Beauty is good and Ugly is bad. Wish we could say we're done with that particular theme, but alas. In theory, I alw...moreCan't believe I forgot to add this!
Beauty is good and Ugly is bad. Wish we could say we're done with that particular theme, but alas. In theory, I always sort of sided with the monster, but having actually read the book, I cannot. There's a sense that he was not taught right from wrong, that he was abandoned by his creator (ahem?), but he does seem to realize that certain things are wrong. And he chooses to do them to spite his creator.
On the other hand, Frankenstein completely abdicates his responsibility. So, hard to feel much for anyone here except the innocent bystanders.(less)
Interesting to go back to the "original" having been reading other vampire-oriented books. I can see where some of their inspiration comes from, certa...moreInteresting to go back to the "original" having been reading other vampire-oriented books. I can see where some of their inspiration comes from, certainly. I guess that's what makes something a classic.
A slow read, though it seemed to go better after the half-way mark. As a collection of diary entries, letters, and newspaper reports, it's different than novels of today, though there are still epistolary novels out there (mostly in the form of emails, chats, texts, etc.). Between the design and the tone, it slows a body down. Chatty bunch, those Victorians.(less)
A horror story, supposedly. I'd heard the Broadway songs. I think I even watched a (very boring) movie version, but I'd never read the original story....moreA horror story, supposedly. I'd heard the Broadway songs. I think I even watched a (very boring) movie version, but I'd never read the original story. I still haven't, since my French is not that good, but I figure I've gotten the most of it. I probably wouldn't have bothered, if I hadn't read Charlotte Vale Allen's Night Magic, which uses Leroux's story as it's inspiration.
The Classics edition begins with some information on Leroux. The book certainly reflects his journalistic background. And, as with today's urban legends, the author tries to establish the veracity of the story by couching the tale as a report based on letters, memoirs, and personal interviews. As with our own scary stories, it's the possibility of truth that magnifies the intensity of the fright.
Of course, being the jaded people we are today, the book isn't really all that scary. For me, the distance of the tale kept me from being caught up in the telling. In most cases, the major motion is told through another person after the fact, either Christine telling Raoul what happened to her or the Persian's tale (which I found the most compelling portion of the story).
The lack of Erik's perspective throughout was disappointing. Maybe it's my own morbid curiousity, but I wanted to "see" more of him. I want to try to understand him. Perhaps, I wanted to be able to pity him. This is probably why I liked the Persian's tale, since it did reveal Erik's story, though I still had questions.
Erik strikes me as quite truly mad. A genius, able to function in the world he's taken over as his own, but insane. Pitiable, perhaps, in that he is finally willing to give up Christine. In so doing, he overcomes his "monster" self. In the end, all he wanted was someone to love him. That he doesn't find that makes the story sad, not scary.(less)