Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Summary: “Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only nineteen. 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 creatures hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
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? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever” (Goodreads).
Is it cliché of me to love this book? Yes. But did I expect to love this book? Hard no.
Greetings, friends. This is your public service announcement that if you are calling the monster “Frankenstein,” you are disowned, unless you’re spilling the tea that Victor Frankenstein is the real monster, in which you’re doing the lord’s work.
Okay, so I loved Frankenstein. I love Mary Shelley. I want to tattoo this entire book on my body (maybe I don’t want to do that, but still, I have to get the message across!) and I want to remember it forever (which I do want to do).
This isn’t just a book about the threat of technology. Your high school teachers have lied to you. This is a book about what it means to be human and it’s so much deeper than the biological meaning. Sometimes I put my book down to say “wow, she did that” and sometimes I put it down because man, was Victor annoying, and sometimes I put it down because I love the monster, I really do, but he did that. I mean, yes, it is about the threat of technology, about how one man took everything way too much, about how Victor is the embodiment of the Enlightenment era, and it’s so clearly anti-Enlightenment.
The best thing about it is that there’s no singular protagonist and no singular antagonist. The system is the antagonist. The world is the antagonist. The villagers are the antagonist. Victor is a contributor to that, but he’s also the pinnacle of want and need and those are such human traits that I can’t help but feel a teenie bit of connection to him. And as for the protagonist? There’s no singular protagonist either. The monster isn’t one, even if we all secretly root for him, because he commits some crimes and does some bad things that I think the general world can agree are Very Bad. Yet, we love him.
This book is just a massive realm of moral-grayness, and I love myself some moral-grayness.
I didn’t expect to love this classic, but I did, and I highly recommend reading it.