Monday, January 17, 2011

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley (✰✰✰✰)

For about the first two thirds of the book, I was unimpressed. To me the writing felt sluggish, too much detail that came across as arrogance on the narrator's part-as if the reader really cared about the mundane. However, in retrospect, the fact that Victor was so self-centered ends up playing hugely into the psychology of the tale: how one person's blind pursuits can lead to such ill-considered results. By the final third of the novel, it was startlingly clear why this is considered a classic. Because I do not want to, in any way, give away the plot, this is a difficult review to write. Allow me to say that this is a riveting example of how choices that can seem very gratifying to the individual at the time of their inception can, in the end, if not carried to a responsible conclusion, take on a life all their own (in this case quite literally). There is also a sub-theme to the book, addressing the issue of whether or not evil intent is innate or is acquired through life experience. Initially, I had thought that this would be a three star book. In the end I would have given it five stars for the themes, but the writing style didn't grab me, so I settled on four. If you are in the mood for a quick, thought-provoking read, this is an excellent choice. I listened to the audio, by Brilliance, which was very atmospheric.

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