“Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a work of art, spun in a web of interesting ideas on the nature of man. Throughout this book the creature (Frankenstein's monster) goes on a journey of self-discovery where he not only faces the normal trials of man, but of man's bestial nature as well. A fantastic read, an unexpected treasure.”Chase Theodore Guymon wrote this review Thursday, March 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“When I first finished Frankenstein I was glad it was over, primarily because of Victor Frankenstein, the selfish brat that he is. I just couldn't stand how nothing was ever his fault or responsibility, how self-absorbed he was, how uncaring and unkind. I also felt sorry for the monster, who is a victim of circumstance if there ever was one. And then I thought about it some more, after all there has to be more to it than it simply being one of the first novels that are considered modern science fiction for it to have stood the test of time.
The first thing that popped into my mind was "Ok, I can see the moral lesson: don't be like that guy, he's awful". Then the layer of "faults of obsession" registered. Then the cliche "don't judge the book by its cover" surfaced, along with examples from the text and ruminations about what this kind of judging does to the book, as it were. Then the new thought came to mind that although Victor Frankenstein refers to his creature as the monster it is he who is truly monstrous. Not a new idea, but it was new to me. And so I found depth in the novel and looked past the fact that a creature who barely learned to speak was reading the works of prominent philosophers and had no trouble processing and applying it all, or that the scientist is an abhorrent creature. I appreciated the lesson of applying moderation to the pursuit of passions, as well as the lesson of not forgetting those who love you while chasing after a dream. I fully understood why it's still around after almost two centuries.
It's still too slow-paced for the modern reader and the heart-rending terror Mary Shelley was going for is not anywhere as effective as it might have been in the 1800s (I imagine too many episodes of Law & Order, CSI, Criminal Minds and local news broadcasts are to blame for that) but although I didn't love it I still recommend it as an excellent examination of certain sides of the human character and nature, as well as for the value of taking a closer look at the forerunner of an entire literary genre. Just don't expect a mute green creature with bolts sticking out if its neck, that's all Hollywood's doing.”
“Fascinating! Thought provoking.”Imelda Perez wrote this review Thursday, March 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Well, this is only the second work of fiction I have reviewed and the first of its genre that I have ever read. As many may know, the novel is much different than the movie adaptation. In the novel, Frankenstein's "daemon" or "monster" is highly articulate, intelligent, and agile. A creature standing eight foot tall, he scales mountains with superhuman ease and endures temperatures and hardships that would fell a mortal man. Created by Victor Frankenstein from overly large parts (for ease of construction), the good doctor is instantly horrified by his creation and immediately abandons it. Forced to experience life without reference, and rebuffed by humanity, the creature experiences the psychological pain of being rejected for nothing more than his grotesque appearance. Over time he learns to speak and read by secretly observing a family as they teach a newly arrived immigrant the ways of society and language. He first introduces himself to the family's blind patriarch and performs many secret good deeds for them. But disaster soon follows when the sighted members of the family discover the monster and drive him away. This, along with other disastrous encounters with humanity, vow him to destroy his creator, Victor Frankenstein. However, in Chapter 10 we learn of the monster's harrowing life experiences through his own first-person narrative. And though he has unintentionally suffocated Victor's young brother, the monster vows never to kill again, if only the good doctor will make for him a bride to ease his loneliness. Although conflicted, Dr. Frankenstein reluctantly agrees and travels from Geneva to England to complete this work. However, in the midst of his second creation he sees the first monster jeering with delight in the moonlight. Frankenstein contemplates the horror he might unwittingly unleash upon mankind were he to create another terrible beast. At that thought, he destroys the half-made bride, enraging the monster who promises to destroy his creator on his wedding day. This he does by murdering his family members one by one, beginning with Dr. Frankenstein's new wife. At the last, Victor Frankenstein succumbs to grief and exposure near the arctic circle, where he has chased the monster with a view to destroy him. In the last pages, the monster encounters the ship's captain who has befriended Dr. Frankenstein in the last days of his life upon encountering him on an ice floe in polar waters. Indeed, the entire story is told through the captain's letters to his sister. The book ends with the monster confronting the captain and recounting his extreme sadness and conflict at the death of his creator. The monster leaves the captain unharmed after the creature reveals his intention to commit suicide by immolation for all the evil he has caused. By modern horror standards, the book is quite tame. Yet it leaves the reader to contemplate the unintended consequence of mankind's overreach into the affairs of God. The book is all the more remarkable considering that Mary Shelley wrote it after she turned 18 years of age, finishing it and seeing it published at age 19. Despite this, the vocabulary and polished textual style are those of a person easily twice her age, and her knowledge of the Bible, Milton and other works of literature and poetry are all the more remarkable. The book was originally written as a warning against 19th century galvanism; at the time electricity was being applied to animate corpses and many wondered at the possibility of artificial life and contemplated its theological consequences. This debate that has been renewed today in the wake of the abject failure of embryonic stem cell research (in contrast to adult stem-cell research which has shown many benefits). If good lessons are best taught through good stories, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein surely deserves to be read. All the better that the novel is less than 200 pages.”Joseph Colannino wrote this review Sunday, March 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a book that has been ripped apart by Hollywood. It is not the same at all as any of the movies and I think that that is a good thing. It is still not the greatest book ever written”The Reader wrote this review Saturday, March 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not to be missed book. Had fun reading a horror story.”Rohit wrote this review Saturday, March 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very glad I read it. A very different story than what you think it might be based on the movies. Much better than any of the movies, though quite dark.”Glen B wrote this review Friday, March 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book is about a scientest who figures out how to make the dead come to life! And so he collects body parts and puts them all together and makes it real. He made the creacher giant and super ugly! He saw his how ugly he is and he hates the scientesrt who created him. So he punishes him by killing his family and making him live in mysery.”Jakob wrote this review Wednesday, March 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very dark but totally fascinating in terms of themes: human evolution, the monster inside of us, choice, ambition, defining beauty. ”Wendy T wrote this review Tuesday, March 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Tis the season to read a scary tale in its original form. Never knew this story, and it's amazing how the characters have been bastardized for other tales. This is truly a psychological thriller more than anything. Enjoy it! ”Tim Simmons wrote this review Friday, March 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No