BOOK REVIEW: FRANKENSTEIN BY MARY SHELLEY

FRANKENSTEIN

GENERAL INFORMATION

TITLE: FRANKENSTEIN

AUTHOR: MARY SHELLEY

PAGES: 124

PUBLISHER: WWW.KOBO.COM

YEAR: 1818

GENRE: HORROR FICTION

COVER TYPE: E-BOOK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Shelley

BLURB FROM THE COVER

What you create can destroy you.

One freezing morning, a lone man wandering across the Arctic ice caps is rescued from starvation by a ship’s captain. Victor Frankenstein’s story is one of ambition, murder and revenge. As a young scientist he pushed moral boundaries in order to cross the final frontier and create life. But his creation is a monster stitched together from grave-robbed body parts that has no place in the world, and his life can only lead to tragedy.

Written when she was only nineteen, Shelley’s gothic tale is one of the greatest horror stories ever published.

THE OPENING LINE

YOU WILL REJOICE to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

I thought Frankenstein was awful, truly awful. It’s one of the worst novels I’ve ever read. I’ve waded through a lot of crap in my time. I understand why Dean Koontz’s version was shit – he did the best he could based on what Shelly gave him to work with. It’s taken weeks to read such a short novel because I had to force myself to turn the pages. I’m glad it was a free download. I’d be pissed off if I had to work out money for this piece of rubbish.

HIGHLIGHTS

I have nothing good to say about Frankenstein. I’m being serious. I can’t think of a single redeeming quality. Unless you want to count the fact it was so short and the agony of wading through it wasn’t prolonged as much as it could have been.

I actually thought of something I liked. Frankenstein is an epistolary novel. There is a framing narrative consisting of letters between Captain Robert Walton and his sister who stumbles across Victor in pursuit of the monster in the North Pole. He and his crew rescue Victor and he tells his tragic tale. I quite liked they unusual structure.

LOWLIGHTS

Where do I begin?

I’ll start with the pacing of the novel. The pacing was awful. The first few chapters were little more than waffling backstory about Victor Frankenstein’s childhood and his slightly creepy obsession with his cousin Elizabeth. I almost nodded off multiple times. After this awful nonsense Victor goes to university in Germany and within the blink of an eye his creature is created and Victor flees in horror. WTF! I blinked and missed it. This should have been one of the most important sections of the novel and was rushed in a few pages. The rest of Frankenstein doesn’t fare much better.

I found the prose in Frankenstein pretty awful. Long winded. Dull. Boring. Pointless waffling for pages and pages at a time.  I made allowances for how long ago Shelley wrote this novel but that only excuses the bad writing to an extent. I’ve read novels written around the same time and although the language was quite old fashioned it wasn’t really an issue. The writing in Frankenstein reeked of immaturity. I can believe Shelley was only eighteen when she wrote it. She clearly didn’t know what the hell she was doing. I’m amazed Frankenstein was published in the first place. Frankenstein contained the worst prose I’ve ever read. There are a lot of good action scenes in Frankenstein that are more or less destroyed by the bad writing.

I also found the characters pretty awful. Victor Frankenstein is a prick of the highest order. Shelley failed to create the slightest bit of sympathy for him. Even the worst villain in a novel should have human traits or he becomes flat and cartoonish. I found Elizabeth irritating and felt quite glad when the monster killed her. There are several chapters narrated by the monster which recount his experiences after Victor fled from his laboratory. These didn’t help to make him any less of a repulsive freak. They emphasised it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I was really looking forward to reading Frankenstein. I love the film adaptation starring Robert De Nero. I thought it would be great after I enjoyed Dracula by Bram Stoker recently. I was disappointed by how awful it was. Frankenstein proves that just because a novel is famous and has been adapted for the screen and theatre numerous times doesn’t make it any good. I think Mary Shelley had a great idea for Frankenstein but didn’t execute it very well.

RATING

1 STAR

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. charldibs says:

    I take it you didn’t like it then?! I’ve just read it too. I didn’t hate it as much as you did, but it was a bit of an odd one. I liked the idea of the story, hated the character of Frankenstein.

    1. I really didn’t like it. I loved the idea of the story but I don’t think Mary Shelley executed it very well. I was looking forward to reading it and was so disappointed.

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