Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Gothic Fiction
What’s it about? The story of young scientist Victor Frankenstein and a risky experiment to create life. The result? A grotesque monster that escapes and must deal with a world in which he has no place.
How did you hear about it? Although I knew about the Frankenstein monster, I did not know the whole story. I decided to read it when my son read it for his summer reading.
Closing comments: Early into Frankenstein, I might have given it 3 stars because of its old-fashioned language and letter-writing format. I found this part of Shelley’s writing stiff and uninteresting. That all changed once Walton rescued Victor Frankenstein from the icy sea near the North Pole.
Frankenstein’s story is great on a couple levels. First, the thriller element still has its appeal. I was fascinated that Victor created life and I wondered at the consequences. I was sympathetic to the monster’s plight, being alone in the world, considered grotesque by all those who saw him. I wanted Felix, Agatha and their father to accept him. I wanted him to have a companion. And I was shocked at his murderous way of dealing with loneliness.
The overlying themes of love, friendship, loneliness and loss enrich this story and the question of whether Frankenstein has the right to create life made me think about the larger responsibilities of man to his fellow man.
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