Book Review: Frankenstein
So I just finished reading Frankenstein. My Favorite Daughter was reading it for school so I thought I might as well read along with her.
Yeah, not so much.
This is a very difficult book to get through. To be perfectly honest it was nearly as torturous as the torment the monster put Victor Von Frankenstein through. Seriously. The first part of the book is letters from a ship’s captain that picks up Victor. Okay, I was on board with this.
Then we get into Victor’s account of his life.
Then he creates the monster. This last all of two pages where he goes from reanimating animals to a man and then the monster is gone. Wait… I want to know more about this! Wait…where did the monster go?
Someone dies, Victor goes back home. A relative is put on trial for the death and another innocent dies.
IT WAS THE MONSTER! Yes, finally some action in this story.
Victor faces the monster and they talk. A lot. Ad naseum. The monster tells Victor everything and I mean everything he’d been doing since his creation. There are chapters and chapters dedicated to the monster watching this family. The see the monster and decided it’d be better to just leave.
Really? We never see or hear anything about this family for the rest of the book. Was it really that important? Were any of the events in the lives of these people of any import to the book? WTH?
The monster tells Victor, make me a wife and I’ll leave you alone forever. Mr. I’m so smart I can re-animate the dead, but I can’t see that this killing machine will ruin my life if I don’t do as he says… says no. <sigh>
What does Victor do after telling this monster off? He goes on vacation to get his mind off of things.
Wait a cotton-picking minute. He goes on vacation? This self-professed killer is out there, living near his family, and he decides to go on vacation? Is this where Stephanie Myers got her inspiration and logic for Twilight?
SURPRISE! Someone else ends up dead. Victor gets blamed, but is released. So what does he do knowing this monster is still out there killing people?
HE GETS MARRIED!
OMFG! By this point I’m reading just to get to the end of this book. I’m waiting for Victor’s dearest Elizabeth to get whacked. I mean, seriously. Lizzy Frankenstein? She deserved her literary death.
Only then does Dear Doctor Victor Von Frankenstein decide it’s high time to kill this monster. For some reason the monster leads Vic on a merry chase through the artic north and we finally come full circle and we’re back to letters from the captain. Yes, letters again explaining in great, lengthy detail as the dear friend of the captain slides further and further into madness and poor health, yet they continue to chase the monster for him even to the detriment of the crew.
Finally good, old Vic dies and the crew starts home. The monster shows up and basically says “I’m sorry I made your life the hell you made of my life. Too bad you’re dead so you can’t hear me apologize. I’m going to go burn myself now that you’re dead.” And the monster disappears and we never really know his end.
I understand that this book is a classic. I get that the language used in the book is from a distant past. The concept of the book is creating life from death. I think that’s awesome. What I don’t get are all the side trails this book takes that are totally unnecessary and do nothing but make the reader sit back and wonder why. At least that’s what happened to me.
I know it was supposed to be the modern Prometheus. A creator overstepping his bounds and doing something only to serve his own ego. But Prometheus was punished by a higher authority than himself whereas Victor was punished by his own creation due to complete and total stupidity of the creator. All I could think was. AAAAA! MONSTER. Oh, good It’s gone. Now it’s someone else’s problem. Wait, it’s killing my family. I’ll deal with it later. Wait! It’s still killing my family. Oh well, I’ll go on vacation.
Do yourself a favor: Don’t read this book! I read it because I’ve seen all the movies related to this book. They spend time with the creation and the monster and the why and not with all the drudgery of all the mundane crap this book was loaded with.
If you read and enjoyed this book, good on you. I read it only to say I did. I will never revisit this book. It is not where it belongs, in my behind…er, my past.