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message 1: by Patrick (last edited Sep 29, 2017 11:39PM) (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 894 comments The Myth

In preparing his next Labour request, Eurystheus thought he should fool Hercules into thinking that he would also enjoy a bit of holiday. “Hey, Herc”, said he, “I’ll give you a budget to go to Spain for a few weeks. I need you to bring back some cattle belonging to Geryon, for an old debt. He lives somewhere in the Hesperides, in a place called Erytheia. Since I give you a bit of time for this job, you can enjoy a bit of R&R too. Oh, and take this gift from me”, handing Hercules a bag laden of colourful small candy harbouring smiley faces.

Hercules, full of Ibiza thoughts, took the road and thought of using a shortcut through the empty deserts of Libya. He tasted some of the candy and quickly finished his water supply, underestimating the unbearable heat of the Libyan desert. Still, he felt quite exhilarated (he was riding a pimped-up camel, blasting with duff duff music), yet quite annoyed by the searing sun, so annoyed that he stopped his drive, dismounted and frenetically shot arrows in the direction of the sun. Dehydrated, he blacked out and sprawled his exhausted body on the blond Libyan sand.

When he came back to harsh consciousness, he noticed a golden chariot with a note left on the driver’s seat, reading: “Enjoy the ride, mate. Cheers, Helios”. Apart for the chariot, no trace of his camel; he thought he was hallucinating, due to hunger and lack of water. So, he resumed his journey in the golden chariot, gradually emptying the bag of smiley candy. He felt real good.

He then saw the road sign for Erytheia then turned right. At the town entrance, he came face-to-face with a vociferous two-headed dog. Again, dazed and confused and suspecting hallucinations, Hercules thought: “Damn, that probably was not candy…” As the dog approached, Hercules took the baseball bat that was lying on the back seat of the golden chariot and landed a perfect hit on the feral beast, who died in the process. Then, a dishevelled herdsman, hearing the ruckus, darted towards Hercules, shouting: “I am Eurytion and you will pay for killing my dog Orthrus!” And goes another swing of the bat, Eurytion is no more.

Hercules, still wondering what the heck was going on, saw appearing a three-headed monster with six legs, bearing three shields and three spears. “Wow, I am seeing triple now…” lamented Hercules. Summoning the remainder of his mental faculties, he shot one of his poisoned arrows on the middle head of the monster: bull’s eye! The monster collapsed, but still looked like a three-headed monster with six legs, bearing three shields and three spears. Casting a look towards the paddock, Hercules saw several heads of cattle, all red in colour and mooing a song, which sounded to Hercules like: “We are the cattle of Geryon/Please, please, please, with you take us on/Away from this horrible paddock/You won’t find happier livestock!”

Mesmerised, Hercules freed the cattle and ensured they would follow him back to Eurystheus’ ranch. Sure, there were some incidents with a Roman cattle-thief, some gadflies and flooding rivers, but Hercules could really feel on his return that he got fooled by “candy”…

The Books

For this tenth Labour, we won’t aim for the cattle but for the monsters. Which of these man-made monstrous creations will you set to destroy with your reading eyes to fulfil this Labour?

Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) 2 points
The Island of Doctor Moreau (H.G. Wells) 2 points

To earn the points associated with either book, you can only read and review the chosen book between 2017-10-01, midnight EST (New York) and 2017-10-31, midnight EST (New York). You should post your reviews below, clearly identifying which book you are reviewing.

message 2: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1304 comments Love it!

message 3: by Sushicat (new)

Sushicat | 292 comments I've read Frankenstein last year. So it will have to be The Island of Dr. Moreau.

message 4: by John (new)

John Seymour I've recently read Dr. Moreau, so Frankenstein it is.

message 5: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1304 comments I think I have a copy of Frankenstein on tape! if I can't find it I will read Dr Moreau instead!

message 6: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 894 comments You can now start reading your chosen book for this tenth Labour!

message 7: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1304 comments I found a copy of Frankenstein in Gertrude & Alice in Bondi beach this afternoon - heavily annotated by a former owner - so that will be my choice!

message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane | 1919 comments Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
Rating: 4 Stars
Re-read Oct 2017

This is my second time reading the book. I read it years ago and gave it 3 stars. This time around it was definitely a 4 star read for me. I think the first time I read it I felt a bit let down that it was wordier and not as suspenseful as the Frankenstein movies I had watched. This time I appreciated it more as a classic work of literature. From a writing standpoint, it was ahead of its time (early 1800's), but drew from European folklore and superstitions from any even earlier time. I am glad I took the opportunity to re-read it. I am sure this won't be the last time I do so.

message 9: by Sushicat (last edited Oct 18, 2017 07:17AM) (new)

Sushicat | 292 comments The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells - 4 stars

The story of what happened to Edward during the months he went missing at sea is found by his nephew after his death. His tale is is so fantastical that his sanity was doubted. Here he uncovers layer by layer, as he learned it himself, the horrors of Moreau’s island. The tale is very readable and well paced.

message 10: by Ann (last edited Oct 19, 2017 05:38AM) (new)

Ann Dank | 11 comments Frankenstein – 3.5 Stars

My first review ever, hopefully this make sense :) While reading first half of the book, I was thinking to myself, “Gee, this did not age well at all”. I found scientific discussions in the beginning kind of naive, story within a story within a story narrative exploited. And then came the part where the monster explains how he came to be so evil. And it completely blew me away. It brought up so many good questions that are still relevant today like “is evil in the world of our own doing”, “what do we do with criminally-inclined people today”, and so on. Shelley did a very good job making me feel quite compassionate toward him, he was definitely not a one-dimensional creature that we are supposed to fear and hate. That part of the book is a solid 5. The rest is very readable, but extremely predictable.

message 11: by Ann (last edited Oct 20, 2017 01:17PM) (new)

Ann Dank | 11 comments The Island of Dr. Moreau - 3 Stars

I am very happy I picked this book after Frankenstein (purely by chance due to books' availability at the library). You can clearly see the evolution of science fiction genre from the first to the second. Unfortunately, I did not feel the same compassion for the Beast People that I felt for Frankenstein's monster. They were too repulsive and primitive and I kept thinking why Dr. Moreau simply did not dispose of them when he realized the danger. My interpretation of the message of the book is that the line that separates the men from beasts is very thin, but still they never felt remotely human to me. Overall, a very quick and entertaining read.

message 12: by Paula (new)

Paula S (paula_s) | 221 comments Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Frankenstein 3 stars

This was a reread for me and I think I gave it 4 stars last time. I deducted one star because it didn't quite live up to my expectations this time. I still thing everyone should read it, if nothing else just to find out how different the original story is to the one usually told in the media. It always amazes me how intelligent and articulate the monster is, and what a complete jerk everyone is to him just because he looks big and dangerous.

message 13: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1304 comments İ finished this, quite appropriately I thought, on October 31st. Like others, I had become familiar with the story through movie versions, even the opera on screen, but I don't remember actually reading the book before. Reading an edition that had been heavily annotated by somebody in an academic course of some sort added an intriguing dimension. I am travelling today, but will try to sneak time to complete my review before the deadline!

message 14: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 1189 comments Mod
The Island of Dr. Moreau

My second book by H.G. Wells. This was definitely a spooky read for Halloween. I had to look up the definition of vivisection. Thank goodness for PETA now. I found the book typical for the time period; doom and gloom, everything that could go wrong did. It was a short read and seasonally appropriate.

message 15: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1304 comments I wondered about a parallel between God and Frankenstein. Is Shelley suggesting that God, like Frankenstein, rues his creation and wishes for its destruction?

message 16: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 894 comments The Island of Dr Moreau (H. G. Wells) ***

Wells' tale of a castaway rescued in the middle of the Pacific by two mad scientists who indulged in vivisection and freak beast creation is another example of the fantastic (but almost believable) genre which established him as a pioneer in this literary branch. However, I didn't feel this was as readable or enjoyable as some of his works, like War of the Worlds. I vaguely recall avoiding to watch the movie made out of this book when I was very young; it appeared quite scary and, based on my reading of the novel, definitely would have been.

message 17: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 894 comments The time period to complete the tenth Labour is now over.

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