Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century Gothicism. While stay-ing in the Swiss Alps in 1816 with her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and others, Mary, then eighteen, began to concoct the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the monster he brings to life by electricity. Written in a time of great personal tragedy, it is a subversive and morbid story warning against the dehumanization of art and the corrupting influence of science. Packed with allusions and literary references, it is also one of the best thrillers ever written. Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus was an instant bestseller on publication in 1818. The prototype of the science fiction novel, it has spawned countless imitations and adaptations but retains its original power.
Frankenstein was a surprising read for me. I've never particularly expected to like Frankenstein, but it has always been on the list of books I've intended read. I decided it would make a great pick for the Dusty Volumes challenge.
As it turns out, I really enjoyed Frankenstein. I see why the image of Frankenstein's monster is so widely used in relation to "mad science". Victor Frankenstein concocted a huge man out of various human (and who knows what else's) body parts. This concoction truly was a monster, but I felt such pity for him. Pity for his hideousness, pity for his being unwanted by his creator, pity for his need of companionship.
In the beginning of Frankenstein, I found lines like "No word, no expression could body forth the kind of relation in which she stood to me - my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only." to be very creepy and foreboding. I also enjoyed Victor Frankenstein's disturbing obsession, but I didn't fall in love with the story until after Frankenstein created and abandoned his monster.
Frankenstein wound up as a suspenseful and satisfying read. If you enjoy reading classics and you haven't read Frankenstein, now is a great time to change that. If you are a fan of the horror genre, Frankenstein is pretty much a must read. I'm thankful to have finally read it!
7/10: Recommended Read
I downloaded Frankenstein for free from Project Gutenberg.