Frankenstein

Frankenstein (A Bantam Classic) - Mary Shelley

Oh, Victor, Victor, Victor. SMH.

To quote Ian Malcolm, "You were so preoccupied with whether or not you could, you didn't stop to think if you should."

And you really should have stopped to think, dude. Because you done screwed up, son.

This was not at all what I expected. I can see why movies and tv shows focus more on Frankenstein's monster rather than Frankenstein himself. Frankenstein's a giant douchenozzle, so I have no problem with him being reduced to the mad scientist trope. He spends 100 pages 'splaining why he feels really, really bad about what he did but zero time reflecting on why he actually did it to begin with and even less time feeling bad about his rejection of his monster.

His monster, on the other hand - who needs a name so I'll call him Barry - is another matter. I'm not sure how much Barry can actually be blamed for what he does here. I can't say he doesn't know better because he kind of does from watching the De Laceys. On the other hand, watching something you can never have and being continually rejected it can turn even the most cultured person bitter, much less what it would do to someone with zero socialization skills. He was still fully conscience of what he was doing and why he was doing it though, so he certainly shares some of the blame, but it's true that Frankenstein could've prevented all of this it he'd just stopped and thought the first time around. 

The story lost me a little with the expedition to the north pole and there were a few too many "stories with a story" going on here. Who really cares about the De Laceys and how they came to be there? And the meanderings of Frankenstein describing the countryside and whatnot - this isn't a road trip story like LOTR so those parts just got me impatient for Shelley to get to the point already.

I bought the free ebook of this on Amazon, but I didn't read it, just referred to it now and then while I listened to the free podcast recording I downloaded from iTunes (record by LibriVox). They were clearly different versions, as the audio recording had a lot more to it than the ebook, including the forward of Shelley describing how she came to write this story, so I'm assuming they used the uncensored original version, which I recommend over any of the revised versions. The recording had a female narrator who did an excellent job, though I could never quite get used to it as everyone who was actually telling this story were male. I finally told myself this was Robert's sister reading all the letters about his accounts of Victor's accounts of Barry's accounts of De Lacey's accounts (see what I mean about too many stories) and got through it that way.