Friday, June 6, 2008

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

Rating: 10/10

Published: 1818
Number of pages: 279

Started: 23 May 2008
Finished: 2 June 2008

Summary (taken from blurb):
Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with the secret of resurrecting the dead. But when he makes a new 'man' out of plundered corpses, his hideous creation fills him with disgust.

Rejected by all humanity, the creature sets out to destroy Frankenstein and everyone he loves. And as the monster gets ever closer to his maker, hunter becomes prey in a lethal chase that carries them to the very end of the earth.

Comments (possible spoilers):
I loved this book. It took me a while to get into it (through no fault of the book's), but once I did I thought it was a terrific read, and not at all what I had expected. I thought the story would dwell a lot more on the creation of the monster itself, but in fact it was more concerned with the consequences of Frankenstein's actions.
Speaking of which, Victor's actions often baffled me (for example, when he turned his back on the monster without trying to find out where he went and without considering what he might have unleashed on the world).

I saw a theatre production of The Phantom of the Opera a few nights ago and I couldn't help but make comparisons between the Phantom and Frankenstein's monster. Both are shunned by the people who created them, and by society as a whole, through no fault of their own. They yearn to be loved by good people but ultimately their unhappiness consumes them and they turn to a life of violence in the misguided hope of getting what they want. I found it interesting that the people who rejected them were good people, but they ultimately suffered greatly because they were unable or unwilling to look beyond the surface of what they were faced with.

They are both truly tragic tales and I found them to be really heart-rending. Some of what Frankenstein's monster said really struck a chord with me, and I sympathsised with him a great deal (well, until he became violent). Very, very highly recommended.


white rabbit said...

Hi Kylie! did you know Mary Shelley was about 19 when she wrote 'Frankenstein'?

Kylie said...

I did indeed - had to keep reminding myself of it when I was reading the book. What a remarkably talented young lady!

JRSM said...

It's a great book. Also worth trying, if your taste runs to end-of-the-world stuff as mine does, is her 'The Last Man': it takes a little getting into, but it's worth it.

Kylie said...

Thanks for the recommendation - I'll check it out.