10 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Failed Attempt; or the prolonged Prometheus,
This review is from: Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
What begins as a possibly interesting book (and the basic story - a man creates a being which rebels against him - is appealing) turns into a long-winded epistolary novel: Robert Walton writes to his sister of his journey to the North Pole during which he meets Victor Frankenstein who in turn recalls his life story, the story of creating a so-called "daemon" who also goes on to tell not only his story but that of a family he lived near. The form is not particularly well executed and even contains complete letters.
The style is rather naive and one feels Shelley has simply looked up alternative words in a thesaurus and used them regardless of their suitability.
The story is convoluted, full of unbelievable coincidences and verbose - although one should perhaps take into account that the book was first published in 1818. Surprisingly enough, the "monster" is created and disappears again within just a few pages.
The characters are shallow and it is hard to sympathise with the character of Victor Frankenstein - moreover one feels more compassion for the monster he has created.
What was initially to be a short story should have really stayed that way. The expansion to a novel has, in my opinion, made the story tiresome and weak.
All-in-all, this is not a book I would ever recommend: discursive and painfully prolonged.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Dec 2010 23:44:07 GMT
"one feels more compassion for the monster he has created"
Actually I rather thought that that was the point.
Posted on 14 Nov 2011 11:52:23 GMT
The style of the time of writing this was that of Victorian pompous verbosity.
What did you expect, a modern classic?
Avoid the classics Moonstone and Kidnapped for a start, if you find this style of writing too old fashioned, and cannot see past the irritation that the style causes in you, and revel in the storyline itself.
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jan 2012 11:10:47 GMT
yes, you are probably right, actually!
Posted on 27 Dec 2012 23:23:39 GMT
I think you were bored by this book because the themes have completely gone over your head. It's about morality and the futility of revenge, among many other things. I would suggest re-reading it when you're a bit older.
Posted on 11 Sep 2014 23:14:57 BDT
Without wishing to be too pedantic, the first thesaurus in English (by Mark Roget) was published - ironically enough - the year after Mary Shelley's death.
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