Kyle's Reviews > Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
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Mar 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read in January, 2012

Glancing back at my Brit Lit survey courses in early undergrad, it became apparent that many books I "read" were skimmed at best, and therefore I returned to this book as if I had never made it past the title page.

Complaints about substandard movie adaptations of great books abound, but rarely have I encountered a work in which the characters differ more from their ubiquitous image in popular culture. Frankenstein's monster is a being of stealth and intelligence; the Socratic dialogue that exists between the creator and the creation are simply breathtaking. Frankenstein's tortured search for his crude doppelganger, part of a feverish attempt to find solace in the last thing living that can understand him, remains one of the most compelling in all of literature, and the potentially maddening emotive repetition so characteristic of Romantic Period writing augments, rather than hinders, the impact. The themes and pacing are so compelling that the author's youth, stylistic limitations, and absolute lack of scientific knowledge prove remarkably inconsequential. All this, and we are treated with both the first science fiction novel (more relevant today than it was at the time) coupled with a boldly lucid question concerning what, if anything, God owes its creation. Incredible.
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Loucindy I was struck by that as well. The book seems to be asking "What is a monster really?" But most people who have adapted the book have completely missed the point--and been very unfaithful to the original text.


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