Fabian {Councillor}'s Reviews > Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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it was amazing
bookshelves: to-read-2016-priority, all-time-favorites, classics, horror, rated-5-stars, read-2016, gothic-fiction, ebook, books-i-want-to-own, year-1810-to-1819, movie-adaptation-seen
Recommended for: People like Victor Frankenstein ... and everyone else.

Everyone has probably either watched one of the multiple adaptions of Mary Shelley's novel or at least heard about the monster created by Victor Frankenstein, but if you haven't read the book itself, then you probably don't know the story at all. The premise itself is rather simple; a young scientist called Victor Frankenstein creates a murderous creature from stolen body parts and has to deal with the harrowing results as the monster unleashes terror and revenge upon its creator. This sounds like a combination of horror and science fiction, which this novel essentially is, but ultimately, human emotions are the profound factor and the very heart of the book which keep the story flowing.

Among the thousands of Goodreads reviews for this book, you will find enough hate for Frankenstein to keep you busy for a while if you really want to read all those one-star-reviews, but if I can give you some advice ... read this book instead. It isn't nearly as long as some of those huge intimidating classics by Dickens, Dumas, Hugo and the like, it is gorgeously written (although a lot of people may disagree here), and you will find more tension in this classic which was written almost 200 years ago than in some thrillers from our time.

"Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change."

"Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on the rock."

Going into the experience of reading this book, I wouldn't have expected to find such a richness of vibrant characters, completely different settings ranging from a university in Ingolstadt, Germany up to the extents of the North Pole, and, most importantly, such beautiful writing. The masterful style Shelley applied while writing this book kept me hooked to the story and made me turn pages even if the story sometimes may have stretched out (which it didn't, at least for most of the time). And let's not forget that she wrote the novel at the age of eighteen. Readers seem to criticize her lack of compassion and comprehension for the nature of men, but in the end, every person is different, and what matters is that among the scope of this story, all the characters were believable and worked for me.

And when I say all the characters, then I include the monster Frankenstein created. In fact, this hideous creature, murderous and full of revenge and bitterness, is one of the best-developed villains ever created in literature (and my favorite character from this novel). Judging from looks and appearance, the creature is a monster, the personification of evil, but looking behind the shell, what appears is a lonely human being longing for affection and, ultimately, love. Isn't that what humanity is, at its very essence, about? The reasons for the creature's deeds were so believable and well-explained that I couldn't help but feel sorry for his experiences and hope for a happier life (even though I knew the ending and that it is anything but happy). In the end, physical appearance has nothing to do with the humanity of the character behind those looks. It's not physical beauty which makes you human, it's the beauty of the soul.

Which leads us to Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, the man who played god with science and corpses and then decided not to accept the responsibility he loaded upon himself. You cannot breathe life into a being only to abandon it, disrespect its struggles to enter this world and then later complain about the being's quest for revenge motivated by the way Victor fathered him without teaching him how to live. Appearing innocent and unable to overcome the step between childhood and adolescence, Frankenstein himself should be called a monster, as it is nothing but a monstrous deed to create life and expect the knowledge of how to live will arise from nothing.


I know how many people hated this book, but I don't feel ashamed at all for considering it to be one of the finest pieces ever written and counting it as one of my all-time favorites. To everyone who hasn't read this classic yet, I can recommend experiencing its beauty on your own - and going into it as excited for the story as you would with a mystery novel written in the present days, not expecting to find a boring and dragging classic (which it definitely isn't).
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Quotes Fabian {Councillor} Liked

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
tags: life

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
“When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?”
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein


Reading Progress

September 24, 2015 – Shelved
June 20, 2016 – Started Reading
June 24, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

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Michelle Curie Aaaah, this was one of those books I wanted to throw out of the window after reading it, I'm looking forward to your opinion on it!


Fabian {Councillor} Michelle wrote: "Aaaah, this was one of those books I wanted to throw out of the window after reading it, I'm looking forward to your opinion on it!"

I can definitely see where all the hate for this classic is coming from, but I personally enjoy it a lot so far. (I've made it 35% through so far.) I guess this is one of those books you simply either hate or love. :)


message 3: by Sushi (new) - added it

Sushi You've convinced me Fabian, will definitely give it a try sometime :D Great review!!! xox


Carol Excellent story....excellent review Councillor! I


Stefan Ich fand es nur so Mittel. Aber ich hab mich geil gefühlt, weil ich die Paradise Lost (John Militon) references verstanden habe haha :D


Anne Outstanding review, Fabian. Moved it up my very long list :'D I hope I like it when I read it. And I absolutely love this simple but thought-provoking and true line from your review:
"It's not physical beauty which makes you human, it's the beauty of the soul."


Fabian {Councillor} Sushi wrote: "You've convinced me Fabian, will definitely give it a try sometime :D Great review!!! xox"

Yay! Looking forward to it :D Thanks, Sushi!


Fabian {Councillor} Carol wrote: "Excellent story....excellent review Councillor! I"

Thank you, Carol. I definitely agree with the first point!


Fabian {Councillor} Stefan wrote: "Ich fand es nur so Mittel. Aber ich hab mich geil gefühlt, weil ich die Paradise Lost (John Militon) references verstanden habe haha :D"

Da hast du mir was voraus, aber dafür habe ich immer hin die Werther references verstanden. Hatte es also doch was Gutes, dass ich mich in der Schule durch Goethe quälen musste :D


Fabian {Councillor} Anne wrote: "Outstanding review, Fabian. Moved it up my very long list :'D I hope I like it when I read it. And I absolutely love this simple but thought-provoking and true line from your review:
"It's not phys..."


Thank you, Anne :) I hope so too (you better do like it). :p


Stefan Werther ist doch voll super <3 #WertherSuicideClub :D


message 12: by Mir (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mir I think it is a great book, really ground-breaking. What do people hate about it, the period writing?

It is odd how the movies usually seem to be based on the old black and white film rather than on the book itself.


Charlie Collins Good review. I loved this book.


Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨ I downloaded it long ago and I downloaded it again today, because I knew you'd be writing a convincingly pretty review and I will feel a momentary ache in my chest if I didn't have it in my immediate tbr! :) :)


message 15: by Ayesha (new) - added it

Ayesha I never understand how people tag Frankenstein of all books as a boring classic...This is one of those read-in-childhood-so-can't-remember books for me. But surely I'll read in the future. When I'm over the fluff stage. Excellent review! >.<


Dolors What a fine depiction of all the characters and their particular motivations that seem to converge in "love" in all its multifaceted expressions, Councillor. Beautifully penned review, full of sensitivity and insightfulness. I am glad you appreciated Shelley's most famous work, she redefined the Gothic genre with this classic that I also loved


Sonja ✧・゚。★* Great review, can't wait to read Frankenstein this summer.


message 18: by Ron (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ron Shelley wrote a book that has certainly withstood the test of time Councillor. I enjoyed it too. The writing is definitely "old school", so I think that's where a lot of the dislike by others comes from. That, and the many movie and TV adaptations that have changed her story.


Fabian {Councillor} Miriam wrote: "I think it is a great book, really ground-breaking. What do people hate about it, the period writing?

It is odd how the movies usually seem to be based on the old black and white film rather than..."


I agree about its ground-breaking status. As it seems, a lot of people find it boring, although I thought it had a lot more action than some modern thrillers. But then, having to force your way through books in school can diminish your enjoyment immensely, so that might be a possible explanation. I am glad I was able to explore this book on my own without having the pressure of analyzing every sentence. :)


Fabian {Councillor} Charlie wrote: "Good review. I loved this book."

Thank you!


Fabian {Councillor} Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨ wrote: "I downloaded it long ago and I downloaded it again today, because I knew you'd be writing a convincingly pretty review and I will feel a momentary ache in my chest if I didn't have it in my immedia..."

That's a very good decision! I am really looking forward to learning your thoughts about this book already :D


Fabian {Councillor} Ayesha wrote: "I never understand how people tag Frankenstein of all books as a boring classic...This is one of those read-in-childhood-so-can't-remember books for me. But surely I'll read in the future. When I'm..."

Yes, I know quite a few other classics which were a lot more boring than this book. **coughs** I'm looking forward to your thoughts already, Ayesha! :)


Fabian {Councillor} Dolors wrote: "What a fine depiction of all the characters and their particular motivations that seem to converge in "love" in all its multifaceted expressions, Councillor. Beautifully penned review, full of sens..."

Thank you a lot, Dolors! I am glad I finally got around to reading this, which I had already planned to do at the beginning of this year, but my lack of motivation got inbetween. Now Dracula is next on my quest to discover some classics everyone knows about, but I haven't read yet. :)


Fabian {Councillor} Sonja wrote: "Great review, can't wait to read Frankenstein this summer."

Thank you, Sonja! And I can't wait to hear your thoughts. :)


message 25: by Fabian {Councillor} (last edited Jun 29, 2016 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fabian {Councillor} Ron wrote: "Shelley wrote a book that has certainly withstood the test of time Councillor. I enjoyed it too. The writing is definitely "old school", so I think that's where a lot of the dislike by others comes..."

I like this kind of "old school" writing a lot more than some "fluffy" styles modern authors have to offer, so in the end it probably comes down to everyone having different personal preferences. :) I am optimistic this classic is still going to be read in a lot of years, considering how innovative and original it is.


message 26: by Seemita (new)

Seemita A very mature, thoughtful take on this much-discussed monster, Fabian. There are many works which don't stop short of just anointing someone evil but go digging into the psychological wires that control their doings. Thank you for this nuanced dissection; I really do look forward to my reading of it now.


Fabian {Councillor} Seemita wrote: "A very mature, thoughtful take on this much-discussed monster, Fabian. There are many works which don't stop short of just anointing someone evil but go digging into the psychological wires that co..."

Thank you a lot for your comment, Seemita! I hope you enjoy reading this novel now, as I think it will perfectly suit your reading interests. :)


Aj the Ravenous Reader Wow! Brilliant review, Fabian. Glad you found a new favorite.^^


Fabian {Councillor} Paul wrote: "Councillor, we aren't GR friends but I LOVED your review! This may not make me popular among the "1-star-reviewers", but here it comes... I LOVED this book and the story behind its birth! Mary Shel..."

No need to apologize, Paul. :) I can understand your point of view, even though I think that generally people should be allowed to stay entitled to their opinions. There are widely acclaimed novels which I absolutely despised while reading them, so in the end, it probably all comes down to everyone's subjective feelings about a book.

I'm also impressed by the fact that Mary Shelley has written this book at such a young age. Another book which comes to mind is The Outsiders, whose author was also 19 years old when her book was published. Sometimes this planet definitely brings forth some extraordinary writing talents!


Fabian {Councillor} Stephanie wrote: "Great review!! Glad you enjoyed!"

Thank you, Stephanie! :)


Fabian {Councillor} Aj the Ravenous Reader wrote: "Wow! Brilliant review, Fabian. Glad you found a new favorite.^^"

Thanks a lot, Aj :)


message 32: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Definitely a five star review!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


Fabian {Councillor} Deanna wrote: "Definitely a five star review!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)"

Thank you, Deanna :)


Carol Ditto on the 5 star review and book!


Fabian {Councillor} Carol wrote: "Ditto on the 5 star review and book!"

:)


Franco  Santos Excellent review! I loved this book.


Fabian {Councillor} Franco wrote: "Excellent review! I loved this book."

Thank you, Franco! Glad to hear that :)


Apatt Great review, fabian. Sorry, it took me 3 years to get around to reading it! Hopefully, more people will be inspired to read this book after reading this review 😊


Fabian {Councillor} I hope so too, Apatt! I still remember this book very fondly for shaping my impression of horror as a genre. Thank you very much! :)


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