Frankenstein

by Mary Shelly

Reviewed by Ruby


This is the well-known story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who created a monster from parts of the dead and brought it to life.

But how much do you really know about the original tale? Dr. Frankenstein makes a monster with the whole, "It's alive! Alive!" thing and it goes on a massive killing spree. Well, that's half right. Dr. Frankenstein does create a monster in order to try and prolong life after his mother dies. After bringing the thing to life (the "It's alive! Alive! disappointingly absent) he is disgusted by what he sees and the creature runs away.

Months later Victor returns home to find his brother dead at the hands of his creation, and the murder blamed on their maid. After she is executed for the crime Victor comes face to face with Adam (that's what the creature calls himself) and it talks (TALKS!) to him for something like 6 chapters straight. He tells Victor what has happened since the day he was 'born'. It's a long, sad tale where he does good things but is persecuted because of his appearance. Basically what it comes down to is that yes, he killed Victor's brother, but it was an accident as was the maid's execution, and if Victor would be kind enough to make him a companion, they would go down to the wilds of Africa and never bother anyone ever again.

Victor eventually agrees, but right when he's almost done he realizes what he's doing and destroys the second monster. Adam then kills Victor's best friend and finally his wife before Victor finally chases him all the way to the North Pole in order to kill him.

Wow, was I surprised when I read this. The monster actually talked! Didn't see that one coming.

I really enjoyed this book, even if the style of writing wasn't what I'm used to; I mean it was written in 1818, so it's obviously different. I don't know if it's just the books I've read but older books seem to be a lot less action-oriented and more descriptive of places, people and the character's thoughts.

The point of the novel is that the monster is more human that it's creator, or that they are two halves of one person; kind of like yin and yang. I really don't see that, but whatever. Maybe it just means that he's more emotional. That I get; the monster lives by emotions only. Dr. Frankenstein is compared to Prometheus, the Greek Titan that stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. 

Sure. Why not? Apparently I don't get it, but I still enjoyed this book; it wasn't at all what I expected.

 

Grade: B