Books I love: “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
Having now spent thirty-one days only reading horror books, I felt I’d be remiss in letting October fade away without at least a short tribute to what I consider to be not only the best horror novel of all time, but one of the best novels of all time of any genre.
Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is a passion of mine.
I’m a Franken-geek.
Though I know I first read “Frankenstein” in around eighth grade, I really and truly fell in love with it when I had to spend six weeks dissecting it as part of a Romantic Literature class while a student at Michigan State University. We discussed the Shelley circle and Byron and all that jazz, but we also got into the deeper elements of the book that make it spectacular; it’s really interesting narrative within a narrative within ANOTHER narrative – in which Captain Walton relays the story told to him by the dying Victor Frankenstein, which contains a large chunk of the Monsters story as he told it to Victor.
The novel also gave me one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, in Justine Moritz. Granted, she spends a lot of the novel ignored, and dies terribly, I’ve always just adored her character and her storyline. She’s a positively tragic figure, and I’m surprised no one has taken her into her own novelization. (Unless someone has and I’ve missed it completely. If so, please let me know – and I’ll read it.)
My “Frankenstein” love goes so deep, I even love the Branaugh/DeNiro movie version, despite the strays from the script (such as Elizabeth being re-born as a female monster? WTF.) I actually think Branaugh is near perfect as curious rich boy Victor, and positively love the cast that surrounds him – namely Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Hulce, and John Cleese.
Film trailer (for those not aware of this movie)
If you like horror, and want to wrap your head around a true classic of the genre, read “Frankenstein.” It’s spell-bindingly beautiful in the way it’s written, and truly an original.
I adore it. That is all.