Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Review: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley book cover and review
For a classic novel, Frankenstein is fairly easy to follow and kept my interest.

If you don't know the story, here are the basics. First of all, remember Frankenstein is the doctor that created the monster.  Many people mistakenly believe that the monster is Frankenstein.  Victor Frankenstein is a talented scientist and becomes obsessed with creating a living being from parts of other beings. He finally brings life to this hideous creature, who he then allows to escape (one of the fallacies of this plot, but just let it go.)

The reader gets the perspective of the creature, as he struggles to survive and become a part of society. No way that's going to happen, because he's too hideous.  He reveals himself to a blind man and is just about successful, but no, we can't allow that to happen or we wouldn't have a story. We also get the perspective of Frankenstein as he realizes this creature is wreaking havoc and is out to get Frankenstein and steal away everything dear to him.

Shelley does a good job of building tension and also sympathy.  But at the same time, I thought Frankenstein (the character) was really stupid at times.  And some of the monster's evolution was a bit far-fetched (Of course.  I get that is to be expected), and his abrupt change of heart at the end was not very credible. Frankenstein's evolution, however, is what makes the story a classic, I think.  His abject misery and eventual breakdown are utterly heartbreaking.

It sounds like I didn't enjoy Frankenstein, however, I did. With all it's plot holes and suspension of belief, I appreciated the feelings evoked and all the trials and tribulations associated with the story. Shelley is good at creating an atmosphere that gives you chills.  It's a classic and worth the read.

Published by Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones, 1818
eBook obtained from Serial Reader
280 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. This seems to be one classic that is constantly misrepresented. I haven't ever read it and probably won't as I am not a big classics fan. That's not a good thing to admit, I realize.

    1. I'm not a big classics fan either, although Serial Reader has helped me. It's nothing to feel bad about. At least we read! And...I'm currently reading "Judging a Book by Its Lover." Teaches you how to fake having read classics and other popular books. It's fun. You should check it out.

  2. I don't know why but I don't judge classics they way I judge other books. It's not that their stagnate in time, but I do think their time period plays a huge role in the book and its impact. For me, Frankenstein is a horror story because of the human and not the monster. I don't think I ever looked at it at the 21st century science lens.


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