Julie's Reviews > Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
5210022
's review

really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, classics, e-book

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is an 1818 publication. (This book is a 2013 e-artnow publication)

I thought that I had read this book at some point during my early teens- maybe in junior high? Even so, I couldn’t remember anything about the book and knew that if I ever re-read it, it would be like reading it for the first time. Every year I consider reading Frankenstein for Halloween, but it never seemed to make the cut- until now.

Once I finally settled into reading the book it became immediately apparent that the book was completely unfamiliar to me. I’m still not sure If I ever truly read this book all the way through, and I’m waffling on how clear my memory is on that- but- I did finally take notice of the blurb/synopsis for this edition of Frankenstein, which clearly states that this book is the original 'uncensored' 1818 version, the one submitted by an ‘anonymous’ author as Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus. According to the blurb, Shelley heavily edited the book in 1831, under pressure to make it more conservative.

So, even if you have read this book once before, this original version may be worth your time. If you have only seen the countless films based on the book, you really should read the book for a greater understanding of Shelley’s true intent when writing the book.

The novel is controversial for its time, and I think it still gives one a lot to ponder over. It is a Horror novel, but maybe not in the way you have been conditioned to think of it. The story is also told by the narrators, (Walton, Frankenstein and the Monster), with the benefit of hindsight, giving them the ability to see their errors and the consequences they wrought.

Several weighty themes are addressed in the story and people have theorized and analyzed the symbolism and pontificated on these subjects, searching for all manner of possible allegory, for ages.

In this case, the subtitle Shelley gives the book, suggests a parallel with the Greek mythological figure- Prometheus the Titan- who created humanity with clay. The quote by The monster to his creator- “Remember, that I am thy monster; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed" seems to be a reference to the creation depicted in Genesis.

The scientific ramifications suggest a cautionary tone-perhaps bordering on alarmist territory, in my opinion, but certainly raises questions- ones that are still being considered today.
John Milton’s- Paradise Lost’ is also thought to have influenced Shelley as the theme of alienation and isolation are prominent throughout the book.

For me, the motives behind Frankenstein’s experimentation, which, despite some arguments suggesting his grief played a role in his decision, were in my opinion, wholly egotistical and arrogant, spurred on by his raw and naked ambition. He attempts to sway the reader, at once claiming he is the devil, while at the same time, rationalizing his actions. His work backfires spectacularly, when his creation turns out to be so ‘hideous’, he is unable to acclimate himself within a normal society. He is abandoned by his creator, which leads to intense bitterness and anger, leading to his demand for a mate.

The conclusion felt a little bit abrupt, maybe a bit vague. Unlike Frankenstein, Walton’s choice is one that considers the overall effect of his ambitions- but, does the monster follow through on his promise?

Looking at the various points lined out here it hard to find too many similarities between the book and the various movie adaptations. The revised version of the book is the most commonly read, but still I hardly recognize the story compared to Hollywood’s interpretation of it.

As for the writing- compared to what we are accustomed to today, the prose may take some getting used to, but I had no trouble with it. As to whether the book stands the test of time is perhaps debatable. I couldn’t help but notice many recent three- star ratings for the book compared with tons of five- star ratings from years past.

I think this book has more merit than it is given credit for, and still raises many valid questions. Today’s world is full of Victor Frankenstein prototypes- ambitious to the point of obsession, and the consequences of personal achievement be damned- and they never seem to fully learn from their mistakes either.

For a book synonymous with the horror genre for centuries, I’d say it does stand the test of time. It is much more thought provoking than I had anticipated, and even if I had read this book from start to finish in my youth, I no doubt missed out on the various messages implied throughout. All of that would have sailed right over my head as I’m sure my only goal was to read a scary story.
I’m glad Frankenstein finally made it to the top of my Halloween reading list. Someday I may read the edited edition, and compare notes, but I doubt I’ll ever be tempted to watch a movie version again, with the possible exception, of Young Frankenstein. 😁😁


4 stars


143 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Frankenstein.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

October 15, 2019 – Started Reading
October 15, 2019 – Shelved
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: classics
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: e-book
October 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Tina Oh yes Julie!!! A great pick for this time of year. I read this one a couple of years back and really enjoyed it!


Julie Tina wrote: "Oh yes Julie!!! A great pick for this time of year. I read this one a couple of years back and really enjoyed it!"

Thank you, dear Tina!! I read this one way back in my early teens. I'm sure there are many nuances that went right over my head back then. I've been wanting to re-read it for a long time. 💖


Constantine I am rereading it this month too after a long time! Happy reading Julie.


Julie Constantine wrote: "I am rereading it this month too after a long time! Happy reading Julie."

Thank you, Constantine!! I read it ages ago- back in junior high, I think, so it will be like reading it for the first time. 💖


Antoinette I loved this book!! Enjoy!


Julie Antoinette wrote: "I loved this book!! Enjoy!"

Thank you, Antoinette!! 🎃


Leila A fascinating book Julie. Enjoy!


Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ Lovely review, Julie! This is really interesting to me, we learn't about the editing changes to both Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray back in high school, I'm really curious now how this would read :) Wonderful review as always x


message 9: by Paromjit (new)

Paromjit Thoughtful and insightful review, Julie.....thank you! 💕😌


Julie Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰ wrote: "Lovely review, Julie! This is really interesting to me, we learn't about the editing changes to both Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray back in high school, I'm really curious now how this..."

Thank you, Alex!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this uncensored edition. It is interesting! 💖🎃


Julie Paromjit wrote: "Thoughtful and insightful review, Julie.....thank you! 💕😌"

Thank you, Paromjit!! 🎃💖


message 12: by Deborah (new) - added it

Deborah Good analysis. Love Young Frankenstein. 👻


Julie Deborah wrote: "Good analysis. Love Young Frankenstein.

Thank you, Deborah!! One of my favorite movies! Still cracks me up! 💖🎃



message 14: by Bookish Ally (new)

Bookish Ally This has been on my reading list for a long while now. I have resisted reading it, not for when it was written as I’m one to enjoy the 19th century writers, but because I know how difficult the themes will be that are brought up within this book. Thank you for your review, it gave much respect to a book which, I am sure, was well worth the thoughtful, and thought provoking appraisal.


Julie Bookish Ally wrote: "This has been on my reading list for a long while now. I have resisted reading it, not for when it was written as I’m one to enjoy the 19th century writers, but because I know how difficult the the..."

Thank you Ally!! It's a heavier book than some may think. Definitely not light reading!! 💖


message 16: by PorshaJo (new)

PorshaJo Great review Julie! Glad you liked it. I own a copy and every year I say I'm going to read it. What a great Halloween read!


Julie PorshaJo wrote: "Great review Julie! Glad you liked it. I own a copy and every year I say I'm going to read it. What a great Halloween read!"

Thank you, PorshaJo!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! 🎃


message 18: by RedemptionDenied (new)

RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, RD!! 🎃


message 20: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Excellent review, Julie.


message 21: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Terrific review, Julie.


message 22: by Shruti (new) - added it

Shruti Awesome review, Julie! ❤️


Julie Carolyn wrote: "Excellent review, Julie."

Thank you, Carolyn!! 💖


Julie Angela M wrote: "Terrific review, Julie."

Thank you, Angela!! 💖


Julie Shruti wrote: "Awesome review, Julie! ❤️"

Thank you, Shruti!! 💖


Julie Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends wrote: "Great review, Julie!"

Thank you, Brenda!! 🎃


message 28: by Kimber (new) - added it

Kimber Silver What a wonderfully comprehensive review, Julie! I've had this on my think about it list for far too long. You've pushed this farther up my list! I love Young Frankenstein, also. 😊


Julie Kimber wrote: "What a wonderfully comprehensive review, Julie! I've had this on my think about it list for far too long. You've pushed this farther up my list! I love Young Frankenstein, also. 😊"

Thank you, Kimber!! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one. Young Frankenstein is the best 'Frankenstein' movie- ever!! 😁😁😁


Candi An excellent, discerning review, Julie!


Julie Candi wrote: "An excellent, discerning review, Julie!"

Thank you, dear Candi!! 💖


message 32: by Kimber (last edited Nov 02, 2019 04:56AM) (new) - added it

Kimber Silver Julie wrote: "Kimber wrote: "What a wonderfully comprehensive review, Julie! I've had this on my think about it list for far too long. You've pushed this farther up my list! I love Young Frankenstein, also. 😊"

..."

You're welcome! I'm adding this version so that I can read all the juicy parts she didn't edit out later!😉
I would agree with you on that assessment of Young Frankenstein, Julie! 😃👍


message 33: by Julie (last edited Nov 02, 2019 09:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Julie Kimber wrote: "Julie wrote: "Kimber wrote: "What a wonderfully comprehensive review, Julie! I've had this on my think about it list for far too long. You've pushed this farther up my list! I love Young Frankenste..."

Enjoy Kimber! This version is not the prettiest if you get it in digital format- but it is still worth it the effort! 💖


message 34: by Kat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kat Valentine Another fantabulous review Julie!!😉💞👍💋


message 35: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Excellent review Julie!🤗💖📚


Julie Kat wrote: "Another fantabulous review Julie!!😉💞👍💋"

Thank you very much, Kat!! 😊💖😊


Julie Kaceey wrote: "Excellent review Julie!🤗💖📚"

Thank you so much, Kaceey!! 😊💖😊


Kat, lover of bears... I felt the exact same way when I read it again for the second time since youth. I missed the deeper nuances and suffering on both the doctor and creature’s part. As always, excellent review!


Julie Kat, lover of bears... wrote: "I felt the exact same way when I read it again for the second time since youth. I missed the deeper nuances and suffering on both the doctor and creature’s part. As always, excellent review!"

Thank you very much, Kat! This a much deeper novel than people realize. 😊💖😊


message 40: by *TUDOR^QUEEN* (new)

*TUDOR^QUEEN* Brilliant review, which I truly enjoyed reading. This is a classic that I would love to get around to, so I really valued your thoughts on it. I've never read the book, but remember watching the late night black and white horror movies of it on Chiller theater with my parents growing up! 😉💓


Julie *TUDOR^QUEEN* wrote: "Brilliant review, which I truly enjoyed reading. This is a classic that I would love to get around to, so I really valued your thoughts on it. I've never read the book, but remember watching the la..."

Thank you, TQ!! I loved watching those old movies when I was a kid!! The book is truly different, and very thought provoking. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!! 💖


Betsy Great review! I found it quite enjoyable as well.


Julie Betsy wrote: "Great review! I found it quite enjoyable as well."

Thank you, Betsy!! It was a lot more than I bargained for. I'm still thinking about it! 💖


Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill Fantastic review Julie! Perfect time of year to decide to read this! Loved your gifs too!


back to top