- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
- January 1, 1818
- Audiobook, Physical
For William. Happy Halloween, love. <3
This review will contain spoilers. This is not the norm for my blog.
I knew Frankenstein would be a flavorite of mine before I even finished it. Listening to an audiobook of the story nearly a year after I first read it and it held up to the repeat experience wonderfully.
This is the first story I’ve ever read that was partially told in letters. It’s sad that this is either no longer used or must be incredibly rare. It reads like an autobiography, biography, and memoir. Frankenstein is on his deathbed, confessing his deeds to a newfound friend while in pursuit of his creation.
For the last decade, I’ve strived to continually expand my vocabulary. While I have a preference for using a simpler vocabulary, gutter slang, and intentionally misspelled words for my own amusement; I’m rather happy with my extensive lexicon. Mary Shelley’s vocabulary, however, is something else. Never have I felt like more of a dunce than I did when I first read through this story. I had to constantly grab a dictionary, bring up a web page or use my phone to search the meaning of words I’ve never seen or heard before.
I grew up loving “Frankenstein’s Monster”, Dracula, and other Halloween staples. The reason I’m including spoilers in this review, which I normally don’t do it is because of how much pop culture gets utterly wrong or makes up. Frankenstein’s creation isn’t some mindless beast and in fact, is rather sympathetic. I think an argument could be made that the real monster of the story is Victor Frankenstein.
Victor Frankenstein is an arrogant, self-proclaimed victim who is responsible for the death of nearly everyone close to him. While he was being terrorized by his creation, he chose to keep it a secret which arguably did more harm than good. His friends and family might have been able to protect themselves and he could have saved the lives of four innocents, had he cum clean.
Frankenstein’s creation on the other hand is an abomination. Abandoned by its creator and thrust into the world knowing nothing of how things work. Shunned by all and still managing to show more humanity than its creator. When the creation confronts Frankenstein and regales him with its sympathetic journey, Frankenstein again thinks only of himself. People focus too much on the terror inflicted by Frankenstein’s creation while ignoring its humanity and intelligence.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an exquisitely written masterpiece and it’s no wonder it still holds up 200 years later. This book has changed how I use and view the word classic. Most stories and other pieces of media often referred to as classics won’t hold up for 20 years, let alone 200. It’s a damn shame that it took me so long to read it but it’s an even bigger shame that it’s so poorly represented in pop culture. Do yourself a flavor and give this story a read.