50 books to read before you die discussion

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Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments May group read from the 50

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) I may as well read this sometime this month - I've had it on the TBR a long time, love the movies and a big Universal Monster fan.

Good pick :)

Sophie | 187 comments I'm 7 chapters in to this and it's okay so far. I don't have any strong feelings either way. Anyone else reading it along with the group?

Buck (spectru) I read this a couple of years ago. I thought it was quite good, despite the plot holes, especially considering it was written by a teenager.

Nothing like the old Boris Karloff movies

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments I read this last year. I've always liked the Frankenstein story, but whilst reading this I realized how much that story has actually mutated.
I found the book slow & a bit dull, in spite of mow much I wanted to enjoy it.

Sophie | 187 comments Yes, I'm finding it a little tedious so far.

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 743 comments A couple of years ago, Dean Koontz wrote a Frankenstein series. The first book was great, but it deteriorated severely by the third book.

Buck (spectru) I wasn't aware of his Frankenstein series. Koontz gets a pretty good rating on Goodreads. His Frankenstein series ranks just below 4.0. I just read my first Koontz, Odd Thomas, the first in a different series.

Shelley's Frankenstein is often credited as the first science fiction novel. The old movies, of course, are horror movies. Koontz's books are usually put in the horror genre, though I would classify the one I read as murder mystery/fantasy.

Buck (spectru) Here is my review of Frankenstein from nearly two years ago:

I won't describe the plot here. Suffice it to say that if you've seen the Boris Karloff movie, you have no idea. It's astonishing how much the popular films diverge from the book. Aside from Frankenstein's animation of the creature he had assembled from human parts, little of Shelley's novel is portrayed in the movies.

The prose is the formalistic writing of two centuries ago, and yet I found it quite compelling. I recently read Pride and Prejudice, which was written in the same decade. To me, Mary Shelley's use of language is far superior to Jane Austen's.

One element of the novel I found puzzling was the strange behavior of Victor Frankenstein. He was not a sympathetic character at all. His motivations were arrogant and self-serving. When the creature first came to life, Frankenstein instantly spurned it and then fell into a feverish delirium, a sickly near-coma that went on for months. Later, in Ireland, upon seeing the murdered corpse of his friend Henry Clerval, he again lapsed into a semi-comatose fever for two months. Odd, indeed.

(view spoiler)

It was Mary Shelley's intent, supposedly, to reprove scientists of the day for delving into matters that are not the province of man. Victor Frankenstein's horror at the awakening of the creature is due to the realization of the unacceptable thing he has done, of the line he has crossed. Two hundred years later, this point of view is lost on me. I see Frankenstein's reaction to his creation, his washing his hands of the life he has brought into this world, as reprehensible.

(view spoiler)

The creature was able to surreptitiously stalk Frankenstein wherever he went, even across seas. I could only ascribe this feat to his high intelligence and super-human physical abilities. But it did seem a little far-fetched. I decided to take these sorts of things with a grain of salt. They didn't diminish my enjoyment. I quite liked the novel.

(view spoiler)

If you read Frankenstein, I urge you to carefully read the creature's final eloquent soliloquy. It is the summation of the novel and presumably Shelley's condemnation of the injustices of humanity. We see still today the behaviors in people which so drove the creature to vengeance for the injustices done to him.

Sophie | 187 comments I enjoyed the monster's few chapters a lot more than I've been enjoying Victor's. The idea of the monster being a vicous killer is only true because of how he was treated - because of his looks no less.

Was it ever described in any detail how the monster was actually created? I don't remember anything about that. Surely just putting some dead bodies together wouldn't create a living being.

message 11: by Matt (new)

Matt Marino | 8 comments The thing is, there's a "playing God" idea in the book that somehow allows Victor's creation to become a living being. In some ways, it's a lesson as to what happens when humans try to take on greater power than they're capable of handling. Part of it comes from Shelley's Romantic ideas (hers and her husband's).

message 12: by Buck (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buck (spectru) Matt wrote: "The thing is, there's a "playing God" idea in the book that somehow allows Victor's creation to become a living being. In some ways, it's a lesson as to what happens when humans try to take on grea..."

Shelley had the "playing God" idea as her premise, but the plot is driven by Victor's shirking of his responsibility to his creation, that is, his failure at plying God, because of his dismal failure as a human being.

Sophie | 187 comments I finished this a couple of days ago. I ended up giving it 3 stars. I enjoyed parts of it however I did feel it was lacking. Like you say Buck there were some plot holes and parts of the story felt a little off. Victor's monologue also had a tendency to bore me.

I would still recommend if you're interested.

message 14: by Siarhei (last edited Jan 11, 2017 01:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Siarhei Siniak (siarheisiniak) (view spoiler)

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