“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Mary Shelley.
For Halloween I decided to pick up Frankenstein for a read. So, I am going to get straight into a review of this book because I don’t feel that a summary of it is entirely necessary. I mean, Frankenstein is a classic.
*CONTAINS SPOILERS… well, one*
Right, well, I felt this started off well. I personally love the use of letters in writing, so I found this book rather easy to get into.
However, this interest didn’t hold throughout the whole book. The first third of the book I thought was rather good, but then I just grew really bored. Shelley’s writing is incredibly descriptive and while the quality of it is good, it also feels somewhat unnecessary. I didn’t actually put a lot of energy into reading the last half of the book because the long, detailed paragraphs on weather and scenery just bored me and and this was often the case with some of the dialogue in the latter half of the book too. For instance, when Frankenstein’s monster was telling his story, I felt like it was never-ending as the only bit I really wanted to hear about was (spoiler) when he killed William.
On the other hand, after a little research, apparently Shelley was my age, nineteen, when she wrote this. As a result, I find it difficult to be too critical of her work. I mean, I could never write a piece of fiction as detailed and creative as this. While I personally did not enjoy her writing, I cannot deny that it was good, even if it didn’t appeal to me.
Something else I liked about this book was Shelley’s characterisation, especially in regards to Frankenstein’s monster. By the way “his yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath”, not green. Moving on, Frankenstein’s monster is the only one of his species and he’s lonely after having been abandoned by his creator. This makes us question how good or bad this character may be because he was left to his own devices; Frankenstein didn’t exactly care for his monster, he alienated him because he feared him from the start. As a result, it is hardly surprising how things turned out.
At the beginning, when Frankenstein creates his monster, he doesn’t explain how. I’m not sure whether I like why Shelley did this or not. This is because it demonstrated how much he regretted his creation and what a bad idea it was, but it would have otherwise been a description worthy of at least a whole chapter I could have done without reading, so it is a slight relief.
Overall, I rate this 2/5. It was okay, but I was also disappointed and it all depends on what kind of writing you’re into. Writing is subjective, after all.
To see more reviews by me of books both old and new, please click that follow button in my sidebar and/or follow me on the social media sites linked below. Also, to see some Frankenstein inspired nail art please click here.
What were your thoughts on Frankenstein?