also, considering the time of the publication of this book, the language is hard to read and I found it inaccessible, and this prevented me from engaging in the story completely.

I give The Suicide Club three out of five stars.