(5 / 5) – It Completes Me!
Classics may not be my usual bag, but there are a few that connect and surprise me every time I read them. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” never disappoints and after so many year, it almost felt like reading it for the first time. Classic lover or not, “Frankenstein” is absolutely worth your time and attention.
Mary Shelley’s masterpiece has a lasting impression because it contains a wealth of social commentary and drama woven into the darker side of humanity’s pursuit of knowledge. Shelley employs a storytelling structure that reminds me of a nesting doll. It is a story being told, within a story being told, within a story being told. It is always from a first person narrative which offers the reader a depth of knowledge about each character as they tell their story. While much of the drama emanates from the characters misunderstandings of each other’s motivations and needs. It is this complexity pushing the narrative forward throughout.
Shelley offers a weighty commentary on humanity’s, and particularly men’s, desire for knowledge and power at all costs and explores the actual costs of such single minded pursuits. With deep empathy she explores the very consequences of intelligent life and humanity’s various responses to the “other.”
As one of the first (if not THE first) science fiction novels, Shelley contributed to a genre that explores and speculates on the meaning of life and the intersection of nature, science and mechanization. It is a triumph of a book two centuries after its original publication. Read it!