Another book I’ve longed to read, yet never got around to it, Frankenstein is now one I can finally claim to have read. Like many other books I’ve reviewed where I’ve seen the film version yet not read the book, I feared the intrusion of Boris Karloff whilst I read. This was for naught as the film adaption was quite different from Mary Shelley’s novel.
In the 1700’s, an overzealous Ingolstadt college student becomes obsessed with reanimation. Perhaps this is in response to the death of his mother, perhaps he is mad. His infatuation, however, becomes reality when he creates the monster he later deems a wretch.
Victor Frankenstein is the mad scientist who brings forth life from an assemblage of body parts and lives to regret it. When the monster is unleashed and comes to realize he will never be accepted by his fellow-man, he goes in to a murderous rampage and vows to punish the man responsible for his miserable existence. Victor begins to hunt down his nemesis, yet is always a step behind the 8′ hellion. A perfect example of not owning up to a mistake and asking for help.
The monster is one very angry beast. In the novel, however, we come to understand his anger as he tries to fit into a society where his hideous appearance horrifies everyone he encounters. When he realizes his dilemma, he begins a cat and mouse game with his creator leaving his reign of terror as evidence of his fury. That the monster could speak, and oh so eloquently, in Shelley’s novel was more than a little unnerving.
Victor’s love, Elizabeth Lavenza, has lived with the Frankenstein family as a “cousin” for many years. Elizabeth and Victor have a close relationship, but it is not until Victor goes off to university that a romance is suggested. Elizabeth waits patiently as Victor behaves irrationally and she suspects he has no romantic interest in her. A marriage proposal assures Elizabeth that this is not the case and a wedding date is set, albeit it is to be quite short-lived.
Where would I begin with this fascinating woman? Perhaps we could begin by relating as mothers, take a brief stroll and then return indoors if the weather were to become inclement and then delve into the mechanics of writing. I think I’d learn more than enough without even broaching the specifics of story telling.
My rating for Frankenstein is an 8 out of 10.
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