Book Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Book: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Published: 1818
Genre: Fiction/Classic
Pages: 220
Where I got it: bought at a book sale years ago
Buy It: Amazon

Summary (from Goodreads): The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of Frankenstein. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship …and horror.

My thoughts: With it being so close to Halloween, I decided it was time to pull Frankenstein off my bookshelf. It didn't end up being that spooky, but I think I would have liked it less if I read it any other time of year. I also remember having a copy of Frankenstein when I was a kid, but I have a feeling it was adapted for kids because I remember it being quite easy to read. This time around, I had more trouble following the story in the beginning. As with many classics, the language in Frankenstein is very wordy. As I read on though, I came to enjoy the eloquent language and the story sucked me in. It helped to read the Sparknotes after each chapter, as I found there were small details I didn't pick up on in the book itself. Since I already knew the basic story of Frankenstein (who doesn't?), that also helped in my reading.
As far as the characters go, I felt bad for the monster. He became a very intelligent being after learning so well from the secret teachings of Felix, unbeknownst to him. His desire for a female version of himself humanizes him. He wants someone familiar that he can love, which is something almost every human hopes for in life. When he doesn't get what he wants from his creator, he lets himself become the monster he so desperately did not want to be by taking away Victor's loved ones so that he would know the monster's pain. I found it interesting that even in the early 1800's, appearance played such a large role on being accepted into society. 
I did not like Victor much. I didn't feel like there was much character development for him. He created this monster that was killing the important people in his life and would blame it on himself, then fall into a fever for months. This pattern happened repeatedly. At first he agreed to the creation of the female monster in order to protect the family that was threatened, but then he decides it's a bad idea and destroys his progress. He is being tortured by both the monster and himself and I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. There wasn't much more to his character. He was a coward for abandoning his creation because of it's appearance and I believe he deserved the torture he was put through. In fact, I felt the whole story was lacking. With the numerous adaptations of Frankenstein over the years, little details have been added that were not in the original story. This came as a disappointment to me. There just wasn't enough excitement. Overall, I thought Frankenstein was a decent story that I'm glad I read during the month of October. The language made it enjoyable enough to read but I would have liked there to be more action.

The verdict: 2 stars 


  1. Frankenstein isn't as much of a horror story as common knowledge led me to believe (and actually I read it for a class as the precursor to sci fi) but I do still like the story. Victor is such an awful coward. I love the name Victor for him because really, he's anything but.

  2. I absolutely loved Frankenstein. I don't think it's a horror story in what we usually define as "horror", but it is definitely creepy on the extent that Victor went through to create the monster. I really do think Mary Shelly wrote the novel in response to how her husband, well known poet Percy B. Shelly acted and treated her. He thought he was God. In essence, Victor is the real monster.

  3. I have never read this. I don't like the classics much. But this is the perfect pick for Halloween being around the corner.

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