On first reading ‘Frankenstein’

Frankenstein is another one of those books which I have been meaning to read for years but, somehow, never have. I never felt quite in the right mood to pick it up. Then I went to the Cheltenham Literary Festival and won a beautiful copy (along with some other great prizes).

Halloween was fast approaching and it seemed like the time was just right – so last week I settled down to enjoy it.

I knew that there would be no green monster with a bolt through his neck but I wasn’t prepared for quite how confused my feelings would become. I spent a huge proportion of the book firmly on the ‘monster’s’ side and only really started to question that right at the end.

I think my main problem is that I just didn’t like Victor Frankenstein. It seemed to me that he spent most of the time just complaining about how the monster had ruined his life but – whilst this was technically true – that was entirely his own fault and I found it very difficult to sympathise with him. If he had not abandoned his creation in the first place it is likely that none of the consequent catastrophes would have happened.

I realise of course that the book is meant to make us question the way we treat differences but – although I see that it is a fantastic book – my dislike of Victor Frankenstein is so great that it has left me wondering if I enjoyed the book at all.

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