Robert's Reviews > Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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it was amazing

I read Frankenstein when I was 16 years old and it just made my jaw drop. I had never read anything like that before. Here was a novel that starts with a letter, which morphs into a flashback that takes up half the book and then just gets insanely better as the book shifts to present day.

Everyone knows this story. Dr. Frankenstein wants to play God by creating a human out of dead body parts and his experiment is a success.Sort of. The thing is Frankenstein's monster (aka the creature) is ugly and Frankenstein runs away.

It turns out that all the creature wants is companionship and he tries to look for it. Unfortunately it only leads to death so he returns to Frankenstein demanding a wife, which does not work out either. By the end of the book Frankentstein dies and the creature overcome with guilt and sorrow plans to commit suicide - at least that's what us readers are told.

I guess my take on this is 'do not tamper with nature' or everyone needs lovebut what amazes me is that way the book is structured. Thinking about it where there books in 1818 which used clever time hopping techniques? they they have monsters as complex as the creature or have such an ambiguous ending? Way ahead of its time.
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Finished Reading
September 16, 2009 – Shelved

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Teodor And every time I re-read it -- which is quite often -- I'm struck by how all the 'hopping' in the narrative serves a clear purpose, usually a thematic one. The Walton letter, for example, sets up all the themes in the book from the get go, even if it may seem like a digressive way to start (liberal use of the term 'digression' there but screw it). That kind of control of the imagination is all the more impressive given that Mary was 19 when she wrote it. Or it could be one of those amazing once-in-a-century things where it was actually spontaneous and just clicked into place. But somehow, I doubt it.

Robert Bronte's Wuthering Heights is another novel with avant garde time shifting techniques (and was published 28 years later after Frankenstein) which I admire. Although Wuthering Heights was serialized so maybe Bronte didn't have a plan and was seeing how to stretch the story (just a theory and probably an incorrect one)

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