Monstrous

14 09 2019

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.

Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.

The result of a compact (when Mary Shelley was just nineteen years old) between Mary, her husband Percy and Lord Byron one stormy night to write their own haunting stories, Frankenstein remains essential reading today. Influenced by the myth of Prometheus and Milton’s Paradise Lost, this chilling gothic tale would become the world’s most famous work of horror fiction, and continues to be a devastatingly relevant exploration of the limits of human creativity.

 

Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece really is an outstanding novel. Having only just read it for the first time (goodness knows why I never had before) I realised how narrow and limited the popular version of the story is. It really is a wide-ranging, compelling, subtle, philosophical and quite moving narrative.

 

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