July 1, 2010


FrankensteinTitle : Frankenstein
Author : Mary Shelley
Reading Dates : 24 Jun - 28 Jun 2010
An excerpt from Frankenstein
"You, who call Frankenstein your friend, seems to have a knowledge of my crimes and his misfortunes. But in the detail which he gave you of them he could not sum up the hours and months of misery which I endured wasting in impotent passions. For while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires. They were forever ardent and craving; still I desired love and friendship, and I was still spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all humankind sinned against me? Why do you not hate Felix, who drove his friend from his door with contumely? Why do you not execrate the rustic who sought to destroy the saviour of his child? Nay, these are virtuous and immaculate beings! I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now my blood boils at the recollection of this injustice."
Book Review of Frankenstein.
Since Frankenstein is such a fairly known story, I've chosen to replace my usual book summary with an excerpt from the book. This particular passage to me sums up my reactions to the book.

Frankenstein the book is unlike any of the dramatisations I've ever seen of the story. Unlike the many different versions I've seen in the past, there's no clear-cut hero and villain in the story.

Frankenstein is no mad scientist but merely an ambitious and misguided young man who sought to make his mark in the world. And once he realized his mistake, made the situation worst by attempting to shirk his responsibilities. Whatever amends he attempts comes too late and at too high a price.

Meanwhile, Frankenstein's creation while hideous in appearance was not monsterlike in nature at the start. Shunned and persecuted for his appearance despite his many attempts to gain the good will of the people he meets, he sought vengeance against the one who had abandoned him to despair and loneliness. Like Frankenstein, he comes to regret his actions but the deed is done and no amount of remorse can undo the evil he has done.

What I like about the story is the way it is told. Seeing things from both the main characters viewpoints made it very easy to understand and sympathize with them. The same event has different meaning when first seen through Victor Frankenstein's eyes, then his creation's. At different parts of the story, I found myself first blaming one then the other. In the end, the tale reads like a series of tragic mistakes. Everyone had to shoulder a part of the blame and yet in the beginning no one meant to do harm.

Apart from that, there were just some minor complaints. The first is that we understand too little about the other characters. We know of them but care very little for them. Their deaths should be something horrible but the only feeling I had was pity for the main characters. The other is disbelief at how Frankenstein could have misinterpreted the monster's promise to see him again on his wedding night. Even if I didn't already know what would happen, it would have been quite obvious what the creature intended. Was it wilful blindness ? Shouldn't the monster's meaning have been quite plainly understood ?

Anyway as a rule, I don't normally like stories with sad or tragic endings but Frankenstein was such an absorbing read that I wouldn't mind reading it again. It certainly makes you think and wonder at this cautionary tale. Beware what you do when seeking knowledge and glory.

You can read or download Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for free.


  1. The more I read about this book, the more I want to read it! Great review

  2. I am going to read this soon. I will link your review when I am done and it makes my list, and I think it will. great review.

  3. Great review - and holy creepy cover! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...