Chasing Genies in The Bottle Imp

The Bottle Imp by Robert Louis Stevenson




Genre: Classics, Fantasy
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Published: 1891
First Published In: New York Herald
Pages: 56 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts

This was a great story! It was included within my copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeΒ (see my review) so I thought I’d give it a go and it was really funny and quite stressful. It’s all about one man getting caught up with the trickery of a genie bottle, essentially. If you ever get the chance to read it then do.

Wish Granting Genies?

Stevenson has a real knack for story telling and this was incredibly entertaining. Although short, it packs quite the punch with its exciting little adventure. The story follows a Hawaiian man called Keawe who comes into possession of this genie-looking lamp. The man he receives it from explains a couple of things:

  • You can ask from it whatever you want and the imp will grant your wish.
  • You must pass the imp on before you die otherwise you will go to hell.
  • You must sell the imp for less than you purchased it for otherwise it simply reappears back into your possession.

Initially Keawe is a little hesitant and does the smart thing that anyone who’s encountered genie stories before would do: say no and leg it the hell outta there. But he’s eventually persuaded and takes the imp home. Of course, he wishes for several things and discovers that the imp’s powers can grant him wishes in really backwards ways and the story goes from thee.

Short Story Fun

I really enjoyed everything that this book had to offer and I highly recommend reading it. The story certainly didn’t suffer from being short and it felt totally complete from beginning to end. It also has probably one of my favourite endings in a book. Given the circumstances it’s pretty stressful as you don’t quite know where the story is going and whether Keawe will eventually find happiness or not. I was definitely pleasantly surprised by the ending.

I thought the characters were great, too. We obviously don’t get to know them that in depth given the length of the story but they carried the plot well and I just want to give Stevenson a pat on the back for it. The whole story just had me laughing at how clever it all was. I also really loved how unique the setting(s) were for this book. I literally don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Hawaii or explored some of the other places that the characters go to. THIS BOOK.


I recommend reading this because it’s not a big commitment and it’s a great taste of Stevenson’s writing. I’m not a big classic reader on the best of days but having read Dr Jekyll I was certainly interested to nosey around a bit more of his work. In short, this story is a lot of fun. It’s just the perfect story to read and I can’t express enough how fantastic its construction is. I think everyone will enjoy this story! SO GO READ IT!


View all my reviews

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

One thought on “Chasing Genies in The Bottle Imp

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