Books I Loathed discussion

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Loathed Titles > Frankenstein

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message 1: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Steve | 8 comments OK, I cannot deny the impact of Mary Shelley's novel on the whole science fiction and horror genres but - man alive - what an atrociously written and constructed novel.

Was the phrase "deus ex machina" invented for this book? I suspect it was.


message 2: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Rindis | 18 comments Been too long since I read it for a class on SF. I certainly didn't loathe it, though its age certainly showed.


message 3: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Steve I haven't read it in years -- since high school -- but I remember liking it a lot, but hating Dracula. If you asked me why today, I'd have to say I don't remember, haha.


message 4: by Lindsay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Lindsay | 8 comments I have to agree with you there. I liked it but it was hard looking up every other word in the dictionary.


message 5: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:41PM) (new)

Steve | 8 comments "Woe is me. Everybody runs from me in terror. I look like a badly-stitched eight foot rag doll but I am a gentle soul who just wants to be loved. It's all his fault: my creator who abandoned me. I should find him. But how? Oh wait, what's this in the pocket of the coat I've been wearing for the last five years? Oh, it is a piece of paper with my creator's name and address in Geneva. Never noticed that before. What luck."

And so on and so forth. Ugh.


message 6: by Dusty (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:42PM) (new)

Dusty | 10 comments what do you mean ugh? you try writing a book about monsters personified. this book was written by a woman back in a time when women had very little power, and no creation validation. frankenstein is a deeply layered work, i am sorry you didn't pick up on that.


message 7: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Rachel i absolutely loved "frankenstein". i loved the story, i enjoyed the writing and i consider it one of the best classics i have ever read. i'm actually quite surprised to hear that someone loathed it so much, but that's literature! for example, i would like to burn every copy of "catcher in the rye" ever printed, but mispa (as well as a couple million other people) absolutely love it. i definitely agree though that there are many books that people think are wonderful just because they made a point of some sort. i think we throw around the term "classic" a little too much.


message 8: by Summer Rae (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Summer Rae Garcia | 45 comments Me too Rachel (about Frankenstein, not Catcher...but I know it is a bandwagon)I love Frankenstein. It is one of my all time favorite books. I think it was my first favorite book. I did have to look up every other word in the dictionary, and I still have my underlined copy from my teens.

Come on, when he is observing that family and he feels a part of them, then realizes he will never be able to have that life. It was heart wrenching.

I love this book. I never found it boring, but it was a challenge. I do also like Catcher in the Rye, but that is really not my point. I am also surprised at how many people found this book dull, or loathsome. Oh well, I also think PBS is riveting so I am probably just a big dork.


message 9: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Rachel hey, dorks are cool. i like to consider myself a huge dork. :)


message 10: by Dusty (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Dusty | 10 comments i didn't mean to be so harsh earlier but frankenstein was an important book for me back in grade 11. i've thought of it over the years and re-read it a few times. i never found it hard to grasp. i think the way to get frankenstein is to not look up the words and focus on the feeling it gives you. it never felt dull or stuffy for me, just alive. facing our own monsters, internal external etc...
but i don't think anyone should love a book just because it is a classic. old or pop. i am not a fan of lolita and lots of people drool on that book.


message 11: by Summer Rae (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Summer Rae Garcia | 45 comments Sarah , I think Frank McCourt should put you on his payroll! I mean that to be endearing, not yucky. Long Live Angela's Ashes!

And, oh yeah, I love looking up words as I read books, to me it enriches the story, and doesn't distract me from the meaning. It makes it interactive, almost like a old fashioned hyper link.


message 12: by Lindsay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:44PM) (new)

Lindsay | 8 comments I must say that I agree that Frankenstein is a hard read, but it is well worth the trials and tribulations. When you see the dynamic between Dr. Frankenstein and the creation, it's just amazing. I also love Catcher in the Rye, by the way.


message 13: by Misty (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Misty Thanks, Lindsay! Those are two of my favorites, too. BTW, every time I teach Romeo and Juliet, I ask the kids to read Pyramus and Thisbe. That chink in the wall reminds me of Frankenstein every time!


message 14: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments I liked Frankenstein, but I'm just throwing out some "change a mind" reasons here, not bashing anyone's right to loathe it. I kept in my head the whole time the idea that Shelley was telling this story in a dark room trying to win a scariest story contest among celebrated authors of her day. That thought set the perfect mood.

I was also really surprised at how badly Hollywood has interpreted the story over the years. I see all those lame Frankenstein's Monster Halloween decorations, and I think that the sentiment of fear that's meant to be inspired by them is exactly what the book was warning against. The Monster is supposed to be the externalization of our own lonliness and feelings of isolation, but here we are still saying "fear this thing! look how hideous it is!". Although I guess that's a little tough for a two year old to grasp. :)

I was just surprised by the story I guess. Shelley managed to create two anti-heroes and I was not really happy to cheer either of them on. I was really disgusted with Dr. Frankenstein (as the reader should be) for his cowardice and lack of foresight. I was also disgusted with the Monster because y'know violence ain't the answer, man. It made me think, and it still makes me think, which is pretty impressive for a little lady and her short story.


message 15: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Rachel i agree christen. those were the things that impressed me the most, as well. i was so floored when i read it because it was nothing like all those stupid movies. it was much more complex and deep. i read it in college and we discussed this book in relation to the romantics and what an incredible job she did of involving those themes. and i just loved the fact that she totally out-wrote the other two men. :)


message 16: by Mark (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Mark My position is that I couldn't read past the first few pages. I thought it was very poorly written, and guess what? -- I don't care if you think I'm wrong, because we are all right.


message 17: by Lindsay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Lindsay | 8 comments Misty,

I love Pyramus and Thisbe. It also reminds me of A Midsummer night's dream.


message 18: by Michele (new)

Michele (michelesusan) | 2 comments I am so glad I found this thread. This is one of the few books I have read in my life that I have not been able to finish. I tried at least twice. It confounds me that this is considered a "classic" in that it IS horribly written. Frankenstein is so dense and obtuse it must serve to turn thousands of people off from reading other pieces of worthwhile classic English literature.


message 19: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 27 comments I've tried to read it twice as well. I don't mind dense and obtuse, as long as the story itself is compelling, but I just couldn't get past the first bit, which was so incredibly slow and dull. And the first couple dozen pages have to be extremely dull and slow to put me off such a short book with a story I know would be interesting if I could just get to it.

This is one of those books I'd file under "Books I Wish I Liked".


message 20: by Michele (new)

Michele (michelesusan) | 2 comments I agree. Dense and obtuse can be good. Aldous Huxley can get a bit thick, Barbara Tuchman isn't exactly a stroll in the park, but there's movement, there's direction, there's action in their books. In Frankenstein, nothing but plodding stasis - the monster may have come to life, but the plot is dead as a doornail.


message 21: by Mouse (new)

Mouse | 18 comments I read a graphic novel version of it, but still I didn't like it. Mostly because the creator was an idiot. I mean, he made a monster out of sewn-together corpses and then he's shocked when he doesn't look like a GQ model?


message 22: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 10 comments How funny! I just started to read Frankenstein a couple weeks ago, but quickly gave up. It was written by a 19 year old for a writing contest with her buddies~~what can you really expect? The idea is great, though, so when I'm more in the mood I'll go back and try reading it again.

I read Dracula instead, and it was quite good!


message 23: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 32 comments Add me to the "I was bored out of my mind by Frankenstien" list. There were admitedly moments when I thought it meaningful and interesting, but, on the whole, that was one I could have done without.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I try to read Frankenstein every few years or so and usually get bored and frustrated and end up putting it back on the shelf. I just like the movies better, at least things happen and the goofiness at least entertains me when the plot breaks down. The book is too stuffy and dated for me, although it would probably go over a lot better if I was sitting around some mansion blasted on booze and opium like the intended audience was for the writing contest.


message 25: by Sally (last edited Mar 15, 2008 06:54AM) (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) I think the Dracula/Frankenstein separation is kind of like the Elvis/Beatles binary. You are usually inexplicably drawn to one or the other, and while you get that one - the other makes no sense.

I am a fan of Dracula (vampire-isms in general).


I love to hear about all the Frankenstein haters out there - and esp. the fans of the movie - because I am giving a presentation on the various film adaptations in a few weeks at a conference! I am fascinated with the concept mostly because I really wonder where in the world a nineteen year old girl (with a daughter) came up with such monstrosity. The story changed drastically in parts through her revisions that took place over a span of 16 years - until the finished draft, the one we mostly read today, heavily edited by Percy Bryce Shelly - so I can not account it all to a whimsical one night make-believe party.

But I am fascinated that her story itself is woven together of many overheard snippets of legend and lore, just as the nasty monster itself was composed of dead body parts.


message 26: by Emma (last edited Aug 31, 2008 08:49PM) (new)

Emma I'm reading it right now and, for such a tiny book, it's turning into quite the slog.

I like the idea of the book, the sentiment is actually quite subversive and more relevant today than it was even in its own time. I started it right on the heels of Ornyx and Crake, two books you would not normally put together but that fit so wonderfully well, like two halves of a genetically-modified grapefruit.

But, as everyone has mentioned, it's the writing that's slowing me down. I'm so sick of verbose, drawn-out emotional pleas. Stop whining, Frankenstein, and get off your ass!

Since I started reading it, I picked up the Helena Bonham-Carter film version from the library. So impossibly bad!


message 27: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) Personally, I love "Frankenstein." But, I can understand completely the reasons why someone would hate it. It is pretty heavy-handed, contrived and very gothic. I love it in spite of its flaws.


message 28: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) | 11 comments Frankienstien is in my Top Five favorite books. I loved it, I couldn't put it down when I was reading it. I felt as if I was part of the story. But, it did get confusing at times...but I still loved it.


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