Sunday, October 23, 2011

Frankenstein (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly)

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
Public Domain Books
Fiction, Sci-Fi
**+ (Bad/Okay)

DESCRIPTION: Upon the icy Northern ocean, an English expedition finds a half-mad gentleman among the ice floes. His name is Victor Frankenstein, and the tale he tells of his youthful ambitions, his ultimate triumph over the very source of life, and subsequent torments at the hands of his own diabolical, unnatural creation, will haunt his listeners to the end of their days.

REVIEW: This is a tale of misery and torment. Oh, what miseries Victor suffers... He scarce could stand, for the weight of them must surely crush his legs. Fever madnesses burn his brain, a thousand torments preclude his joys. Page upon page, chapter upon chapter, the sorrows and sins unwind in stiflingly dense prose. He grinds his teeth and tears his hair and faints in fits of unfathomable guilt like a third-rate actor chewing the scenery. The tale of man attempting godhood, of the responsibilities of the creator to his creation, of genius gone astray and love transmuted to bitter hatred, fairly drowns in the sea of tears wept by the doctor. At some point, such paroxysms of utter misery stop being gloomy atmosphere and become smothering smog... but, then, without them this would've been a short story instead of a full-blown novel. The idea may be classic, but the execution nearly had me tearing my hair out like the good doctor - sadly, for entirely different reasons.

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