Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Mary Shelley 
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Published: 1818

I have never been interested in this story. I'm not sure why I picked it up (curiosity?) but I'm glad I did. This story is one that appeals to our need for revenge. Our desire to put the blame on someone else. To take out our problems on someone else. I felt such an overwhelming pity and hatred for the monster of this story and at the end of the book it was a feeling of despair.  

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

My dear Victor Frankenstein,
You are insane. 
A mind blown reader.

Basically me the first third of the story. Why? Why do something as crazy as collect body parts and assemble a human? Or can it even be considered a human?  Frankenstein's monster had the same parts as a human. He eventually learns to communicate as one. But there was something missing. What makes us human?Something throughout the story is telling you that this creature couldn't possibly be human. At every turn he is destroying something, or thinking something that had you recoiling in horror. But there are humans out there capable of such actions or thoughts. So what makes you human? This book explores that question and leaves you questioning everything you've ever thought about humanity. 

This book is considered a classic horror. A lot of people go for this book because of that and are disappointed. This isn't some Hollywood horror film with a spirit coming out of the walls or floating candles. This is something worse. Victor has created a living, thinking creature that is stronger than the average human being. He then leaves this abomination on its own and spends months waiting for it to show up. That, in my opinion, is a horror. The feelings of deep hatred and self loathing. The fear and anxiety as you wait for something so gruesome to make an appearance. 

(I did not, however, consider this a romance. So if you're reading this book for the romance don't. There is very little love and happiness in this book.)

The monster. *start of long winded explanation* The monster is in fact not Frankenstein. He is Victor Frankenstein's monster. Hence Frankenstein's Monster. If you had no clue about what I just wrote don't worry about it. I didn't know up until a few years ago and in almost every retelling or movie the monster is called Frankenstein *end of long winded explanation*. As I said in the beginning of my review the Monster made me feel both pity and anger towards it. When Frankenstein first creates the monster it can't speak. It was almost like a baby and at times that is what made me pity it. It didn't understand what was happening or the difference between right and wrong. But eventually our monster becomes educated and uses his strength to push Victor around. All my feelings of pity flew out the window at the first murder. Our monster was smart. He was clever with his words and used just the right amount of intimidation to get what he wanted. But at the end of the book I felt depressed. I didn't feel pity or anger I was just depressed. 

This book is not something that can be pinned down. It's very much up to the reader how to perceive it. Mary Shelley created a master piece that, though at times can be boring, keeps you hooked and your mind working. I'd recommend this to a reader. If you're trying to get into classics -- leave this for later. But, if you enjoy books and have taken on some of the bigger classics--  read this one. Its something that I think you need to read to fully understand and appreciate it yourself. 

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