Book review: Frankenstein

Title: Frankenstein

Author: Mary Shelley

Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Limited

Published: 1993

Pages: 170

Price: £1.99

ISBN: 9781853260230



Summary:

Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Review:

So this is another one of the books I have to read for my university course but thankfully I enjoyed this one a bit more than Wuthering Heights! (Although, it did take me 11 days to read it because of the major reading slump I’m in.) But here we are, finally finished!

I’ve got to say that I did quite enjoy it. The language used wasn’t as hard to understand as WH but was still quite complex in parts, especially when talking about scientific terms, but that was nothing a quick google search couldn’t help with. Also, the notes provided at the back of the book gave more detail to the story and more information about the author. There was a lot of intertextual references, some separated into their own mini paragraphs and some lines incorporated into the main body of the text. Although I didn’t personally know any of them, other people would be able to make the link to the other text which would in turn progress the narrative further.

The story begins with a series of letters written by Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret, describing his journey towards his scientific study. The final letter at the beginning of the book is Robert telling Margaret how a stranger has joined his crew from the sea and has a story to tell. The narrative then changes perspective and is written from Victor Frankenstein’s point of view as he is telling the story to Robert. Sound confusing? It’s a lot less confusing actually reading it than describing it! So essentially, it’s a story within a story. Now, it could be argued that the letters are completely irrelevant and the story would be better without them but *spoiler alert* when Frankenstein dies, the letters become crucial in finishing the narrative.

Although I did enjoy reading it, I didn’t absolutely love it. The characters were all amazing; the deaths of Justine, William, Henry, Elizabeth and Victor’s father were all emotional and made me feel sorry for Victor and the connection between reader and character for me is important. However, in some parts of the text it dragged on quite a lot. The main example of this is when the Frankenstein’s monster comes back and talks about his whole life; where he stayed, what he ate, how he learnt to speak French etc. I think this was just too much and, although the reader would maybe question some aspects, the narrative would have progressed without all the information. My rating is based upon this reasoning, I just wish that my heart would give this wonderful book a higher rating but alas, it will not.

My rating: 3.8/5

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