Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Frankenstein


"To be a great and virtuous man appeared the highest honour that can befell a sensitive being; to be base and vicious, as many on record have been, appeared the lowest degradation"

It's funny how my (probably not uncommon) perception of Frankenstein's Monster, had been shaped by the Boris Karloff's portrayal in the 1931 film, directed by James Whale. Reading the plot summary of the film, it pretty much mirrors most of my mental images of tale.

The mad scientist. ("It's Alive!")
His hunched assistant.
The secluded laboratory.
Opened rooftops, and lightning storms.
A slow walking, dull creature.
Enraged villagers with pitchforks and torches.

Basically, this:


* 0:08 - 0:14 sounds mad familiar. Did someone sample it?*

I recently read the book, and wasn't surprised at how different it was, but I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

The monster in this story is very complex, and at different points in the story (sometimes in a manner of pages or paragraphs) can be thoughtful, caring, frightening, stubborn, and quite frankly -- an asshole. There are points when you're not sure if you should feel sorry for it, though I suspect towards the end of the story, many wont.

The best parts of the story occur when the monster holds court with its creator (depicted by the author as more emo than madly ambitious). A good portion of their dialogue revolves around Man's capacity for evil, and I guess the circumstances which causes him to become or act this way.

The edition I read was only 200 pages, some of which dragged (surprising for such a short story). Still, there some to chew on here, so if you haven't read this classic, I would say it's a solid read.

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