My first reaction as I started Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was:
It is an epistolary novel. Nobody told me that! Wait, when has that e**spoiler alert**
My first reaction as I started Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was:
It is an epistolary novel. Nobody told me that! Wait, when has that ever come up in a conversation anyway?
So, the book started off with one of the characters writing letters to his sister while he's on a sea voyage.
The second thing that I noticed was boy, this guy can talk! So far, his chatter has not diminished my enjoyment of the book.
Mr. Monster has already made his first appearance although we only get to admire him from a distance. Now, I am listening to the good doctor's narrative.
A quote that stuck with me:
(On the subject of friends) "we are unfashioned creatures, but half made up, if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves -- such a friend ought to be -- do not lend his aid to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures."
Some thoughts that formed while reading:
The author uses a clever device to keep from providing her readers the recipe to making their own monsters:
"But this discovery was so great and overwhelming, that all the steps by which I had been progressively led to it were obliterated, and I beheld only the result."
Making a behemoth who could crush him easily had not been Frankenstein's first choice. However:
"As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature."
The monster spoke French! I may be coming off as a goofball with this observation but since this is the first time I am reading the book, I didn't already know this.
That the monster had no concept of right and wrong. We are taught about morality as kids and we retain those teaching as grown ups. He did not receive any such lessons. Is it fair to expect him to not steal when hungry? To not enter someone's home unbidden? That got me thinking about something entirely different. If a creature is put together like a jigsaw from parts belonging to other people, would the brain retain the teachings imparted to the donor?
Another thing that I noticed was that Frankenstein is a wimp. He is also a drama queen and very very selfish! Evidence:
"The poor victim, who on the morrow was to pass the awful boundary between life and death, felt not as I did, such deep and bitter agony."
That for the girl who is innocent and yet being tried for murder because of him!
I guessed the meaning of verdure because Botany! Verdant means green and I already knew that, so it wasn't that big a jump.
That Asians are supposed to be slothful and Mahometans forbid their women to...well, do anything other than simply exist, I guess.
Since there is nothing in this novel, if not foreshadowing, it got me thinking. Did I enjoy the book a little less because I knew about the murderous rampage that the monster would be going on? I don't think so. Maybe, that is why spoilers for most books, do not mean the end of the world for me either.
Words that stayed with me:
"It was a lovely sight, even to me, poor wretch! who had never beheld aught beautiful before." Made me feel sad for the poor monster. The illustration above is about the first time he saw his reflection.
"I collected bones from charnel-houses; and disturbed, with profane fingers,the tremendous secrets of the human frame." So perfectly graphic and shudder-inducing!
"I will gut the maw of death, until it be satiated with the blood of your remaining friends." Now, that's a threat!
"...extinguish that life which I had so thoughtlessly bestowed." This, from the jackass.
Allusions and a useful resource to help identify them:
"I was like the Arabian who had been buried with the dead, and found a passage to life, aided only by one glimmering, and seemingly, ineffectual light."
The Arabian is Sinbad and the lines allude to the practice of burying a surviving spouse with the dead one! Find it and the rest of the allusions here.
A quote that stayed with me:
“If I have no ties and no affections, hatred and vice must be my portion; the love of another will destroy the cause of my crimes, and I shall become a thing, of whose existence everyone will be ignorant.”
It made me think if it is our relationships and loved ones that make us human.
A new word that I learned:
Siroc is probably a variation of sirocco, which is a “hot dust-laden wind from the Libyan deserts.
After reading the following lines:
“eradicating the remains of my melancholy, which every now and then would return by fits, and with a devouring blackness overcast the approaching sunshine.”
I felt the similarity between Frankenstein and the monster he created even more clearly. I can’t really explain why they seem like the same person.
I am really glad that I did read this book. More than anything, I came from it feeling sorry for the poor creature that Frankenstein created and then abandoned. It gave me a new appreciation for the rules of society, ethics, morality that we take for granted. Without it, we might all turn into monsters.
I also wanted to point out that while the monster was never taught right from wrong, Frankenstein had been. Yet, the creature seemed kinder than his creator.
I don’t think any other conclusion was possible but I still think that it ended rather abruptly.
**spoiler alert** I finished it rather quickly and was surprised at how fast I read this book, considering that I did most of the reading while commut**spoiler alert** I finished it rather quickly and was surprised at how fast I read this book, considering that I did most of the reading while commuting to work. It was fun to read a thriller after a long time. Maybe, that is the secret, I like what the genre has to offer but only if I take it in small, infrequent doses. Most of the time, I need some fantasy mixed with my mystery.
Some minor quibbles that I had with the book: Jack started sounding like his mentor, Dom, as he started to get old. I think the author caught on to that early in the story and made the similarity go away.
Unnecessary details, such as when Jackie was taken to the hospital and had multiple surgeries. I know that it was important for us to know that happened. I just don't know why it was equally important to know how it happened. Needless to say, I skimmed some of those pages.
The murderer's identity was a big letdown. I figured why Kid moved away in the first place right when it happened even though it took until the end of the book to be revealed. That is why I was surprised why the murdered would be who-they-were.
No idea why when it took Jack all his life to stop blaming himself for not being able to save his mom, he found it relatively easy to not feel guilty over the deaths of his wife and almost-adopted son.
What I Liked:
Dom was my favorite character and I would have liked to read more about him. I checked but no spin-offs/prequels etc. I guess UF has me spoiled when it comes to characters' backstories and such.
I loved how Jackie dealt with his fear of heights and how it was always present in his life.
A few images of the mythological Icarus on whom the title of this book is based:
I bought my copy of this book from Online Books Outlet. It was in sufficiently good condition, considering it was a used book. Go here to see the rest of my book haul!
**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book thoroughly for so many reasons:
1. It is a slim volume not even 130 pages long. I think the short length works in**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this book thoroughly for so many reasons:
1. It is a slim volume not even 130 pages long. I think the short length works in favor of the book, making it funnier.
2. It is so funny! The humor reminded me of Roald Dahl who is an all-time favorite of mine.
3. It has all these sly references thrown in with the humor that doubled the fun. I found mentions of Schrodinger's experiment, Quantum Theory, and the Uncertainty Principle. I'm not saying that they made sense; I'm just saying they were used in a clever, funny way.
4. Because cats. We love ours and thankfully, I now know that she is a Real cat.
All the weird cattish things that she does are mentioned in this book. It all makes sense now.
Like why was Bast called Bast.
Why Arch-villain's cats can't be real:
I mean, look at them!
However, now I kind of feel like the cartoon fish who has seen everything:
5. It made going to work in the mornings much more fun!
6. It is a treasury of quotable quotes. Witness:
7. The illustrations only made the book funnier:
If you have a cat and are still mystified at the things your cat does, then you need to read this book. If you are in doubt of the Realness of your feline, this book is for you too! If you are neither and have some time on your hands, read this book because it will make you laugh.
P.S. This is the first of the 13 books that I bought from Online Books Outlet. The book was almost new but with the old book smell that I love. Really affordable prices and quick delivery too! Another bookseller to add to my list....more
**spoiler alert** Some parts were beautiful. A few examples:
"Pfiffikus!" she echoed, quickly adopting the appropriate cruelty that childhood seems to**spoiler alert** Some parts were beautiful. A few examples:
"Pfiffikus!" she echoed, quickly adopting the appropriate cruelty that childhood seems to require.
...humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, house of cards...
Others were just weird. Look at this one:
I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases (he is talking about souls)
It was narrated by Death. That was not an attraction when the book began and it simply became a bore as I read ahead.
There was no subtlety at all. Look at the following examples:
It sounds like the beginning of a joke: There's a Jew and German standing in a basement, right?
This was fine until he added
This, however, was no joke.
Then there was:
...everything went smoothly
Where the author just had to add:
Qualities of Smoothness... Trudy came and went without suspicion
We get what you meant when you said smoothly. The book was full of examples like the ones given above!
Lastly, there were parts that looked as if included to gain the reader's sympathy. One of them was the excerpt from Death's Diary where he talks about the events that took place in Cologne.
The book did have me shed a tear or two as I finished it, which means that I connected with it on some level. Papa and Mama were my favorite characters. The rest were all right. Death, the narrator, I hated.
**spoiler alert** I received this book for free, in exchange of an honest review.
The events will make you cringe and keep you cringing. I**spoiler alert** I received this book for free, in exchange of an honest review.
The events will make you cringe and keep you cringing. I think that says something about a story if it makes you feel so strongly.
Vlad was one confusing character but I think he was meant to be seen that way since Daniel was as confused about him as I was. One moment he kills someone in cold blood while in the very next, he's ready to risk his life for Daniel.
The reason for the two star rating is two-fold: the book needs editing. Not only are there spelling mistakes, there is a lack of coherence. Events need to be tied together better. scenes where Daniel wasn't present are also narrated by Daniel which was weird.
Thank you, Daniel for letting me read your work. If you venture into Daniel's world, be ready to be heartbroken.
**spoiler alert** Near-Extinct Birds of the Central Cordillera: A budding Ornithologist tries to save a rare species of birds. "the Revolution had reac**spoiler alert** Near-Extinct Birds of the Central Cordillera: ★★★ A budding Ornithologist tries to save a rare species of birds. "the Revolution had reached that classic mature stage where it existed only for its own sake."
Reve Haitien: ★★ An American tries to help the revolutionaries in Haiti.
The Good Ones Are Already Taken: ★ A wife has to share her husband with another woman goddess!
Asian Tiger: ★★★ A golf pro from Texas tries to make a living in Burma. "Burma, he'd whisper, trying to make it real, Burma, Burma, the word so loaded and fraught that it might have been a prayer."
Bouki and the Cocaine: ★★★★ A man & his wife with nothing to lose decide to stick it to "the man".
The Lion's Mouth: ★★★ Sierra Leone & its blood diamonds help Jill come to a decision.
Brief Encounters with Che Guevara: ★★★ "Don't ever laugh when a Haitian tells you he's going to be president, because it might happen. And if it does, ge won't forget that you laughed at him."
Fantasy for Eleven Fingers: ★★★ "Yes, because he's flaunting it. The thing that made him different. Which seems dangerous, in a way."...more