Summary: It does seem pointless to give this book a summary. Anyway, the book opens with a couple of letters written by Captain Robert Walton to his dear sister Margaret. Their ship is trapped somewhere near the North Pole and there the voyagers come across a miserable, emaciated man. This man is Dr. Victor Frankenstein and he has a terrible story to tell.
R.I.P. – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Another book I read as part of the R.I.P. Challenge.
“It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.” – Victor Frankenstein
As a scientist, Viktor Frankenstein is fascinated and inspired by ancient philosophers, the likes of Cornelius Agrippa. After years of crazed work, Frankenstein succeeds in manufacturing an actual living being. Terrified of the effects of his actions, he abandons the creature. Years later, the monster returns with a vengeance. The book is concluded by Robert Walton in his letters.
My thoughts: After a while, I have to admit, I got tired of the romanticism. I didn’t like that there is no focus whatsoever on the scientific realism of the book. I always thought Frankenstein’s monster would be, well, a monster. But the creature is a lot more human than I had imagined. His story of the way he learned his way around this world, the way he learned to speak and how he sought after his creator; it sounded somewhat far-fetched to me.
“Nature decayed around me, the sun became heatless; rain and snow poured around me; mighty rivers were frozen; the surface of the earth was hard and chill, and bare, and I found no shelter.” – Frankenstein’s Monster
I did like the theme; an outcast, born a romantic, turned into a monster by his surroundings. I loved the detail with which the book is written. The book is very character oriented. Of all the different perspectives in the book, the ones that I really enjoyed were Robert Walton’s letters and when Frankenstein’s Monster told his story; I loved the imagery. I was slightly disappointed with Dr. Frankenstein. I suppose he might have been intended to be the weak man that he was, but reading the entire book from his painfully dull perspective was frustrating.
Then again, Frankenstein is one of the earliest ‘science fiction’ novels and Mary Shelley wrote this book when she was nineteen. I won’t call it bad, because it’s not. I admit I found the book a bit annoying. But other than that, it is a good book, and a must read!