A young scientist discovers the secrets to creating life in the laboratory, and is horrified by the results. This is the tale of two cursed wretches; the creator and the created, and their intertwining fates.
This novel is Mary Shelley's stroke of pure genius, and her masterpiece. The idea of man as God is as taboo and provocative a theme as any, and this book has shaken the entire world with its outrageous horror. Shelley also delivers a splendid, ripping tale of deceit, murder, and relentless pursuit, set against the lush backdrop of vividly painted seasons, from France to the frozen mountains of ice in the Arctic!
Gothic! This is a true, pure example of some good, dark, gothic literature. It is full of despair, agony, terror, and a good dash of hopelessness. Add in some destruction of innocence, and you have "Frankenstein!" Told in a very clever use of first-person narrative, Shelley allows both her main characters to speak as the narrator.
I was surprised at how good this book actually was. After seeing a number of "Frankenstein" movies throughout my life, I was prepared for a novel about a mindless monster, stumbling around a lab and breaking everything in its path. What I got instead was a passionate tale of deep sadness and tragedy, where Shelley explored the themes of natural law, justice, evil vs. good, love, loss, redemption, and death. Yes, that's a lot, but she does it! Her descriptions of the landscapes are gorgeous, and her ability to present concise points economically was actually startling to me! The only knock I would have on this is that there are a couple little holes in the story (why would Frankenstein let his brand new bride go to bed alone, knowing he was being stalked by a monster?),and not much character-development, although I do realize this is more of an internal thematic wrestling match. However, as a package, really, this is a very well-written, very sad, tragic story, and a great book.
Book Reviewed by Jim Smith
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