Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstein - Not What I Expected

Silly me.  I figured that since the Frankenstein story is so familiar, I would be able to whip through this book in an afternoon.  Not so.  This is a monster of a book, excuse the pun.  If I used that same term to describe "Vanity Fair" a few weeks back, I respectfully retract that.  Frankenstein deserves that title. 

This book has surprised me at every turn, and will surly continue to do so.  To begin with, the edition I have includes a fascinating introduction about the author and her crazy world which included the likes of her husband, Percy Shelley, and a host of romantic poets. They enjoyed a colorful life - with much of the color coming form various forms of self medicating!  In fact, the plot for Frankenstein supposedly came to Mary Shelley in a dream!

After the intro, comes the framework of the novel which is set up a lot like Coleridge's "The Rime of the ancient Mariner."  Captain Robert Walton is leading a crew to the North Pole when a massive storm paralyzes his ship.  In the distance, a frozen figure limps toward the ship,  It is Dr. Viktor Frankenstein, who then begins the story of his unorthodox experiments in the creation of human life.

Frankenstein's story is related through letters that Walton send to his sister.  Very formal.  Very wordy.  Very frightening.  At least the implications of the experiments are scary in light of what medicine and technology are capable of today.  I will let you be the judge of that.  but, if you are so compelled to read Frankenstein, a good follow up would be The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


To my friends - and everyone - in the path of Hurricane Sandy:   Be safe.   Heed the warnings. Do what you're told to do, and keep us posted as much as possible. 

Thanks for stopping by.

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