Reviews of Frankenstein (1818)
Review by bookend (2007-11-11)
As the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley has drawn on her husband's Romantic tendencies while simultaneously incorportating the Gothic genre. Frankenstein is a beautifully written novel of the early 19th century and demonstates the awe with which artists viewed nature. In the novel great attention is paid to lightning storms and icy landscapes and this underscores the unnaturalness of the monster. Nothing like any movie, Frankenstein shows the brutality of human beings and the role of the family in creating identity and notions of selfhood. The reader is able to identify with both Frankenstein and his monster, yet passing judgement is inescapable and provides an opportunity of self-reflection.
Review by cthulhu99 (2007-03-14)
There is no doubt that Frankenstein is a classic. There are times where the imagery is truly terrifying. Times where only a silhouette of the monster can be seen in the distance as he is illuminated by a flash of lightning. Scenes like that can give chills while later the mood seems to soften as the lesson is learned about hatred and bigotry towards those who are different. The monster teaches a lesson of acceptance as he is shunned for his appearance even though he felt love and compassion. Human nature was the reason for his change to a more sinister character. I love the book and the movie alike. They both teach lessons that perhaps the world should take heed to. As old as this book is, it is rather humorous to see the parallels with modern society and the "fantasy" society in the novel.
No, the famous 'it's alive' scene is NOT in the book. This is one of the few cases where I consider the highly rated 'classic' book to be inferior to the movie. I found the writing to be slightly below mediocre, and the characters incredulous and often idiotic. The plot is worse: the fellow Frankensteinn is advanced enough to stitch together a bunch of body parts to make something alive (Shelly truly was not much of a scientist)(and also it should be noted that the process is not AT ALL described as the movie does extensively--all that is said is that Mr. F. 'worked very hard, and finally learnt how to fuse life into dead parts'--reminds me of my 15 year old brother's sci-fi stories), but he is not capable of making the monster slightly pleasing looking (which turns out to be the whole problem, indeed. The monster in the book, unlike in the movie, is perfectly intelligent and all). When Frank suceeds in his endevour he displays the COMPLETELY ABSURD AND LUDICROUS reaction of putting a tail between in legs and running off! Because he gets scared! Since I know quite a lot of scientists, I was especially appalled.
From here on the book gets worse. F. is constantly brooding and whining over what he's done. Though he is said to be a man of learning, etc, he does not display an ounce of reasoning throughout the entire book and moans around like some melodramatic young poet instead. Other characters are simply knockably shallow and place holders. The monster-creature is sillier than all the rest, filled with the typical yearning for knowledge and acceptance (the movie made him better, in the book he is basically a fully mentally functioning, very ugly man). We also have the narrator whose pointless inclusion is also another fly in the gruel.
The only context I found this book interesting is how Mary Shelley had had a few miscarraiges/still-births before she wrote this book, which kind of shows what she had in mind. Every edition seems to have an introduction blaring around how Shelley wrote this book when she was only 19, but it seems more like a disclaimer to me.
Review by Thomas (2004-01-26)
Now this is a book. Explores the fine line between how much control each of us has over our own lives and how much we are influenced by the way the world treats us. In a word, inspired.
Review by Corleone (2004-01-26)
This was one of the best books I was required to read in high school. The theme is eternally important and the story is very relevant today. Both Victor and the Monster are fascinating and easily pitiable. Great book.
Review by bobbio (2003-09-17)
This is the book that started the whole Frankenstein movies and run off's. It's a great story but very off beat.
Review by scottie (2003-08-27)
One of my all-time favorite books.
If you haven't read Frankenstein then you've probably got lots of misconceptions about it - like I had before I read it.
Review by hammer587 (2003-08-18)
Great book. I read it while on a cruise boat in the Bahama's and all I wished to do was enter into this gothic world and escape from the sun. The monster will surprise you as well as Frankenstein. The affairs of a Creator's relationship with his created, his despised, who he casts away. What would you do if learnt you were hated by all men for your very existence that you had no choice in, forced to live in the shadows, to be alone for ever? How would you handle it? All this is explored magnificantly.