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lunababymoonchild

Frankenstein

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I downloaded this novel on to my Kindle so I do not know what version I am reading I am afraid. That aside I am about half way through the book and am finding myself to be rather amazed. I do not know what I expected but my daughter had told me that it was very sad, she did not exagerate. I did not expect part of the story to be told by the monster himself which is what I am reading at the moment. His story is giving a rather wonderful view of human nature and the way of life at the time.

 

I find myself becoming increasingly attached to the monster and am growing more and more concerned regarding the eventual outcome. I think that the fact that I am becoming fond of the monster and care for his welfare is a real indication to me of a good book. It certainly is not what I expected and I am begining to understand why the book is so famous.

 

I love the naivety of the monster who in many ways appears quite child-like.

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The book is not what I expected either. I'm just a little ahead of you insofar as the monster has told his story and it was very touching indeed. In spite of my thinking that I know the story as it's so famous I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next. I also love the prose style, very readable but lovely. I can't believe that Mary Shelley was only 18 when she wrote it.

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The book is not what I expected either. I'm just a little ahead of you insofar as the monster has told his story and it was very touching indeed. In spite of my thinking that I know the story as it's so famous I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen next. I also love the prose style, very readable but lovely. I can't believe that Mary Shelley was only 18 when she wrote it.

I did not know that she was as young as 18 when she wrote the book. What an imagination! I wonder if that may help to explain the suspension of belief. I wonder if being so young a writer there was no fear regarding the acceptance of the story. Really rather remarkable for her age.

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I'm currently re-reading it in dribs and drabs on my Kobo - it's been a long time since I last read it, but I have always remembered it as a sad book and ever since have resented the cinematic/popular culture version of Frankenstein's creation.

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Having just read a really depressing book I think I'll give Frankenstein a miss.

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Although sad I am not finding it a depressing read. It is much more about human nature and how our view of a person can be swayed by they way they look than I ever imagined. I have never actually seen a production of the book just odd clips of an old film. I always imagined it to be a creepy story about a man made monster and his creator. I have been very pleasantly surprised to find that is so much more.

 

As luna has said in a previous post I have no idea what will happen next although I suspect that the end will be a less then happy one.

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Although sad I am not finding it a depressing read. It is much more about human nature and how our view of a person can be swayed by they way they look than I ever imagined. I have never actually seen a production of the book just odd clips of an old film. I always imagined it to be a creepy story about a man made monster and his creator. I have been very pleasantly surprised to find that is so much more.

 

As luna has said in a previous post I have no idea what will happen next although I suspect that the end will be a less then happy one.

 

 

I agree entirely.  And the prose, for me, is something to savour which makes it all worthwhile.

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I agree entirely.  And the prose, for me, is something to savour which makes it all worthwhile.

I agree Luna, the book is beautifully written which is always makes a book a joy to read. I have now read the monster's story which has presented a few surprises. I genuinely have no idea how the story ends.

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I finished Frankenstein last night as once I started reading it yesterday I just could not put it down. It really is a very sad story and as I have said in previous posts in many ways a big surprise as it is much more than the horror story which I had expected.

 

I remember being taught about the concept of nature\nurture at school and that our personalities are governed by the way that we are treated in childhood and not by the inheritence of personality traits. In many ways this seems to be what the story is about and the monster treated the human race as he was treated himself .

 

When talking to a friend about the book she said that she often thought of The Elephant Man as a modern day Frankenstein's monster. As she stated because of his deformity and the fact that he looked so different from those around him his treatment by others was often less than kind to say the least. With the characters that Frankenstein's monster came across however I think that their behaviour was more due to fear and lack of understanding rather than just pure cruelty. I do wonder how Frankenstein's monster would would have behaved if he had been treated differently. As my mum used to say when I was a kid there for the geace of God go I- treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. I found the book quite moving in places and thought it said a lot about human nature.

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Frankenstein: or 'The Modern Prometheus' : The 1818 Text by Oxford World Classics is the copy I chose to read.  Mary Shelley started writing the novel when she was 18 and it was published two years later.  The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823. In 1831 the popular edition was issued which had been heavily revised by Mary Shelley bowing to pressure to make the story more conservative.

 

I chose the 1818 text simply because I wanted to read the full unrevised story as Mary wrote it.  My personal choice. 

 

I found the prose to be stunning, and enjoyed every single word of it.  Caught in the perennial, for me, dilemma of reading as fast as possible in order to find out what happens next and reading slowly enough to savour the prose, I just about managed it.

 

The story is indeed a sad one and totally unexpected.  I thought that I was familiar with at least the broad outline of the story but found (to my delight) that I was not.  Victor Frankenstein did indeed create a monster but the consequences that unfolded were totally surprising.  In a nutshell, it destroyed his life.

 

I highly recommend this book, in any version that suits the reader.  It's one that I intend to read again.

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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What always surprises me about Shelley's work is the depth there is to the social critiqua, and observation on human behaviour. In these sad times where stories are reduced just to their plagiarized 'action retellings' we miss out a lot of the substance of what the story was originally about, I feel!

 

Ian @ Collectiblecat.com

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In these sad times where stories are reduced just to their plagiarized 'action retellings' we miss out a lot of the substance of what the story was originally about, I feel!

 

Ian @ Collectiblecat.com

 

I agree. Any modern adaptation of Frankenstein seems to present it as nothing more than a horror story when in fact it is so much more. I have not read any of Mary Shelley's work before but since reading Frankenstein I have downloaded more to my Kindle for future reading. I actually found parts of Frankenstein remarkably moving which I did not expect and look forward to reading more.

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Have you seen this, by any chance: Mary Shelley's Seal discovered

I found it quite moving, in a way - what a sad life that woman had! But anyway, back on topic yes, I think you are right about Frankenstein. It fits in much more with the Victorian notion of a study of society and humanity, (just as Austen was a study of women and the practice of marriage, and Hugo studied poverty and society, Tolstoy war etc). My twuppence worth, anyway!

 

Ian @ Collectiblecat.com

Online Catalog of Collectible Books

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Have you seen this, by any chance: Mary Shelley's Seal discovered

I found it quite moving, in a way - what a sad life that woman had! But anyway, back on topic yes, I think you are right about Frankenstein. It fits in much more with the Victorian notion of a study of society and humanity, (just as Austen was a study of women and the practice of marriage, and Hugo studied poverty and society, Tolstoy war etc). My twuppence worth, anyway!

 

Ian @ Collectiblecat.com

Online Catalog of Collectible Books

I found the above link to the letters of Mary Shelley very interesting - thanks for that. As you say she really did have a rather sad life.

 

I think that Frankenstein is usually described as a Victorian gotic novel. Apart from the lack of a damsal in distress most other aspects of a gothic novel are there. A great part of the novel takes place in remote places, there is a hero and a villain and although the production of the monster is not strictly supernatural it is far from normal life. The novel is a little unusual for a gothic but it certainly has many of the tendencies.

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I finished my disjointed re-reading of Frankenstein several weeks back, but haven't anything much to add to what has already been posted.

My sympathies were all with 'the creature' and with his need for acceptance, in spite of his terrible acts of revenge on those who rejected him.

I remained as angry with Frankenstein as I had on my first reading. Angry with him for setting out on such a project without any thought for possible consequences (oh, the arrogance of youth - and he was very young).

Very angry with him for walking away, abandoning, and taking no responsibility for the consequences of his experimentation.   Not that I could see any way in which he could stop the dreadful course of events he had set in train.

 

There were parts in the Creature's part of the narrative that I had difficulty accepting - mainly that he could stay concealed and learn so much from the family in the cottage. Then I had to keep admonishing myself - if I could suspend disbelief sufficiently to accept the initial premise, then I should be able to believe anything else that Mary Shelly chose to include in this impossible, but very moving story.

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    • By lunababymoonchild
      The Last Man is supposed to be a post apocalyptic science fiction novel.  It was published in 1826.  It relates the tale that the world is ravaged by a plague leaving one man on the planet.  It is also supposed to have semi-biographical portraits of Shelley's, by then,  late husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.  It was heavily criticised at the time and was virtually unknown until a scholarly revival in the 1960's.
       
      I can understand why it was heavily criticised.  Apart from two mentions in the whole text of the date - 2069 or somesuch - there was no futuristic atmosphere at all.  People travelled on horses or in horse-drawn carriages, there were Kings and Queens and a Lord Protector of England, no electricity, no telephones or other means of long-distance communications (people are described as riding for some hours to find out if someone they know is still alive),  sail boats are still used etc.  The prose is, imho, unnecessarily complicated and unnecessarily verbose.  Shelley does spend two and three pages describing the surroundings when a few lines would have done. 
       
      The plot itself is also a bit strange.  As the plague bites, people gather together for safety and reassurance and a leader emerges, nothing wrong with that.  However, it's decided that travelling from England to Switzerland would be a good idea, the thinking being that the cold and the fresh air would help diminish the plague  - this is supposed to be set in the future and yet it's obvious that there is absolutely no medicine to be had anywhere.  People became ill and then died, whether is was of the plague or something else,  this made it hard to visualize a futuristic setting - so they all set off on foot or horse or horse drawn carriage and picked up people who had been left in cities along the way.  As the journey progresses the people in the group start to die of the plague but the group and it's leader still think that it's a good idea to travel to Switzerland so carry on.  When they get there they find that everybody there has died and it was only then that they started to wonder if it had been a good idea to travel. By that time there were 3 of them left and they all decided to continue to travel, this time to Italy.
       
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