“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

FrankensteinFrankenstein by Mary Shelley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a story, what a story indeed. The original puts to shame all hideous interpretations of its tragic solemnity and deep meaning. Banish all images of life-giving lightning bolts, mad scientists and pygmy assistants, castles and dungeons, and a monster of unintelligent cruelty. Mary Shelley’s is the real story, of the man Victor Frankenstein, who set out to be God and came away realizing such pursuits of power and science are woefully unworthy. This is real horror — the loss of loved ones, the intense pain of guilt, the vision of fateful injustice and death.

The writing carries one breathlessly to a growing climax of confrontation and loss. The frame of a seaman’s letters offers an unexpected distance and appropriate frame to the tale. The monster himself speaks fluidly and rationally: He is not a mindless brute so portrayed by popular standards. Victor’s windy words bring a sense of other-worldliness to his melancholy narrative. That Shelley was a mere 17 years of age when she began this work gives hope to the youngest author of aspiration.

Banish the shallow terror of film and enter the tender sadness of a pained and longing being and his noble, wretched creator.

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