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Frank McLynn's authoritative biography (Random House; 567 pages; $30) portrays the Scottish author of "Treasure Island" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" as the frail, yet flamboyant hero of an extraordinary short life. An invalid born into a wealthy Victorian family ruled by a strict father, Stevenson grew into a romantic wanderer, searching for a climate his bleeding lungs could tolerate. "McLynn tells his story with grace and skill," says TIME critic John Skow. "Only a dull reader will finish this biography without heading for the library to search out a complete edition of Stevenson's marvelous but now mostly unread short tales."