By Mary Shelly
At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, 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.
An instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos; What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with nature?
This is now one of my all-time favorite books. And just as a preface: this book is nothing like any film adaptation of reincarnation you know. None of them come close to the awesomeness of this book. I took a film adaptation class last spring and we delved into not only the adaptations of the film from Whale’s iconic black-and-white adaptation with Boris Karloff to the newest film “I Frankenstein”, but also comic book versions and the original by Mary Shelly. I think the lead-up to reading the original is part of why I love this book so much. I was totally Frankenstein immersed when I got to the book. This book is about morality as much as it is about monstrosity. I loved the monster’s point of view in the book, and it really points out how kindness and a lack of it can change the course of many lives for better or worse. Also, I think everyone should read a description of what the monster really looks like. It’s much freakier than the green-skinnned square headed Boris Karloff with bolts in his neck. It’s so much more frightening because Victor Frankenstein actually created this creature, he didn’t grave rob body parts, he created it. Part of the horror of it is the fact that Shelly never explained how Victor did it, she just said he did and described the terrible outcome. Wow. Just read this once in your life please! It’s amazing. And while you’re at it, you should at the very least go watch James Whale’s Frankenstein for the beautiful cinematography (even though it’s way different than the book)
This gets a 4.75 out of 5