Book Reviews

Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus (Wordsworth Classics) by Mary Shelley

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List Price: £2.50


Paperback: 208 Pages.

Published: 05 May 1992 by Wordsworth Editions

Edition: Reprint

ISBN: 1853260231

EAN: 9781853260230

Begun when the author was only eighteen and conceived from a nightmare, Frankenstein is the deeply disturbing story of a monstrous creation which has terrified and chilled readers since its first publication in 1818. The novel has thus seared its way into the popular imagination while establishing itself as one of the pioneering works of modern science fiction.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Alex Found

"Mary Shelleys immortal tale of the creation of life out of death is as chilling today as ever."

I read this statement before starting the novel and, now I have finished, I would disagree with it. It is true that the tale is immortal, but I think it's due to its worldwide recognition but not due to its story. I would ask, 'If Frankenstein had been first published today, would it still gain the recognition it has already received?' Although this debate may seem unsuitable and irrelevant for a review of the quality of the novel, it does influence the way the novel is read and received.

Victor Frankenstein was a student of philosophy from a young age, which led to his discovery of the very essence of life and how it is created. Frankenstein begins to create a creature of human form and bring it to life. Only after creating life does he regret his actions and realise the mistake he has made. His Creature will affect the rest of his life.

I adored the way Shelley writes most. Her vocabulary is fantastic and used broadly. I became engrossed in the novel often largely due to Shelley's storytelling skills and the beautiful scenes she paints with words.

Although the novel was very enjoyable, there were certain qualities which caused me to dislike it somewhat. The structure and pace of the novel was occasionally executed poorly. 'Frankenstein' would often slow down extremely and then become rather rapid without warning. Climaxes in the story also happened very briefly, even after having built great suspense; this caused some key moments to appear anti-climactic. Some areas in the novel could also appear poorly written due to lack of distinct description on what was happening and where Frankenstein was going.

However, even after highlighting some flaws from 'Frankenstein', I do look back upon it with praise. I wanted to distinguish some bad aspects to assure readers that even 'immortal tales' aren't perfect and tales of such high recognition should not be read expecting it to be a true masterpiece.

The finest elements of the novel are the protagonists. Victor Frankenstein and his Creature are truly immortal characters. Mary Shelley also wonderfully toys with our emotions through these characters, forcing us, as readers, to question who we should pity and who we should condemn.

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