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Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: Frankenstein

Frankenstein Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was surprisingly sad. I'm not quite sure why it's supposed to be horror (although, having read Byron's submission, I can see why it won the contest). I also have no idea where we got any of our modern impressions of the monster- maybe Mary Shelley gives more detail in the later version?
Frankenstein is really quite insane- and not in the evil cackling method I'd expected. He breaks down into tears and loses several months at the slightest provocation. He claims he was just fine before he created the monster (why doesn't it name itself?), but I'm inclined to doubt it. He's constantly depressed and/ or rambling, and he gets scarily obsessed with things.
The monster is... odd. We never really get much of a description for it, just continual complaints that it's ugly. It gives lots of long, eloquent speeches which seems rather strange, but the ones at the end were rather beautiful so I won't complain. I felt bad for it, but it was nearly as unstable as its creator.
The guy telling the story is just boring. He's a random explorer who never even makes it where he's going. I guess he's necessary for the ending, but I think too much time is spent on his letters in the beginning.
This book was much more interesting ethically than I expected it to be. I'm still not sure whether Frankenstein made the right decision, or what else the monster could have done. The writing did drag on at bits- Frankenstein is way too obsessed with describing mountains- but mostly it was really engaging, with very pretty dialogue. It was far more engaging than I thought it would be. I might even read Mary Shelley's other books.

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