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on 26 April 2017
This book has been reviewed and studied so many times over the years, so I'll keep this simple.

It is a classic novel, originally published back in 1818. This does mean that the language is harder to read and understand for some people, and the general culture and ideas are all rather different to what you may be used to. That's always the biggest problem with reading and appreciating older novels - sometimes we just can't enjoy the fantastic writing or the unique characters like people would've back when it was released.

We are first introduced to Robert Walton on an expedition to the North Pole, writing letters back home. The whole story is, in fact, him recounting what he is told by the man he picks up in his boat - Frankenstein. Frankenstein's story is a familiar one; he created a monster, who subsequently felt lonely amongst this world of humans. This creature wanted a partner, a mate, but Frankenstein was unwilling to create yet another daemon of this kind. So he took revenge, slowly removing all of the Frankenstein's loved ones until he no longer held the will to live himself.

It is actually a lot sadder than I ever knew. I didn't know much, just the generic "Frankenstein's monster" creation story. But this novel is full of heartache and loss, regret and terror. It's about a scientist crossing the line of creation, only to suffer drastically for his ambitions.

Yet we are also given the "monster's" account - his terrifying, lonely entry to the world, his plea for company, even his regret for the lives he took. I never really thought much about the creation himself, didn't consider his side all that much. But this novel makes you think about him, and even causes you to sympathise with him.

I liked this book, but I feel like it's one of those books you're supposed to like. I'm not a huge fan of classic novels, but I can see past the difference in language and lifestyle. I just really appreciated the amount of emotion in this, and also it's not-so-perfect ending. It isn't a favourite, and it wasn't a casual, easy read, but I will give it 3.5 stars.
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on 24 June 2016
The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain. They know our infantine dispositions, which, however they may be afterwards modified, are never eradicated; and they can judge of our actions with more certain conclusions as to the integrity of our motives. -

I feel exquisite pleasure in dwelling on the recollections of childhood, before misfortune had tainted my mind and changed its bright visions of extensive usefulness into gloomy and narrow reflections upon self. -

It is so long before the mind can persuade itself that she whom we saw every day and whose very existence appeared a part of our own can have departed forever—that the brightness of a beloved eye can have been extinguished and the sound of a voice so familiar and dear to the ear can be hushed, never more to be heard. -

After so much time spent in painful labour, to arrive at once at the summit of my desires was the most gratifying consummation of my toils. -

Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow. -

I knew my silence disquieted them -

A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquillity. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind. -

I threw the door forcibly open, as children are accustomed to do when they expect a spectre to stand in waiting for them on the other side; -

The republican institutions of our country have produced simpler and happier manners than those which prevail in the great monarchies that surround it. Hence there is less distinction between the several classes of its inhabitants; and the lower orders, being neither so poor nor so despised, their manners are more refined and moral. A servant in Geneva does not mean the same thing as a servant in France and England. Justine, thus received in our family, learned the duties of a servant, a condition which, in our fortunate country, does not include the idea of ignorance and a sacrifice of the dignity of a human being. -

He can no longer be a subject for pity; we must reserve that for his miserable survivors." -

The mere presence of the idea was an irresistible proof of the fact. -

to pass the awful boundary between life and death, -

hell of intense tortures such as no language can describe. -

A tingling long-lost sense of pleasure often came across me during this journey. Some turn in the road, some new object suddenly perceived and recognized, reminded me of days gone by, and were associated with the lighthearted gaiety of boyhood. -

How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery! -

for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. -

I persuaded myself that I was dreaming until night should come and that I should then enjoy reality in the arms of my dearest friends. -

he believes that when in dreams he holds converse with his friends and derives from that communion consolation for his miseries or excitements to his vengeance, that they are not the creations of his fancy, but the beings themselves who visit him from the regions of a remote world. -

"When younger," said he, "I believed myself destined for some great enterprise. My feelings are profound, but I possessed a coolness of judgment that fitted me for illustrious achievements. -

Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. -

But the consideration of these points, and the well balancing of what you may esteem your duties, I leave to you; -

I was the slave, not the master, of an impulse which I detested yet could not disobey. -
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on 20 August 2017
We have all seen Frankenstein movies and yet none of them truly convey the despair of both creator and creature as this book does. Written in a sparser language than other books of the time the narrative is concise and gets to the point, while bringing home all the feelings of both main characters. Here you really don't really have a hero and a villain. Both were tortured souls that suffered for what befell them.
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on 8 August 2017
This is a really readable classic that I enjoyed. The first few letters where hard going but after that it was much easier to read and understand and unlike most other classics I have read it's actually quite fast paced. This book gives you a lot to think about, was Frankenstein right or wrong in his actions? I think I'll be thinking about this for days to come.
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on 22 September 2015
The amazing thing about this story is that it has been through so many iterations, and is now returning to the source.

When I was a kid, Frankenstein was the big, lumbering Boris Karloff monster: blots through his neck, lightning, Egor, "it's alive!" and all that. But you watch things like Penny Dreadful and you realise that popular culture is restoring Shelley's original vision of the tortured creator and his eloquent, furious creation. Just shows that you can't keep a good story down.
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on 11 February 2013
This book exceeded all my expectations. Not only is the story totally genius, it is absolutely beautifully written (if you appreciate the language of a time well since past!). There is no hero, no villain and certainly no winners in this book. It is an ill-fated tale, but surprisingly not a depressing one.

There are several characters in the book, the main two being Victor (Frankenstein) and the `Fiend' (he was never given a name). Victor, although essentially a likeable character, is single-minded and obsessive. He thinks he can play God and devotes himself entirely to a task which, once achieved, horrifies him beyond comprehension. His reaction is to 'do a runner' hoping the consequences of his experiment will simply just go away! 'Fiend' has a frightening and lonely entrance into the world; not knowing who he is or where he came from. His observations about the world, the beauty of nature and the harsh realisation of what it is to be human yet outcast from every other memeber of the human race are desperately moving. "When I run over the frightful catalogue of my sins, I cannot believe that I am the same creature whose thoughts were once filled with sublime and transcendent visions of the beauty and the majesty of goodness. But it is even so; the fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet even that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation. I am alone"

All in all, brilliant, thought provoking and ever so slightly emotionally disturbing.
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on 10 December 2015
I enjoyed this book and I'm glad I chose to read it. As horror stories go, this comes across as almost plausible since all unlikely events are justified within the details of the story. The horror comes from the reader's expectation of future events rather than from grotesque descriptions. I'm only giving this book 4 stars because there are several times when I found the book slightly tedious during some of the soliloquies.
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on 20 October 2013
I downloaded this classic because my daughter is studying it for her GCSE. It take's a while to get into the actual story mainly because the narration is via letters from the explorer Robert Walton to his sister back home. However, once Victor Frankenstein is discovered and begins unfolding his tale the text moves a pace. It is does stutter at times and you have to immerse yourself in the style of the early 19th century language. Shelley's characters are not always clearly drawn, we are frequently told that the monster is grotesque but there is little actual description of his physical image apart from the fact that he is over 8 feet tall! Her style of writing sometimes feels clumsy and contrived and it's difficult to sympathise with Victor Frankenstein whose selfish pursuit of creating life causes so much destruction and despair. It does sometimes feels like you are ploughing through pages just to get to the good bits but it's not a long book and well worth reading if you like the genre, want to tick another classic off your list or need to support your teenager!
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on 21 February 2017
Did this for English GCSE several years ago, and enjoyed it so much I went back and read the book all the way through again, (unusual for me).
I found the Monster's predicaments compelling. You can't help but be moved by his story of strife, especially since he started out benign but became twisted by humanity's prejudice against his hideous form. Victor Frankenstien is a relatable anti-hero, who struggles with the consequences of his obsession that loses him everything he holds dear.
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on 26 January 2017
If you like horror then this should be top of your reading list, along with Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

What sets this novel apart from the others is that you actually sympathize with the creature. Unlike most film versions he is highly eloquent and intelligent, put on a path of wickedness by the irresponsibility of others.

Kindle version is well formatted and the book comes highly recommended.
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