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This is one of my all-time favourite books. It was assigned reading when i was 6th grade, and I think I devoured it in a week. The characters are allThis is one of my all-time favourite books. It was assigned reading when i was 6th grade, and I think I devoured it in a week. The characters are all very complicated and human, the story is fascinating, and I truly believe that one can come out from reading this book feeling bettered. Although I might have been younger than children usually are when they read this book, I still enjoyed and felt like I got the most out of it. I would also recommend seeing the movie (after you've read the book) since the movie is a great adaptation and really adds an extra layer to this incredibly rich story...more
**spoiler alert** Let me start off by saying that this was required summer reading for my 11th grade English class, so I would have read this book any**spoiler alert** Let me start off by saying that this was required summer reading for my 11th grade English class, so I would have read this book anyway. I did enjoy this book. It was well-written, had an interesting plot, and presented a period and place that I knew very little about (1970s China). All of the characters were very interesting, but I was always left wishing for more. I wanted more character development, more events to happen. In fact, I almost felt like each chapter was merely a short, stand-alone story, and that the unifying theme for all of these short-stories was the fact that they all centered around the same two characters. Another problem that i had with this book is that the author would take great lengths to play out a certain scene, often only for the purposes of hilarity (although at times, these scenes would only make me cringe), and then just leave them off, without ever connecting them to the rest of the book. Also, the author would sometimes just stop short of providing the explanation or the consequence of the aforementioned scenes, which would often lead me to thinking "How did that happen?" when these aforementioned consequences had a crucial role in the rest of the book. My final complaint is that this book was translated. It was originally published in 2000, in French, and then translated a year later. This makes it so that I cannot help but think that some of the finer points of the story must have been lost in translation. A quick note about translation: it is EXTREMELY difficult, and even people who, like me, are fluent in both french and english, can make the most simple sentences sound downright awkward after translating them. Now, for the good things about this book. It is short, so it is easy to read, and it is a real page-turner, which always helps when you are required to read a book, as I was. Also, the author maintained a good level of hilarity and drama throughout the book, which also contributed to the ease of reading it. Also, it was a very real and honest book, so you could immediately connect and identify with all of the characters.
Just one last note about this book [SPOILER ALERT:] Did anybody else find the ending amazingly anticlimactic, almost annoying? ...more
When I found out this was TNBBC's group read selection for this month, I was absolutely thrilled because I already had to read it for my English ClassWhen I found out this was TNBBC's group read selection for this month, I was absolutely thrilled because I already had to read it for my English Class over the summer (killing two birds with one stone, so to speak). Anyway, I managed to finish this book in what felt like 3 long days of reading. Don't get me wrong, I am glad I read this book, and since I was VERY hazy on the details of the story (never seen the movie, never had anyone I know read it), I was glad to finally know the story. However, I did find that the endless pages of prose (which I know was techNically dialogue... monologue, maybe? though he isn't alone...) a tad trying to read, and I did find myself occasionally skipping over sentences (something I usually try to avoid) because I felt like the author was just repeating what she had said ten pages earlier. Personally, I see two possible explanations for this: 1. Her youth: she's inexperienced, her first novel, bla bla bla... Not terribly convincing to me because she does utilize a lot of fairly advanced literary technique. 2. She is writing dialogue that is *supposed* to be relayed by a man who is very poor health. Maybe she is striving to lend the narration a bit more realism by having him repeat himself, as people often do in real life. Anyway, I don't think that is really the main thing one should focus on while reading this book. My teacher had intended us to read this as a gothic novel (which makes sense) along with The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I feel like comparing the two can shed a lot of light on how Victor acts, especially in response to the Monster's request of a partner. Victor obviously sees the Monster as a sort of continuation of himself (as the Portrait is for Dorian), and therefore feels that whatever the Monster does, he does (this even works in the opposite direction, as the Monster seems to share some of Victor's sadness at the death of his family and friends). So, when the Monster requests a partner, Victor is initially reticent to acquiesce: this Monster has already killed two of his family members, and he stills holds an enormous grudge. I think this is a very important reason that Victor has for not creating a female Monster, as it is the first reason that comes to his mind. Then, he shows compassion for his creation (the Monster is a continuation of himself), and then he decides to finally be a little less self-absorbed about things and think about the consequences on Humanity that his actions (and creations) have. I say that Victor is self-absorbed for a few reasons: 1. While creating the Monster, he never stops to think about the consequences of his actions, negative or positive. He is young, and can't see the big picture (which is a skill that it takes him a long time to acquire, not doing so until he destroys the second Monster in Scotland). 2. He often thinks about how sad HE will be if the monster perpetrates any new acts of violence, but never stops to think about how others around him will feel (except for maybe at the very end, when he does seem to worry about his father, but that is only once the latter is on his deathbed). 3. He always strives to maintain his innocence (because he used illegal methods in creating the Monster) by never bringing to light the existence of Frankenstein, which could possibly have aided to prevent the further deaths. He does towards the end of the book try to alert the authorities to the Monster's existence, but it is unfortunately too little, too late.
So, I guess I would say that this is a good book to read, if not only for the cultural significance, but also because It really gets you thinking about some fairly deep philosophical subjects....more