Anytime kids gather together in the dark, scary stories are inevitably told. Alvin Schwartz gathered a good selection of the most popular and publisheAnytime kids gather together in the dark, scary stories are inevitably told. Alvin Schwartz gathered a good selection of the most popular and published them in this anthology.
I kind of think this scared me when I was little but I don't actually remember ever checking it out from the library. My theory is that I knew it would scare me so I steered clear. I do remember all my little classmates rushing to check out the one copy we had in our school library though.
Reading this now, the stories aren't particularly scary. The author chose to divide the book into sections, with the first being "Jump" stories, where the teller gets to the climax and gives out a blood-curdling scream to scare the wits out of the listeners. I can see that they would be scary in person but on the page they were actually a little silly. The others were a little more fulfilling if you're looking for a frightening read. There are sections about ghosts and urban legends and even a few songs. (How's this for a coincidence? I read "The Hearse Song" here, "The worms crawl in, The worms crawl out, The worms play pinochle on your snout" and then came across it again in my very next read, Blubber.) It was interesting to me as an older reader to recognize basic elements here that I've come across in other books that were published later. I can't help but wonder if the later books got the idea from this one or if they are all just referencing the same old folktales and legends.
The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are downright creepy and perfect for the book.
Young readers who like a good fright should find what they're looking for in this collection....more
Victoria, known at different times as Vic or The Brat, inadvertently discovers she has a special gift when she's about ten years old. If she wants toVictoria, known at different times as Vic or The Brat, inadvertently discovers she has a special gift when she's about ten years old. If she wants to find something badly enough, she can ride her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike across a rickety wooden covered bridge and find whatever she's looking for on the other side. The problem? The physical bridge was torn down; she's creating a new one with her mind.
After finding a kidnapper and helping to put him behind bars in her teens, Vic's life spirals out of control. She thinks she's crazy so she starts drinking and doing drugs, with stints in mental hospitals and rehab. But she gets her act together quickly when she finds out that Charlie Manx, the kidnapper, is no longer in prison.
I thought I would probably get to this point after reading his other work but with NOS4A2, it's official: I love Joe Hill. He is a helluva writer. I'll be reading his books as they come out. Well, I've been doing that since Horns, but I'll continue doing it.
I was hooked from very early on. I wouldn't even say that the pacing is all that fast, but it is a very steady burn. There's a lot of back story and filling in the blanks but it's all just so intriguing that I kept plowing through. I haven't been reading particularly fast recently but I still managed to tear through all 680+ pages in about ten days. And that's including a long, busy weekend out of town.
What really kept me turning the pages was the big heart at the center of the story. Vic's tough but she had a rough childhood and she's had a rougher adulthood. She pushes everyone around her away but that's because she loves them so much she doesn't want to drag them down with her. But she's surrounded by people who love her in return and want to help her. They would do anything for her. As much as I like Vic, and I do like her a lot, I might like Lou and Maggie even more. They are such geeky, nerdy, lovable rejects of society. I want them to be my friends. All these characters have had tough lives but they still find it in themselves to love each other and create their own kind of family.
I'm sure I was reading so fast that I missed a few of these little Easter eggs, but I love that Hill is building his own multiverse. You definitely do not have to have read his earlier work to read this book, but if you have, you'll appreciate a few little references he throws in. Treehouse of the Mind, anyone? I do believe I even caught one or two references to his dad's books.
The one thing that kept me from giving this five stars is that it did ramble a little bit. Others might disagree, but I personally could have done with less time spent watching Vic's life go down the toilet. I don't think that's the only place I felt that way, but that's definitely what I remember wishing we could get through a little faster.
But the ending--! The ending was absolute perfection. I was gearing up to be a little disappointed. I thought I saw where it was going and I really wasn't that happy about it. It would have worked but after what had come before, it would have been weak. But then it went somewhere else and I was happy. And then it went somewhere else again and I was grinning like an idiot and feeling thankful for my tendency to read every single word of a book I really like. He nailed it.
Read this, read Hill's other books, and continue to read the books-yet-to-be-published. He's a smart, talented writer and he has earned a lifelong fan in me....more
Life hasn't been easy for Dan Torrance since the events of The Shining. Now that he's an adult, his shining has faded a little but it's still too muchLife hasn't been easy for Dan Torrance since the events of The Shining. Now that he's an adult, his shining has faded a little but it's still too much for him to handle. Following in his father's footsteps, he's turned to alcohol to escape from his problems. He eventually hits his bottom and tries to turn his life around. He ends up in a small town in New Hampshire, where he senses a girl with a shining even bigger than his own. But a sinister group called The True Knot have sensed her as well and they know they would feast off the "steam" she would release if they could just get their hands on her to torture her to death. Dan and little Abra, with the help of a few friends, must find a way to defeat The True Knot and keep them from feeding off children with the shining.
It's been 10+ years since I've read The Shining or watched the movie so I can't address how well Doctor Sleep compares to it.
But I can tell you that I loved this book.
My one complaint is that it does feel a bit as if it's meandering at times. It took a very long time to even bring Abra into the story.
Eventually though, all of those little "tangents" tie into the bigger scheme of things. As the story twisted and I realized exactly how things were fitting together, I would just laugh out loud sometimes. Not because the story was funny but because I was delighted that King was taking me in directions that I did not see coming at all. That's starting to feel like a rare thing for me to find in an author. The book was much stronger for it as well.
I liked all the characters here or I hated them, but man, oh, man, I loved Abra. She was so fierce. I started telling my husband about her and he just interrupted me and said, "You're loving her, right? You always love that kind of girl." And yes, I was loving her, and yes, I always love those strong female characters. Abra was scared when she should have been scared but she sure as hell wasn't going to sit back and just let The True Knot take her. She fought back in ways that shocked them and me. I absolutely adored her.
Go out and read this one. I think you'll adore her too....more
Rebekkah Barrow has left the town of Claysville behind. She keeps in touch with a few people, including her "adopted" grandmother, but otherwise she'sRebekkah Barrow has left the town of Claysville behind. She keeps in touch with a few people, including her "adopted" grandmother, but otherwise she's a free spirit roaming the earth. One day she gets a phone call that her grandmother has passed away. She heads back to Claysville for the funeral and learns that her grandmother was actually murdered. There's more to it than that though; Rebekkah and her on-again-off-again boyfriend Byron both sense it. There are secrets in Claysville, and Rebekkah and Byron must learn them before time runs out for everyone.
This could have been so good. I loved the idea. The Barrow women are graveminders, assiduously tending the graves of the town residents. It's obvious from the beginning what is going on and I liked it. But the story just kept circling around and around and around the why of things. There's a lot of drama between Rebekkah and Byron, both in the past and their present. They fight, they make up, they decide they don't have time for fighting, and then they disagree again and have to have another "discussion." It was exhausting! But not in any kind of interesting way. Just in an "Oh my gosh, can we please just get back to the dead people now?" kind of way.
I did actually like Byron. He was trying his very best to figure out what was going on, take care of Rebekkah, and respect her wishes.
Rebekkah was my downfall. Deep down, she knew what she wanted but she kept fighting it and fighting Byron and I just got so tired of it. I didn't really care about her or her personal drama. I wanted to know why these crazy things were happening.
The ending slightly redeemed it because it was fairly horrifying. There had been enough hints throughout that I wasn't surprised, but I guess I was still hoping that I was wrong.
The narrator, Emma Galvin, was absolutely perfect. I wasn't sure what to think of her at first. Her tone was a little flat, but then it quickly came across as eerie as I learned what was going on in this quintessential small town.
I am sure there is an audience for this book. I know it's marketed for adults but older young adults might like it. Rebekkah and Byron have a lot of the same issues that turn me off contemporary young adult novels, so it could be a good fit for readers who do enjoy them. Just remember that there is a touch of horror here. Readers looking for a strong horror read should probably skip on this one....more
Mackie Doyle doesn't quite fit in with his gloomy, outwardly perfect town. His eyes are just too dark. He has an allergic reaction to iron. And most pMackie Doyle doesn't quite fit in with his gloomy, outwardly perfect town. His eyes are just too dark. He has an allergic reaction to iron. And most people don't know this, but consecrated ground blisters his skin. See, the town of Gentry pays a price for its perfection; it pays with its children. And Mackie is just a replacement for one of them.
3.5 stars but I can't bring myself to round up.
This was actually creepier than I expected it to be. Let's face it, that cover is a lot to live up to. I love it, but it even caught my husband's attention. The book and the cover actually went well together in this case.
We kind of learn things as Mackie does, which leaves us with questions that are answered in a way that feels right. This storytelling technique can sometimes backfire horribly for me as a reader and leave me feeling that the author cheated. Not the case here. There's a reason Mackie doesn't know things and there's a reason people don't talk about what's going on.
Mackie was feeling a little too sorry for himself throughout the book, and that's the biggest thing that knocked this back a couple of stars. I kind of understand it now (he's really, really not feeling well, and who doesn't feel sorry for themselves then?), but I didn't realize that this was new for him and how bad it was until well into the book, when my opinions were pretty firmly set. If I could have seen him on some good days in some flashbacks or something, I would have had more empathy for him.
Tate was a great character. I was confused by her at first, but as things are explained, I understood why she was acting like she did. I loved that she didn't take crap off of anyone and was not afraid to finish a fight that someone else started.
Roswell. I have things to say about him but I don't want to spoil anything. Hmmm. Let's just say that I expected his character to go in a different direction and I would really like to read the story that would have happened if my expectations had come through. Things would have gotten even more interesting.
The setting for the book was just perfect. It's dark and damp and rainy and eerie in a way that's hard to put your finger on in this old steel mill town.
I have to say that the underage drinking and hinted-at sex bothered me a little. The adults must be on vacation or clueless, because no one notices what's going on. It wasn't anything too terrible, but it's so far outside the realm of my own experiences as a teen that I have a hard time relating to it. I know it happens, it just didn't happen in my world.
Those few negatives aside, I do recommend this for a dark and stormy night when you want some pleasant shivers to travel down your spine....more
Author Ben Mears has returned to the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, where he spent the best years of his childhood. He had a traumatic, horrifying exAuthor Ben Mears has returned to the town of Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, where he spent the best years of his childhood. He had a traumatic, horrifying experience there, and he wants to write it out of his system at last.
Around the same time, two other men move into town, R. T. Straker and Kurt Barlow. They buy and move into the local house that has haunted Ben for years. And then people start disappearing...
Parts of this felt a little familiar. Little Mark Petrie reminded me of Jake from The Dark Tower series and the kid from The Talisman. Ben reminded me of someone too, I just can't put my finger on who. And then there's the name Susan. I wonder if there's a Susan in King's past.
That slight familiarity aside, I did enjoy this. I think part of what gives me the willies when reading King's work is that he doesn't back away from using children in his horror stories. He kills them off when he has to and he turns them into evil little beings too. He uses children to chilling effect in this novel.
One of the subplots that I really liked was Father Callahan's struggle with faith. Maybe that's because I did read The Dark Tower series first, but I enjoyed "meeting" Father Callahan and learning more about him. His part in this book comes pretty late, so I'll refrain from discussing him more. I want to re-read his part in The Dark Tower now that I know more about him!
I really liked that the vampires in this book were real, true, evil vampires. Granted, this was written in the mid-70s, well before the current vampire love story craze (not knocking it at all), but it's still refreshing to read right now.
This is not the scariest book I've read by any means, but it's still left me a little edgy. The ghost I have hanging on my front door for Halloween is scratching at the glass and making me jumpy. I may have to move it before I go to bed! I definitely won't be yelling for anyone to come on in tonight, that's for sure!
Oh, and I adore this cover. It's very creepy even at first glance. And then you look closer and see those evil eyes peering out at you....Just perfect for this book.
This is by Stephen King. I think you either like him or you don't. If you like him, you'll like this one. If you're new to King, this might actually be a decent place to start. I think it's a pretty good representation of his work. ...more
Ignatius Perrish wakes up after a drunken night with honest-to-goodness horns growing out of his head. At first, he thinks he's just going crazy. ButIgnatius Perrish wakes up after a drunken night with honest-to-goodness horns growing out of his head. At first, he thinks he's just going crazy. But as he ventures out into the day, he finds that other people can see them too; they're just too busy telling him their deepest, darkest secrets to really comment on them. Oh, and if they know him, they're telling him exactly what they think of him. That would be bad enough for anyone, but when you've been (falsely) accused of raping and murdering your girlfriend and the whole town thinks your famous father got you off, what people have to say to you gets real vicious real fast.
I hate the name Ignatius. Even shortened to Ig or, heaven forbid, Iggy, it's just awful. And then to pair it with Perrish. I couldn't help but think of Iggy Pop.
This was scary but not in a horror-y way. Well, not for the most part. There's the thing with the horns, but the real scare here is how this kind of thing happens every day. Again, not the horns, but the rape/murder of an innocent girl. And we always think it's the significant other who did it. Sure, most of the time it is, but what living hell the innocent ones must go through. Not only have they lost a loved one but they've been accused of doing it as well. *Shudder* Ig shows us exactly how little it feels that life is worth living after that.
What makes this so hard to read is that Ig was about to have it all. He and Merrin have a fantastic relationship. They're high school sweethearts who look like they're really going to live the happily ever after. They're both pursuing their career dreams and then they're not. And that is what makes this book so very difficult to read.
The horror-y bit that really, really got to me was the snakes. Oh my goodness, the snakes. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to finish. I would say I have snake-a-phobia (Ophidiophobia. Don't say you've never learned anything from my reviews). Maybe I should have expected that this guy, who is becoming more devil-like by the day, would develop an affinity for snakes. I didn't. I'm sitting here shuddering just thinking about it. I would think, "Okay, I've got to be through it," and there would be more. When it really did seem safe, here the snakes came again and they were so, so, so bad. *trying not to think about it*
I'm also wondering if all boys really get up to the crazy crap that Hill and dad King write about. I mean, these guys get up to some insanely dangerous, destructive things. Did I have my head in the sand around the boy cousins I grew up with? They did some stupid things, but nothing like this.
I really liked that I was never entirely sure what to think of Ig. He says right up front that he didn't kill Merrin, and I believed him, but there's got to be a reason for the horns. I was rooting for him, but I was still questioning him a little. He can influence people and make them act on their darkest desires, and he does that a few times. What a heady, easily-addicting power to have. Was he going to come down for good or evil? I mean, c'mon, he has devil horns. He can't really be the good guy. Can he?
Hill slowly makes us question our perceptions, i.e. what looks evil vs what truly is evil. They are not always the same and yet we insist on conflating the two. Horror with a philosophical bent. Who knew such a thing existed?
Oh, last little tidbit--I loved that Judas Coyne was mentioned in this book! Will we someday need a concordance for Hill's work as well?
I prefer Heart-Shaped Box, but this was still another very strong horror novel from Joe Hill. I will definitely continue to follow his work....more
Everyone who knows pleasant Dr. Jekyll is surprised that he has taken the brutish Mr. Hyde under his wing. Hyde is a horrible person, and everyone whoEveryone who knows pleasant Dr. Jekyll is surprised that he has taken the brutish Mr. Hyde under his wing. Hyde is a horrible person, and everyone who meets him claims to be immediately repulsed by him. It's obvious that there's more to the relationship than meets the eye, but no one guesses exactly how twisted this relationship is.
Okay, you probably know the basic story. I think that takes a lot away from the book. I can imagine that this novella was shocking and horrifying when it was first published, but I just felt a little "meh" about it. I understand that there's a message about pride and ambition and man's dual nature and all that, but I'm usually looking for a good story. I'm not saying that this is a bad story, or that it shouldn't be a classic or anything like that, I just found it a little disappointing.
If you're interested, pick it up. If you somehow don't know what's going on with these two men, go ahead and give it a try too. It's a pretty easy read for a classic, it's short, and it would be creepy if you didn't know what was going on....more
Twelve-year-old Will Henry finds himself in the unenviable position of assistant to a monstrumologist. What is a monstrumologist, you ask? Why, it's eTwelve-year-old Will Henry finds himself in the unenviable position of assistant to a monstrumologist. What is a monstrumologist, you ask? Why, it's exactly what it sounds like--it's someone who studies monsters.
One dark and eerie night, a grave robber brings a delivery to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop. After removing the coverings, Will is horrified to see the body of a young girl entwined with a monster who has to have come straight from the bowels of hell. Headless, with eyes in his shoulders and a maw in his belly full of teeth like a shark's, the monster is dead too. But this species of monster shouldn't be in this location at all. And so begins a race against time as Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop try to prevent more deaths and unravel the mystery of how the Anthropophagus, for so the monster is called, came to be in a New England town called New Jerusalem.
This book scared me to death, I swear.
It's shelved in the young adult section of my library, but I would say it's definitely more for the older set, and adults who like horror should seek it out.
Anyway, reading about the Anthropophagi had me jumping out of my skin. Just break that name down into its component parts. I'm reading it as being something about a maneater. Great name for a monster, right? Anyway, I forgot to turn my alarm clock off one morning as I was reading this and heard it buzzing incessantly as I got out of the shower. My first thought? "Oh, no it's going to call them to me." Yeah. Them being the Anthropophagi. My husband accidentally booby-trapped a cabinet (at least it better have been an accident), and as stuff came pouring out at my feet and my heart pounded out of my chest, I just knew that a baby Anthropophagus was going to get me. I am not lying. It has been a while since I've been this spooked by a horror book. I'd say that I'm middle of the road with my tolerance for horror.
Dr. Warthrop is an unbearable, vain man. My synopsis makes him sound all noble, but he's not. He puts Will Henry into situations no child should even dream of, much less actually experience, all because Will Henry is the only assistant on hand. He wakes the child at all hours of the night to cater to his own whims, and puts his life in danger pretty constantly. As I read on though, I saw that there was a little more to him than meets the eye, but I still didn't like him.
Will Henry himself is a little bit of a puzzle. I think he puzzles himself. He admits that he's miserable but he doesn't run away. The book takes the form of his memoirs, and Will Henry as an old man does reflect and ponder on why he stayed with Dr. Warthrop. He comes up with some good answers, but I still found myself wishing that he would just run away.
The book is excellent horror, with unexpected jump-out-at-you moments, and it's pretty gory. Lots of blood and mayhem here. I have worked in health care for years, with all the sights and smells that implies, and I found myself having to put the book aside because I couldn't continue to read the graphic descriptions I was coming across as I was eating. Yup, this book put me off my feed.
This book definitely isn't for everyone, but if you like horror, pick this one up. For all my jumpiness, it was exactly what I was looking for at Halloween, and I loved every minute of it. I will definitely be picking up the next in the series....more
They've made such a big deal about how this book is not for children that I feel like I should make a special shelf--"Not_For_Children!"
Not too muchThey've made such a big deal about how this book is not for children that I feel like I should make a special shelf--"Not_For_Children!"
Not too much to say about this except that it's even more messed up than I expected. Yes, I read through to the third, true, ending. I picked up on one little hint as to where it was going, but I dismissed it as my imagination. Nope! It was seriously messed up but seriously fun. And seriously not for kids....more
Several GR friends have read this and raved about it recently. I've been doing a lot of Halloween-related books this month, so IReview of I Am Legend
Several GR friends have read this and raved about it recently. I've been doing a lot of Halloween-related books this month, so I decided to give it a try.
It somehow wasn't exactly what I expected, and I mean that in a good way. I've seen bits of the Will Smith movie (and what I've seen has very little in common with the book), I've read my friends' reviews, but it's still something that I think you have to experience for yourself to understand.
I would definitely call it a horror book, but not exactly for the reason that I expected. There are the vampires, and there are a couple of intense scenes with them, but that wasn't what made the book scary to me. It was more about the absolute aloneness that Neville experiences. He truly is the last man in the world. How would you deal with that? Would you give up? Would you keep fighting? Would you start searching for others? Would you search for the reason behind the horror that has become your life? Matheson explores all of these avenues and more. Neville's reactions felt very real to me. I experienced all of his emotions with him. The vampires were scary at first, and then they just sort of become background noise. Then there's the rage, despair, curiosity, really the whole gamut of emotions that you would feel in that position. There's even one scene that just broke my heart. It's all in here, it all feels very real, and I am very impressed. Highly recommended.
Review of the other stories
I finished out the other stories and they were pretty good. They weren't on a level with I Am Legend, but there were some genuinely spooky pieces in here. My favorites were
"Prey" about an insecure woman and an African doll "Dress of White Silk" about a little girl showing off her mother's evening dress "Person to Person" about a guy who answers a phone that's ringing inside his head
My least favorite were
"Buried Talents" about a carnival game "Dance of the Dead" which is vaguely post-Apocalyptic "Mad House" about an angry man in an angry house.
I'm glad I read them, but I Am Legend was definitely the star of this show....more
Rose Daniels has suffered through fourteen years of an abusive marriage. She finally leaves with nothing but the clothes on her back on the day that sRose Daniels has suffered through fourteen years of an abusive marriage. She finally leaves with nothing but the clothes on her back on the day that she realizes that her husband might not kill her. And that thought is worse than the thought that he might.
I know that this is Stephen King, and you should expect violence, but I just want to say right up front that there is at least one very violent scene of abuse that might be more than some readers bargain for. Some of us can handle a man-eating dog but domestic abuse might push some buttons. So just be prepared. As far as I remember, the worst scene is the prologue, so if you get through that you should be fine with everything else. Rosie has some vague recollections of more abuse, but we don't actually live through them with her.
I really liked this, but I think for me it would have worked a little better without the supernatural elements. That's probably just personal taste, but Norman is scary enough as he is.
One other complaint and then on to the good stuff.
I never noticed how much King likes italics until I read this book. Most of the book follows Rosie, but there are a few chapters from Norman's point of view sprinkled in. His chapters are in italics. At first, when it's just a little section, I was fine with it. But as the book went on, his sections got longer and longer and it was hard for me to read pages and pages of italics. And then the words that would normally have been italicized were in normal print, and I had a hard time interpreting all of that to put emphasis where it needed to go. I understand why he wrote it this way, I just wish he had found a different way to pull it off.
I'm glad King tackled domestic abuse. He's a best-selling author and he definitely has the sales to draw attention to the problem. (I haven't read Dolores Claiborne, but, rightly or wrongly, I think that deals with abuse too) I'm really glad that Norman was a cop. I'm not sure if this was just to give him more resources to track Rosie or if it was to show that abuse happens everywhere, not just in crack houses. Either way, I'm glad he was a working guy.
I liked Rosie. I think she as a character showed how easy it is to fall into this life. It's not just weak or mindless women. And she showed that there can be hope for those who reach out and try to find it.
There was a great supporting cast of characters too. I really liked Bill, and Pammie was a small character but likable as well. And then there was Gert. I absolutely loved Gert. She starred in my favorite scene! Rose Madder was freaky. Part of me even now writes her name thinking, "Don't look at her face! Don't look at her face!"
I recommend it to King fans who haven't read it, as long as you are prepared for the abuse....more
Do we all know the basic story of Cujo? Big, lovable St. Bernard gets rabies and goes on a rampage. That's it. Sounds so simple, and it mostly is, butDo we all know the basic story of Cujo? Big, lovable St. Bernard gets rabies and goes on a rampage. That's it. Sounds so simple, and it mostly is, but King can tell one heck of a story.
Really, this was about 3.5 stars for me, but I'm rounding it up because I read it without once closing it, in one 12-hour night shift, without even thinking about getting tired. In fact, I found myself idly wandering around the office, doing things that needed to be done, holding this book in one hand and working with the other. I seriously couldn't put it down.
But it was a little weak. There was this little subplot where he tried to make the story supernatural. I thought it was silly and unnecessary. It was scarier for being something that I (in my complete ignorance of rabies) think could maybe happen, at least for a little while.
And can I go on record as saying that I hate the name Tadder? If Tad is too short for you, why not move on to Theo? Your kid will not thank you for Tadder when he's being beaten up on the playground. I'm just glad I had finished this before my husband said, "How do you know he didn't mean it to sound like tater?"
But the fact that almost all the "horror" elements take place in such a confined space with just three characters, one of whom is a St. Bernard, earns King huge points. This really should not have been a page turner, and yet it was. There is a reason the man is so popular....more
Forget the big, green, shuffling, moaning monster with bolts in his neck that we've all come to associate with Frankenstein. He does not appear in theForget the big, green, shuffling, moaning monster with bolts in his neck that we've all come to associate with Frankenstein. He does not appear in these pages. I wonder what book those old horror movie writers read? It wasn't this one.
Frankenstein's monster is big, but the only other physical descriptions I really remember are flowing black hair, watery yellow eyes, and uncanny speed, agility, and tolerance for cold. Oh, and he's more eloquent than I could ever hope to be. Seriously.
As for Frankenstein himself--a more self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-explicatory character I hope to never meet. He was terrible! This was his story:
"Oh no! Something bad happened!"
He falls over in nervous delirium and is bed-ridden for months.
He moans and groans and just generally doesn't deal.
Then one day:
"Oh no! Something bad happened! But it wasn't my fault!"
He falls over in nervous delirium, bed-ridden for months, blah, blah, blah, blah.
That really is Frankenstein's story in a nutshell.
I do realize that this story was supposed to be more of a warning about our science getting ahead of our morals, pride coming before a fall and all that. On that level, it completely worked. As I read this, the word hubris kept coming to mind, and I haven't thought that word since studying the Greek myths for months on end my sophomore year of high school. That was more years ago than I honestly want to think about. Anyway, Shelley absolutely did what she meant to do and her work is always going to be relevant. But as a reader, I need a character that I can like. I don't think it necessarily has to be the main character, just give me someone, somewhere, to root for. There wasn't one here. Clerval or Elizabeth could have filled the role, but they were little cardboard cutouts to show that Frankenstein had something to lose. The monster himself was briefly likable in his wide-eyed innocence, but then he started to learn all of humanity's nasty habits. He had his reasons, but still. Ultimately I felt kind of bad for him, but I didn't like him.
It's a classic for a reason, and it really should be read, but don't expect to be too happy with anyone....more