‘Frankenstein (1818 Text)’ by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

My Review

I am so annoyed at myself for letting myself be taken in by the Hollywood horror bastardisations of this novel. I’m a huge wimp. Terrified of horror. Blood. Guts. Gore. All that sort of stuff so for years I avoided this classic WHAT A DAMN FOOL I WAS BECAUSE THIS IS SHEER GENIUS!!!

I love what Mary Shelley did.

The man versus his creation….

THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG.

JUST GREY.

AND YASSSSS!!!!!

BRILLIANT.

Frankenstein has been so messed up by pop culture. There is such a misunderstanding about what this novel tried to say about us as people. It’s got so many layers to it and layers that you could bring into a modern day debate regarding genetic manipulation etc.

I just love the mind that Mary Shelley had.

And how she used the three different perspectives to tell us this story was utterly genius.

Because she never once as the author tried to tell us what to feel. Tried to tell us how we should interpret this book. We were given three sides from which to make up our own minds.
And therefore as a reader was able to feel so much sympathy towards the creation. I loved how in the book Shelley didn’t purport to name the creation.

You had Victor saying things such as “get away daemon”, “wretched creature” etc but it was done in this fabulous way that not once was the creation actually named a monster so it’s so telling of society how in the 200 years since the book’s release that the notion people have in their minds is of an evil monster.

This book is just not as simple as that. There is guilt on both sides and there is good on both sides. There are such delightfully subtle nuances that force us to question the darkest parts of humanity. It’s just deliciously ambiguous.

This gets four stars because at times there was a little too much narrative exposition at times but GOD DAMN IT I LOVE IT!!! Major props to Shelley for inventing one of my favourite genres, that of science fiction.

20 thoughts on “‘Frankenstein (1818 Text)’ by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – Book Review

  1. YEEES. YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID. I so loved how you said how she never tried to put her own feelings on it and instead we saw the emotions from all 3 sides. This was a wonderful story and honestly while reading it it felt strangely modern as well? I really enjoyed it and the fact that she read it while she was SO young blows my mind. I hate that it took me so long to read tbh.

    Love this review so much. You hit everything on the head perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes. It felt so relevant. So current. I just love Shelley’s brain. Imagine how smart and brilliant you must be to be the original trailblazer for a whole sub section of books???? I don’t think she gets nearly enough credit. The book is just absolute genius really. GENIUS!!!
      Thank you my love <3333

      Like

  2. Incredible post! I read Frankenstein last year, and it’s now one of my favorite books. I really enjoyed your insight on what Hollywood’s done to it–also, notice how they never have Frankenstein’s Monster speak in most other adaptations? I thought that was pretty interesting. “Nah, the creature’s monologues don’t exist, mm-hmm…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Madeline!!! It’s such a brilliant book isn’t it. And it’s really frustrating to think how it’s been so easily misrepresented. Shelley was just a master of nuance and subtlety… And that’s just not very Hollywood is it 🙄🙄🙄 But I think what I love most about Frankenstein is that it still feels so relevant. So fresh. So vibrant. It feels like it could be written in this modern era because it shows really how little humanity has changed.

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  3. I have avoided EVERY SINGLE OPINIONATED POST OF THIS BOOK LIKE A PLAGUEE because like you said, I want to make up my own mind about it! I want to feel what it makes me feel, now what people think it should make me feel. You get me?!
    I was looking forward to Dracula and Frankenstein this month but that didn’t happen AND I AM SOOO MAD AT MYSELF! 😭😭 still, I am going to try to read before 2020..(I cant believe i just said it!! WE ARE NEARING 2020?!? 😱😱😱😱)

    But oh god, your review, Emer! It was…JUST PERFECT, JUST THE WAY IT SHOULD BE! You expressed your thoughts and views on it without imposing and I COMMEND YOU FOR THATT!! 😍😍❤️❤️❤️❤️👻💕💕💕💕💕😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get you!!!!

      Frankenstein is a book to be discovered for yourself because the story has been altered over the years so many times by others… But the original…. Omg Rain just…. I’m looking forward to you getting to read it and experience it for yourself.

      I’ve still yet to read Dracula myself…I am afraid that one might be too scary for me lol!!!! 🙈😂🙈😂🙈 <333333333

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am veryy excited to read it now! Your experience of it and THE SHEER LOVE YOU HAVE FOR THIS BOOK IS MAKING ME IMPATIENT! 😍❤️❤️ AHHHHH!!

        Hahahhahah!! SAMMEEEE!! And my copy is a big, red, hardcover! I found it in a used bookstore and there is NOTHING REALLY creepy about it and yet that word DRACULA written in the middle is enough to give me the chills! 😱😱😍😍

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I read Frankenstein for the first time last year and was so shocked at how nuanced Shelley was about the moral issues. Also it was just a really fun read and I was expecting it to be a real piece of work. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Happy Halloween, Emer!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes. I love this book and have read it more than once. I think it’s considered to be one of the first sci -fi novels (if not the first) and it’s a great gothic read. Funny that in modern times everyone thinks that Frankenstein is the name of the monster – not the creator – and yet, like you said, the creation was never named and you could easily say that Frankenstein was the monster because of his actions. But, like you also said it’s the wonderful ambiguity, the sadness and the inevitability.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly Lynn!!! Shelley was such a trailblazer for science fiction. And the quality of her writing, the setup of the narrative… It still feels so fresh and vital!!! It really makes you feel that people now are no different from people 200 years ago because the essence of Shelley’s characters feel very much like modern characters.

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