Saturday, November 03, 2012

Review: Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was NOT at all what I thought it would be going in.

The daemon [Frankenstein's monster] was not the monster in this book. Yes, he committed grievous acts of violence and psychological torture and should have been properly punished, ie, killed, but Victor Frankenstein was the character that made me shudder with horror, loathing & revulsion.

A completely self-absorbed, self-centered genius, Victor showed me the worst of humanity. He ignores his family to pursue his own ambitions. He creates a new life, and then immediately spurns and rejects it, his reason being that it was ugly and revolted him. He created it ugly, it didn't spontaneously turn into fugly ugly man when it was given life.

Once Victor denies his creation, he simply ignores the very fact that he created it for several years. He doesn't seek it out to try to reconcile with it. He doesn't seek it out to kill it, even though he is convinced it is "evil" from its life's inception. He ignores it, almost like if he pretends it didn't happen, then it didn't.

He falls sick, very similarly to how Raskolnikov [from Crime & Punishment ] does after he commits his crime. Victor knows he has committed an unforgivable sin, but he won't, he can't, admit he was in the wrong.

Then the daemon strikes. It begins an attack against Victor that is truly horrific, as premeditated and thought out as if from the mind of a master criminal. Death, death and death. Interludes of peace. Tauntings, whispers, obsession.

In the end, I found this story to truly be a horror story. Victor claims that the spirits of his deceased relatives give him strength to hunt the monster down. Where was that strength before? Why did Victor not hunt it down before? What made Victor ignore the fact that HE was the true killer of his family,not the daemon?
There was only room in Victor's life for Victor. The daemon, Victor's father, his brothers, his lover/wife, all only impinged on Victor's life as much as he lets them.

Victor Frankenstein was a true monster who made others pay the price for his own horrific deeds. He refused to think about the consequences of any of his actions and he only regretted past actions as they inflicted pain upon him.

This was not a scary book, by any means, and I suspect many people would be bored by it. Those same people who read the Twilight Saga, play the lottery, eat their hamburgers, watch the television and generally lumber through life. So, can you think for yourself?

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