Hey lovelies! I’m back with another instalment of my ‘5 reasons to read’ series, this time with the seasonally appropriate Frankenstein! I have read this book multiple times; it is one of my favourite classics and its Gothic nature makes it a perfect Autumn read.
[If anyone is interested, the lovely Johann is actually hosting a Frankenstein readalong this month – maybe my 5 reasons can convince you to join in!]
It gave rise to science fiction as we know it
Many people argue that this is the first true science fiction novel. And I am more than happy for it to hold that title. Mary Shelley incorporated the real life development of electricity into her story and lent a factual edge to her nightmare concept. The idea of reanimating a corpse is terrifyingly plausible and makes Frankenstein truly haunting. And if you call yourself any kind of sci-fi fan, then this one is a must-read.
It has aged incredibly well
Mary Shelley was so ahead of her time and managed to write a compelling story that also commented on social changes that were occurring. Yet even though we have moved on a lot from those times, the themes Shelley presented still resonate today. The idea of ‘outsiders’, people who look different from ourselves or who cannot speak English, is unfortunately still an issue in many places in contemporary society, and, sadly, it is all too possible to see links between the monster’s experience and that of immigrants today.
It presents us with morally grey characters
Nobody in this book is purely good or evil. I love that. Victor Frankenstein, the supposedly good son and brother studying at a prestigious university makes some seriously questionable moral decisions. And the monster himself is the perfect vessel for exploring the nature/nurture debate. I, personally, believe he is not ‘born’ inherently evil; his actions result from the treatment he receives from others. Not that I am condoning his behaviour, obviously, but it makes me genuinely sad that he is treated so abhorrently based on his outward appearance. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that these complex characters are the type that I love reading about.
The writing is incredible
Many classics can feel very dry and difficult to get through but Frankenstein is not one of them, in my opinion. I love the flow of Mary Shelley’s writing and I have so many wonderful quotes flagged. And the fact that she wrote it when she was just a teenager fills me with awe.
It’s so much better than any of its movie adaptations
I am one of those bookworms who will almost never enjoy an adaptation as much as the book itself. It’s impossible to get all the detail of a book into a movie or even a tv series and, in this way, subtle nuances are lost. I believe the phrase “the book is better” can never be more applicable than it is here. There have been countless adaptations of Frankenstein and they always seem to be so dodgy and melodramatic, never capturing the intelligence or beauty of Shelley’s novel. Do yourself a favour and just read the book instead.
I know Frankenstein is quite a divisive book so I want to chat with you about it! Do you love it or loathe it? Do you see the creature as inherently evil? Leave me a comment and let’s discuss! x