Thursday, October 11, 2007

Frankenstein...misc. thoughts





*First of all, I've been forced to reach the conclusion that I'm simply not a sophisticated reader. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is a book beloved by so many. But I'm afraid I just won't be joining their ranks. That makes me a bit sad...I wanted to love this book, I really did.

*Having said that, I should add that while I didn't love the book, I am glad I finally read it. There was much about the book I did enjoy.

*On the rare occasions, when I was able to sit and read more than a page or two at a time, I found myself thoroughly caught up in enjoying the language. Unfortunately for me though, I generally find myself sneaking in my reading a minute here, 3 minutes there. And this, of course, really destroyed the flow of this type of writing. (Obviously, this is not the fault of the book.)

*All my pre-conceived ideas about the story were proven false. The images we see in our culture today have no relation to the true story. The themes running throughout this book are so thought-provoking. Sometimes uncomfortably so. And that's a good thing.

*So why didn't I fall in love with this book? Hard to put my finger on precisely. But I think it had to do with Victor Frankenstein himself. I just didn't like him. I'm not sure if one is supposed to like him or sympathize with him, but I most assuredly did not. He made me cringe. He annoyed me. I grew so weary of his constant "Oh, woe is me...oh, woe is me..." ramblings. Sure, life got pretty tough for the guy, but never did he seem to own up to his responsibility in the matter. Yes, he was sorry he created the "life" to start with. But that wasn't the cause of all the misery. The cause was that he gave life to this being, and then upon seeing it, immediately abandoned it. Big nature/nurture issues here.

*I was also made uncomfortable by his obsessiveness. First in his mission to create this life, and then in his mission to destroy the life he created. Why uncomfortable? Maybe because I can relate in some small way to obsessiveness. And I suppose we can never really know where obsession can lead.

Okay, well, that pretty much concludes my hodge-podge of random thoughts on Frankenstein. I know, not terribly enlightening. I apologize...I'm really just awful at this whole "book review" thing.

14 comments:

Cory said...

I've never read this either, although it's been on the TBR list for ages. Don't feel bad for not liking it though. Not every book is written for everyone!

Nymeth said...

I'm with Cory - no need to feel bad!

I also didn't like Victor Frankenstein much. I sympathezied more with the monster than with him, and I think it's amazing how Mary Shelley achieved that.

I can definitely see how having limited time to read could get in the way of the experience. This is definitely a book that demands full concentration.

amy said...

I love reviews and I havent read this one!!!

Dewey said...

I really don't think that not liking one classic makes you an unsophisticated reader! It's just a matter of personal taste, and your opinion is as valid as anyone else's.

Ladytink_534 said...

I think I've read Frankenstein before, not sure, but I could never finish Dracula so don't feel bad.

Chris said...

Sorry you didn't like this one Debi. I'm right with you and Nymeth when it comes to Victor...I didn't like him either. I sympathized with the monster as well. Like you said, to create a life and then abandon it...well, lots to be said there.

This one is definitely not for everyone. It seems to be a love it or hate it book. On to the next one!

Dawn said...

I've never read it either but I can understand what you are talking about. It still must feel good to say that you have read it :) You certainly are more sophisticated than I!

take care,
Dawn

kreed said...

At least you finished it despite not liking it much. there is more than one book I have put down and not gone back to!

Carl V. said...

Don't feel bad, I am not a huge fan of Frankenstein either. I love Dracula and Phantom of the Opera, but I only found Frank to be...okay.

Melody said...

I haven't read this yet, so I can't make any comments. And please don't feel bad, Debi, not everyone enjoys reading the same book.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Oh my goodness, you're so not bad at all at reviewing books and writing down your thoughts on them! Au Contraire, my friend, you're very very good at it :)

I am totally not sophisticated when it comes to books and reading either. I wouldn't even ATTEMPT to read this one. I am just not into the classics, at all, right now. I much prefer light and fluffy or else contemporary or Christian fiction. I know what I like though, and don't "waste time" trying to read stuff I am sure I won't like. Yes, I don't try to broaden my horizons, yes, I stay in my comfort zone, that's me, LOL!

Bookfool said...

I actually couldn't get through Frankenstein and got rid of my copy, so you did well. It's got to be a difficult one to read in bits and pieces.

Dewey said...

To answer your question, it was just ok. I didn't especially like it but I didn't dislike it, either. The beginning is great and then it sort of blahs out.

Becky said...

I don't think you're supposed to like Victor Frankenstein. I certainly didn't. And I totally respect your opinion! I didn't fall in love with Frankenstein on my first, second, or third try either. :) It is the themes and style of Frankenstein that make it such a hauntingly perfect book for me.