“It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.”Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Author: Mary Shelley
Genres: Classics, Literary, Gothic, Horror, Historical Fiction
Length: 9 hrs, 10 mins
My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 4/7/2023 – 4/30/2023
I tried reading Frankenstein several years ago but didn’t get past the first few pages. Attempting it again, I was surprised at how absorbed I became. Not so much in the story itself, but the questions pondered, particularly involving the ‘being’.
After seeing endless spoofs in TV shows or movies, I went into this expecting some form of satire. That’s not to say I was under the impression this was a comedy… I’m not sure how to put my exact expectations into words. Anyway, as it went on, I got the gothic feel, though I wouldn’t personally consider this a horror story. Twisted, but not particularly scary. It felt very literary.
I found Victor easy to dislike and I sympathized more with his creation at first. Then the tables turned, and then by the end, I wasn’t sure who I ought to root for. I love books that leave me feeling unsettled. I also think listening to this book on audio also made the difference. The narrator did a fantastic job portraying the being. It added so much to the atmosphere of the story. I’m already looking forward to a future reread.
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- The moral questions posed, such as what is the ‘being’ from having come from man and not God.
- The madness of the characters.
- The writing style.
What I didn’t like:
- Victor is really dumb for a genius.
- The letters in the beginning go on for way too long. I find Victor’s narration strong enough without the opening and closing.
I purchased a physical copy of the book for annotations, however, I listened to this along with Audrey’s April read-along. It was a lot of fun! I especially love the additions the app offers such as chapter recaps and a reading guide. I learned a lot about Mary Shelley’s life while listening and I’d love to start looking into biographies of her.