Book Reviews

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley | Mini-Review

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

My copy: Daily Lit email installments.

Source: Daily Lit.



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.

Thoughts on Frankenstein:

I’ll admit, it took me a bit to start liking this story, but once the monster was animated, I started to enjoy it. The monster’s experiences and questions about life and living were fascinating to read about, and the themes about responsibility, dangerous knowledge, and power of creation were prevalent throughout.

I’ll admit, I skimmed from time to time, especially toward the last third of the book. (I was just trying to finish it because I’d been reading it without much forward momentum for so long.) But it was not hard to read at all, like some classics can be. The structure was a little all-over-the-place with prose and letters mixed together, and I was hardly scared by this “gothic horror” novel.

I never really felt for any of the characters, although I was very moved by the monster’s beautiful and eloquent speech. His story about observing a family and interacting with them was heartbreaking. Often when I read classics, there is a single scene or a few scenes that really grip me and make me appreciate the writing that has stood the test of time. That was the part of Frankenstein I really liked and will remember. ♦

Have you read Frankenstein?
If you haven’t, would you be interested to?
What’s the last classic you read?
Comment below letting me know!

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