Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frankenstein - Final Review

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, 1816

Plot: Good stuff. Suspense, horror, action, foreshadowing all there. Still, fairly depressing...okay really depressing, with no redeeming happiness at the end. 6/10

Style: Mostly good. Had no difficulty following this at all, and for many sections was an easy read. Shelley though, worked very hard to make this about the human condition (which I will ignore, as I am uninterested in most big-picture metaphors and simply want a good story). And while some authors have succeeded in weaving their story with their agenda subtle-y and seamlessly, Shelley sort of randomly delves into these huge, philosophical monologues delivered by one of the main characters. It's probably halfway profound, decent stuff, but as mentioned, not the point for me. So those parts were a bit laborious. 6/10

Hotness of the main character: The main character is most definitely Victor Frankenstein, and not his monster, so let's just clarify that right out. :) He is a brilliant guy, always wants to be learning, on the forefront of science, etc. He loves Elizabeth from when they are children and wants to be with her forever, but sometimes his work comes first. As the book progresses, he becomes very depressed and frantic at what he has unleashed upon the world. His thoughts are always for the safety of others, but he gets sort of crazy. 5/10?

The character I would most like to be: Difficult, since [SPOILER ALERT] most people in this book end up dead. I'll go with Henry Clerval. He's a great friend, happy, optimistic about life, and gets to take this great trip! Yay for travel!

Re-readability: Rarely. I guess the end must have been really unsatisfactory, because I remember really enjoying this book, but right now, having just finished it, I'm okay with not reading it any more, or at least for a long long time.

Final Decision: Sell it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Observation

I have now read 6 "classics" and am about halfway through Frankenstein and I have had the following thought:

First of all, I realize that 6 is not really an acceptable sample size, but that's what I have to work with so far, so I will. I have chosen to shelf 5 of them (SPOILER ALERT: soon to be 6, I am loving Frankenstein) and sell back only 1. This is an over 80% success rate. I feel like these books are classics for a reason, and for some reason, that is nice to know. This is a strong contrast to the visual arts world, where the difference between "good" art and "bad" art seems amazingly arbitrary in my opinion. Of course, this observation could change as I continue reading, but for now, I thought I'd share it.

Thoughts? (Feel free to bash on modern art...)