Conrad's Reviews > Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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it was amazing
bookshelves: owned, masterpieces, science-fiction, in-storage

Easily one of my top five or ten of all time; as rich and ambiguous in its symbolism as anything Melville or James ever wrote.

It's anti-Romantic, presenting Paracelsus and mysticism as destructive forces, but it's also skeptical of the Enlightenment values of Shelly's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft; it's not overfond of what society does to people but terrified that anyone should live without human company; it's both heartbreaking and heartless.

When I finally got around to reading it, what surprised me the most was how much more impressive the actual prose is than the Boris Karloff-ish expectations I brought to it. Shelly doesn't tell the story straight, but uses a clever framing device that makes the end that much more poignant. What a great book.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 2, 2007 – Shelved
June 2, 2007 – Shelved as: owned
June 2, 2007 – Shelved as: masterpieces
July 17, 2007 – Shelved as: science-fiction
July 17, 2007 – Shelved as: in-storage

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Jen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:12AM) (new)

Jen this is one of those books which I can't remember if I read or not - your review makes me think maybe I did because I remember the story being complex. It also makes me want to give it a(nother?) shot.


Henrik Havighorst Lovely review and I totally agree. What an amazing book.


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Great review. Completely agree. One of those great books done a horrible disservice by Hollywood. The novel grapples with real, heartbreaking issues; the film is a monster movie. Haven't read it in thirty years, but your review makes me want to dig it out and give it a reread.


message 4: by M (last edited Nov 20, 2013 12:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

M Read it so long ago I gave it a cursory 3 stars but your review makes me want to pick it back up and re-read, just like Michael said. I have a feeling I'd upgrade to 4. I was obsessed with Shelley, her mom, her husband, his (and her) friendship Byron, etc. so read a lot about them back in high school. A friend recently said he was so impressed that out of her background and education a book like this came forth, and I have to agree. Not that she wasn't brilliant (her mom also) but that it's so imaginative and dark.


message 5: by Len (new) - added it

Len Edgerly Great review. Just read it on my Paperwhite and bought the book!


message 6: by CR (new) - rated it 5 stars

CR Thanks for some enlightening commentary. I'll be teaching this in a couple weeks for the first time for my AP Lit kids - haven't read it since college o.O

I've got some "beefing up" to do.


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