Discussion of Frankenstein

Members of the forum choose and read a new book every month together, and then discuss it. You can nominate a book to be book of the month using the book's page on Bookshelves. Simply click the link that says 'Nominate for book of the month' on the left side of the book's Bookshelves page near the social sharing buttons. Don't be scared to nominate, as you can change your nomination to a different book if you think of something better.

How do you rate Frankenstein?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
0
No votes
2 stars - fair, okay
5
14%
3 stars - good, recommend it
19
53%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
12
33%
 
Total votes: 36

User avatar
CzechTigg
Posts: 257
Joined: 28 Sep 2015, 13:48
2017 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: Free Fish Friday
Bookshelf Size: 35
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-czechtigg.html
Latest Review: "Finding the Phoenix" by Caitlin O'Connor

Re: Discussion of Frankenstein

Post by CzechTigg » 30 Sep 2015, 08:20

I will always rate this book as the original and best. Having knock-offs such as the lead character in the Munsters is both a sign of how important this work is, and how it can be almost parodied without much thought.

For those who know Red Dwarf, I love the joke where Kryten gets really upset when the Monster is called Frankenstein, when it should be the Creator.
Latest Review: "Finding the Phoenix" by Caitlin O'Connor

User avatar
Aithne
Posts: 112
Joined: 11 Nov 2013, 22:42
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aithne.html
Latest Review: "Chains of Mist" by T.C. Metivier

Post by Aithne » 08 Nov 2015, 12:16

This book was a disappointment to me when I read it. There have been so many adaptations, which are often seen before the book is read, and, sadly, often better than the book. The book had a great originality in its premise and some good ideological ideas and tensions but the book floundered as it went on and I really wasn't happy with the pace of the book, particularly towards the final third. I grew bored, which was a shame.
Latest Review: "Chains of Mist" by T.C. Metivier

User avatar
CactusSmasher
Posts: 10
Joined: 24 Nov 2015, 07:37
Bookshelf Size: 75
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cactussmasher.html
Latest Review: "Beastly" by Matt Khourie
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

Post by CactusSmasher » 24 Nov 2015, 09:39

Finally, after years of owning this book and never once opening it, I've read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. And it is as good as its everlasting legacy would lead you to believe. It all starts here: mad science, ability vs. morality, the ethics of life, and the creator destroying the created. All themes that would be explored in latter day science fiction. Indeed, though the actual mechanics of the Creature's creation are glossed over, Victor Frankenstein's hubristic rejection of the alchemists of old and the embracing of science is a shocking and thoroughly modern concept that could not have existed without the great scientific strides that inspired Mary Shelley to write her novel. But what surprised me the most about this novel is that it's ambitions are far less Gothic horror and far more of an intimate, tragic nature. The focus of the book is entirely the relationship between the doctor and his creation. Deprived of love due to his monstrous appearance, the Creature only lashes out when the whole world has rejected him, including his own "father". And Frankenstein's refusal to take responsibility for his creation, as well as his refusal to see his creation as a man, fully formed and with thoughts and feelings just as powerful as his own, leads to both of their downfalls. Constant stimulating questions abound: Is it right to play God? Can a creature in the shape of a man, with human feelings and a human's intellect truly be considered a man? Are there limits to how far we should take science? Shelley writes of these events with an incredible amount of intelligence and compassion for her characters. The Creature is not a monstrous villain and Frankenstein is not a heartless mad scientist. Both are living, breathing people, and indeed, this powerful novel shows us that love, that mysterious emotion that the Creature craves and the Doctor withholds, is the only thing that could have saved them both.
Latest Review: "Beastly" by Matt Khourie

User avatar
Gnj
Posts: 17
Joined: 21 Mar 2014, 23:00
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 6
Bookshelf Size: 54

Post by Gnj » 09 Jan 2016, 08:52

This wasn't a book I was planning to read, given its popularity through the infamous Hollywood adaptions - I assumed it was just a generic horror story and therefore never even thought about it. But a friend of mine encouraged me to read it, saying it was so much more.

Man, what a story. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I cannot believe how young Shelley was when she wrote this masterpiece. Although it takes a while to get going, I found the writing so exquisite that it felt like a gift picking up the novel and reading just a few sentences.

The chapter where the creature describes his plight, as he tried to integrate with humanity really struck me. After finishing that chapter I had to put the book down and just breathe.

On the other hand, as a scientist I found the story to contain a lot of heavy meaning and warning that are still relevant today. In particular, this idea of having an almost obsession with the life sciences, believing that they will bring us the answer to all of our problems can be a very dangerous path to tread. I believe this novel conveys a strong life lesson that no matter how far our quest for knowledge may take us, we must always take into account the responsibility of our findings. I find it interesting that the subtitle of this novel is 'The Modern Prometheus' - Prometheus being the Greek God who brought knowledge to humanity and was subsequently punished through eternal torment. In the same way, Frankensteins' quest to learn more and more about the human body, and to ultimately create a human, leads to his eventual downfall.

I have always believed that stories can be a sort of seat belt for the sciences, reminding it of its morals and its servitude to society, and not just for the mere obsessions of the mad scientist and his greed. I would like to hope that this novel still sends out those ripples in this modern age of technology.

User avatar
ALynnPowers
Posts: 8447
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: The Shaman's Daughter by Nicki Royall Peet
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Post by ALynnPowers » 10 Jan 2016, 08:32

I read this book last year as part of my yearly goal to read 10 classics. I was surprised; it wasn't what I was expected, which was kind of a good thing, because I thought it would much stupider than it was. But then in the end, I didn't love it because there were so many things I still found stupid and just wrong and weird.

User avatar
dhaller
Posts: 103
Joined: 29 Jul 2015, 15:33
Currently Reading: The Moral Arc
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dhaller.html
Latest Review: "Off to See the Wizard" by Clay Johnson

Post by dhaller » 16 Mar 2016, 23:04

I tend to have a very different approach to this book than most, especially compared to standard English Literature dogma.

My opinion rests upon the idea that if Victor hadn't been an idiot and abandon his creation, or at any point actually treated his creation with the respect it deserved as a thinking, feeling, moral person, the book wouldn't have been a tragedy.

I also see Frankenstein as a parable about artificial intelligence. We too often associate AI with worldwide destruction because of movies, but a genuine AI would decide for itself how it wanted to deal with humanity, and it's probably that decision would at least in part depend on how humanity treated it.
Latest Review: "Off to See the Wizard" by Clay Johnson

User avatar
Gravy
Gravymaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 32224
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 02:02
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 65
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 60
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 78
Favorite Author: Seanan McGuire
Favorite Book: As many as there are stars in the sky
Currently Reading: 39 Winks
Bookshelf Size: 922
fav_author_id: 3249

Post by Gravy » 14 Aug 2016, 05:15

I read this just a few weeks ago and rated it a 3...but I'm stuck on that. This happens now and then. I read a book, have a certain opinion of it, and it will slowly change my mind as my subconscious digests it.
I'm not sure if I'll change my rating yet, but that it's still in my head should prove how much I enjoyed it.
dhaller wrote:I tend to have a very different approach to this book than most, especially compared to standard English Literature dogma.

My opinion rests upon the idea that if Victor hadn't been an idiot and abandon his creation, or at any point actually treated his creation with the respect it deserved as a thinking, feeling, moral person, the book wouldn't have been a tragedy.

I also see Frankenstein as a parable about artificial intelligence. We too often associate AI with worldwide destruction because of movies, but a genuine AI would decide for itself how it wanted to deal with humanity, and it's probably that decision would at least in part depend on how humanity treated it.
Agreed. I kept wanting to smack him.
"If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

User avatar
thebookextravaganza
Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Nov 2017, 13:05
2018 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: Raven's Peak
Bookshelf Size: 474

Post by thebookextravaganza » 24 Nov 2017, 07:06

I have been toying with the idea to pick up the book once again, I have read it a year ago and it made me think of how classics are such a dependable genre, they rarely disappoint. Also thinking of reading all the books Mary Shelley has ever written and doing something like an author spotlight as well. Anybody wants to join me and do a buddy read or something?

User avatar
Laura Del
Posts: 265
Joined: 29 Apr 2018, 10:00
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 27
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-laura-del.html
Latest Review: The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid

Post by Laura Del » 01 Jun 2018, 14:58

I found Frankenstein to be the perfect kind of scary, especially with today's technology and how we are advancing in science... it's crazy how it seems that Mary Shelley just knew that humankind would be warped enough to try what Dr. Frankenstein did in the book. The book also brings up a whole array of existential dilemmas, and I think that's what makes it even more disturbing. I love this story.
"Write drunk, edit sober."~Ernest Hemingway

Post Reply

Return to “Book of the month”