March 28, 2013

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley



First Published in 1818
Categories: Horror, Classic
Source: My own copy

Description:

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? 

My Thoughts:

I think I like the story of how this book came to be better than I liked the actual book. With that said, I'm glad that I read this classic novel.

Frankenstein must have been extremely chilling when it was first published. I can see why it was so popular. It's a  creepy tale that brings up all types of moral questions. To my modern mind it wasn't terrifying. It was more of a "meh" type of scary.

All the monster really wanted was to love and be loved in return. He begged for friendship. He pleaded with Dr. Frankenstein to create a companion for him. When these things weren't forthcoming he turned to furious revenge.

“Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and detested.” 

“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.” 

Frankenstein deserves the classic label for it's longevity and timelessness. While the tale isn't as scary as it once was, wonderful writing and fine craftsmanship never go out of style.

The Classics Club

40 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to read this. Matilda is a short novella that I read a couple of years ago. She was a tortured soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to read that too Heidi. I'm very interested in Shelley as a person now. I'd like to know more about her. It sounds like she had quite a life.

      Delete
    2. Sometimes reading the biography of the author and the author's family sheds light on the book.

      Delete
  2. I've always thought that the real monster was Dr. Frankenstein and thought the "monster" was just a lost and lonely child.

    Kendal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great point Kendal! Dr. F creates and abandons him :(

      Delete
  3. I just read Frankenstein as my Classics Spin title!

    http://jackiemania.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/a-musing-frankenstein/

    I was really surprised how sad the book made me. While I agree with Kendal that Dr. Frankenstein acted more the monster by overreaching nature and abandoning his creation, I wonder if it is one of our faults as humans. We can see so many examples of it today -- even worse than Dr. Frankenstein!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link, I'm glad I was able to read your review! I thought about saving this one for spooky Halloween time but..nah :)

      We do see examples of that today, sadly.

      Delete
  4. Indeed he was just looking to be loved. I thought that the way the wanting of warmth and kindness was turned to hate and murder was very affecting. I think such a twisting of positive emotions is the real horror here.

    The story behind the writing of the book is a great one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian, such a good point! You always make me think :)

      Isn't it interesting? It makes me want to learn more about her life story.

      Delete
  5. I haven't read it yet, but I think your last point there says it all. It might not be scary, but in a way that today just draws more attention to what it explores, what it has to say. I haven't read the back story so thank you for the link!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm fascinated by the back story but then I usually am ;) I hope you do read this Charlie, I'd be very interested in your take!

      Delete
  6. I read this book in college for a class called The Enchanted Imagination (great course title, no? don't you want to take the class?) :)
    Let's see if this goes through - if so, I can finally comment on your blog, Jen! I hope you'll continue to visit mine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kelly!! It's you! I'm so glad you're able to comment now :)

      I would love to take that class, fab title!

      Delete
  7. I have this one on the shelf and have not started it yet.... a bit nervous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be too nervous Sheila! It's not an easy breezy read because of when it was written. The language is dense so you have to pay attention a bit more..you know what I mean I'm sure!

      Delete
  8. I haven't read this one before but now, after reading your post, I'm not as scared away as I once was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's morally scary but not scary scary. If that makes sense? ;)

      Delete
  9. I don't really like scary so this might be perfect for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might be! It makes you think, that's for sure.

      Delete
  10. I've never read Frankenstein, because I thought it would be too scary. Now I just might have to. Thanks for the awesome review.

    I've nominated you for the no-strings-attached, no rules, Your Blog is Fabulous Award. Because it really is :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet Ang! It's not terrifying at all. Not to me anyway and I'm a wimp!

      Thanks so much you peach you!

      Delete
  11. I read this book in college. I think it must have been much scarier when it was published. After all, we live in a world now where amazing things are achieved through science all the time but the people of Shelley's time were very wary of science.

    I'm glad you got the chance to read this one! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I thought too. Back in the day this must have brought people to their knees in horror!

      Me too Lindsey, thanks :)

      Delete
  12. A few years ago I picked up Dracula and started reading it. It wasn't until I was halfway through that I had an out-loud epiphany that I was reading Frankenstein. I was sooo confused as to why there were no vampires and my husband still refuses to let me forget that I read so much I that I literally read the wrong book.

    But, I loved Frankenstein (even though there were not any vampires). And in my defense - the spines are similar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That story cracks me up! Now that I've read Frankenstein I can totally see how that would happen though. You don't get to the meat of these stories for a while. I didn't see the name "Frankenstein" until I was half way through the book. I'm thinking that Dracula is similar in that way. I'll be reading that as well but I'll probably save it for October so I have some Halloween reading.

      Delete
  13. You are doing so good on your classic club choices. I've only read one so far. I am so swayed by new publications right now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I have to MAKE myself read them at times. It's not that I don't love them, but those new shiny books are so damn tempting ;)

      Delete
  14. I agree, wonderful writing never goes out of style. I felt the same way about Dracula. It wasn't scary now, but I'm sure it was scary and shocking back when it was published. I do like Frankenstein the film, the one with Robert DeNiro in it. I always felt bad for the monster who just wanted to be loved. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know that DeNiro did a Frankenstein film! How in the world did I miss that? I'll be looking for that now :) Thanks for the heads up!

      Delete
  15. I never did manage to get through either Dracula or Frankenstein. Not sure why. But, I keep thinking I need to eventually give them another go . . . maybe in the fall. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking of reading Dracula in the fall as well. It's a good time for that sort of book :)

      Delete
  16. i totally agree that Mary Shelley's life and the birth of this story is a bit more interesting than the story itself. However, I did enjoy the story and I agree...the creature just wanted to be loved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if there is a decent biography of her out there? There has to be, right? Hmm..another book to look for, lol. Thanks for visiting me!

      Delete
  17. I am a bit scared to read this book, even after you've said it isn't that scary. The same way I feel about Dracula by Bram Stoker.

    Sooner or later I might pick up both, for now I'll hold out :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a HUGE fan of scary either so I understand your trepidation ;)

      Delete
  18. Glad to see your review and that it was only sorta scary. It's on my classics club list as well, or I think it is. I look forward to reading it, I think it's interesting the book focuses on the more emotional effects of being a "monster." Monsters have feelings too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feel bad, I always forget exactly which books are on my CC list ;) It's hard to remember when you have 50/60 books listed, lol.

      Delete
  19. I am starting my Classics Spin tomorrow! I know, I'm late, but better late than never!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhh yea, this is your spin book isn't it?? Good luck, I hope you dig it!

      Delete
  20. Yes, the genesis of this story is about a charming story as you'll find. I'd have loved to eaves dropped on those fireside chats.
    My review: http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/2015/02/frankenstein-or-modern-prometheus-by.html

    ReplyDelete