New Monthly 5 Book Review

"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

You can't have a set of Horror book reviews without this classic tale being listed - that would be criminal!

Here's the twist. "Frankenstein" is the only book on the list that I haven't actually read! Don't get me wrong, I do own a copy of it, but I just haven't been able to get into it enough to actually read it.

How many of you out there fall for the trap that "Frankenstein" refers to the monster? go on, admit it - i won't laugh too much. Well if you did think this, you're wrong. "Frankenstein" is actually the Doctor who created the monster, his 'creation'. Over the years of course, the name "Frankenstein" has become synonomous with the monster himself and so the cycle continues.

Whilst I'm guilty of not actually reading the book, I have seen good adaptations made for TV, a good one was (I believe) directed and starred Kenneth Brannagh.

What I like about "Frankenstein" is the story about how the book came about. One story I've heard is that Mary and her husband were holding a gathering at their home and a bad storm appeared, maening that guests weren't able to go home. The power cut out and the group were left using candles to see by.

As a way to entertain the party, Mary and her husband came up with the idea of telling stories to the group and they all began taking turns, telling ghost stories and horror stories, generally scaring each other silly (you'd be scared too with the wind howling, rain lashing down, thunder and lightning going off).

Anyway, after all of the reset of the group had had a turn, it was getting late, but the group persuaded Mary to have her turn. Mary set on and told this story of a Doctor who was fascinated in resurection and creating life, desperate to know if he could create life from death. Mary told how this Doctor had bodies stolen from new graves so that he could use the parts that he needed to be able to create his being of great size and strength, using the best parts he could get from the cadavers.

The guests at the party were scared silly by Mary's story (she'd made it up on the spot as well) and they encouraged her to write it down, saying that many others would be interested and want to read it. Mary wasn't sure, after all, it wasn't heard of for a woman to be published in those times. But Mary wrote down her story and eventually, the book was published and over time, became the book we know today.

I'm not going to give this a rating (not fair to as I haven't read it), so I'll let you decide. Read the book, then let me know what rating you would give "Frankenstein".


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