2022 Book Review Book Reviews Horror


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Stepping far afield from his medical studies, Victor Frankenstein brings to life a human form he has fashioned from scavenged body parts. Horrified by his achievement, he turns his back on his creation, only to learn the danger of such neglect. 


*Quick disclaimer: If you are a big fan of this book or classics in general this review is may not be for you. This review is just a sarcastic prod at how much this book did not age well. If you are someone who has conditioned yourself to 200 year old books, don’t take this review too seriously.

Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, was a ridiculously monotonous novel that completely flew over my head. It would be an understatement to say that I was not the target audience of this novel (I mean, come on, it came out in 1818).

It’s unfortunate that the copy of this book I had was not my own but instead a borrowed version, because I had the intense urge to take a red pen and cross out every page and paragraph that wasn’t necessary. Since this novel was published over 200 years ago, I do not know what the editing process was at the time, but whatever it was, it was not working. On and on you would read, and Frankenstein would still be wailing about lurking mountains, or how guilty he felt, or how much he regretted his life. We get it. You’ve got some issues that need to be sorted out. Can you move on so I can be done with this novel sooner?Even when his monster’s narrative came into play, the excitement of a new perspective was quickly snuffed out.

This was another problem I had with the story. This was a story told completely through recollection, so normally you would think that things would be embellished as a style of writing and telling stories. The only problem with this is that the author didn’t seem to tap into the strengths of using a character’s memories of the past as the main form of storytelling. You’ve got some Inception-type levels of narration here, and none of it was used to make the story more interesting or to tap into the side of how our memory tweaks things to back up our point of view. 

By Inception I mean that when you first start this novel, you read about a man out on sea recalling his travels to his sister. Then you go a level deeper and read about the man at sea recalling the recollections of Frankenstein. Then you go even deeper to read about the man at sea recalling the recollection of Frankenstein, who is now recalling the Monster’s recollections. It’s crazy, I know.

All of this makes you think the author would at least tap into the idea of memory being unreliable when telling a story in order to stress Frankenstein and the monster’s conviction that one is good and the other is evil, yet reading all of these narratives gave me the impression that the author just used the characters’ memories as a means to an end.

In ignoring any possible chance at adding life to this story through creative storytelling, the last chance this book has for me was its characters. Now you really know this book is doomed.

Frankenstein, you melodramatic fool. Even your melodramatic nature couldn’t bring any form of excitement to the story. What should’ve been an intensely captivating scene ended up being a dull lament on either Frankenstein or the monster’s part. Completely skimming over anything interesting and heading straight for the whiny tone you can never shake in this novel.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s impressive that Mary Shelley wrote what has become a classic at the age of 19, but I do not think this novel has aged particularly well or will be recommended by me to others.

Let’s Talk:
  • Have you read Frankenstein?
    • Did you enjoy it?
  • Do you enjoy Gothic literature?
    • Would you say this novel really highlights human duality that well?
  • Am I the only one who always checked how many more pages till the end of this book?

3 replies on “Frankenstein”

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