[Spoilers ahead for a classic piece of literature.]
Oh! What time has been wasted! I could have been doing something else! For what then could such time have been used, if I had not carelessly subjected myself to this misery? And by misery, you must understand that I was reading what many consider to be a classic book. But why should they do this, but only to give credence to what inspired later triumphs. But in this case, the inspiration falls terribly flat and ends with exactly what it sets out to portray... that being ample misery, of course.
The book is called "Frankenstein" or "The Modern Prometheus." It was written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818, later revised in 1831. Although my copy did not say which version I had, my research into the differences suggests that I came into possession of the original.
The story relates of one Victor Frankenstein who discovers the method of creating life. He does so, but in the attempt creates a monster. From what I read, I did not see Victor as doing anything other but attempting to push forward into the boundaries of human science. He had his heart in the right place. I never once faulted him for the attempt.
As it turns out the monster was very hideous to look upon. The monster shown in the original 1910 film is likely a decent representation of his ugliness but perhaps not his stature. I've included it in this blog as a reference. But back to the story: Frankenstein is utterly terrified of his creature's hideousness and he, for lack of a better term, flips the heck out.
Let me simplify this for you. This book is all about how the good intentions of Victor become his undoing. For a good 90% of this book, he is miserable and has absolutely no problems in telling the reader just how miserable he is. Every waking nightmare he has about that monster he created comes true. There are no surprises. His life becomes hell. He blames himself, but honestly I cannot help but blame only one person for the train wreck that is this book: Mary Shelley.
The problem with the author is that she has absolutely no clue what a man really is. Every male character in this book, including the monster himself, acts like a hysterical woman. Men constantly pass out. They get locked into seizures of fright and agony at the mere mention of anything negative. All the characters in this book are extremely impassioned, and it never lets up.
I cannot even begin to convey how often the author goes over and over about how miserable the characters are. Even when nothing bad is happening, the idea that something bad could happen still lingers, nearly driving them mad. I felt like I was reading Hans Christian Andersen stories again, but at least they were not a novel in length. I had to endure this book for about three weeks.
Listen to me and understand what I say: The movies are better! In the book, there is no castle. There is no hydraulic lift. There was a storm, but it was only there to add to the depression! Frankenstein was never mad in the book. He was a soft-natured man who just wanted to be a boon to the world, and absolutely everything goes wrong and nobody wins!
If you want my advice--and I am happy to give it to you--go watch Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein." It is, in my humble opinion, the best version of the tale, despite leaning towards comedy. It takes virtually nothing from the book, and it is better for it.
Save thyself! I have been your guinea pig! I walked a hundred miles in Frankenstein's shoes! I have experienced the frantic and feverish thoughts of a hysterical mind trapped in a never ending nightmare that can only end with the sweet release that only death can bring! Don't walk the path that I have traveled for you! See the movies! Enjoy them! Let this classic fade away into the darkness, steeped in the viscous black melancholy where Victor and his Monster yet writhe!
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