Sunday, October 18, 2009

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

First Published: 1818
Pages: 280
Rating: 5 out of 5

Introduction: This is the second book I'm reviewing for Halloween. I got the idea last month when I purchased this:
Three classic horror tales compiled into one book. Perfect!
Summary: This is the story of Victor Frankenstein who pushes the boundaries of science by creating a creature made of dead human remains.
Review: This book is awesome! I can't believe that Mary Shelley wrote this book when she was only 18 years old! Pure creative talent!
I was really surprised how I came to love this book. This is the original story...not some adapted version of forget about looking for Igor here or hoping that it's like any Frankenstein films/stories you have heard of.
Frankenstein is more than just a horror story. Much, much more. It is a story of discrimination, nature vs nurture, and the creator vs. the created. It shows the beauty and the ugliness of human nature.
The story is a story within a story. The first narrator is Robert Walton. He meets Victor Frankenstein while they are in the Arctic. He discovers that Victor is chasing someone. This leads to Victor who narrates his side of the story. He is ambitious and very driven. He decides to create a being made of human corpses...and later realizes the mistake he's made and the prize that comes with it. Then the creature who Victor created tells story, and I learn the pain and discrimination he goes through.
Notice that I said creature, and not monster? Well, that's because towards then middle and end of the book...I really didn't know who the true monster was. Was it Victor who spat and hated his creation? Or was it the creature who acted on the society that feared and loathed him because of his appearance?
Since I'm all about character development, this is probably one of the reasons I love this book. I love how Ms. Shelley made Victor and the creature into dynamic characters. They were both protagonists and antagonists at the same time. I thought it was brillant, and she did it so well.
This is one of the best I'd ever read this year. While it didn't change my life, Frankenstein really made me think. It's one of the books that will stay with me.
Recommendation: Highly recommended! I think this is one of the books that should be in one's library. I'm not a horror book fan, but I enjoyed this one. Don't let it scare you because it's a classic. I found it easy to follow.

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