First of all, I think it’s important to note straight away that I was #teammonster throughout the book, and I really enjoyed reading it 🙂
If you’re somehow unaware of the plot, it goes like this: Man finds out how to make a body, made from dead bits of other bodies, come to life. Man immediately regrets this. His life is ruined.
Frankenstein is such a dick! It takes him about 20 seconds after creating the monster to run away. On returning to find the monster gone he’s all ‘Phew, glad he’s gone! That’s that sorted then.’. Several years later when the monster catches up with him and pulls him up for abandoning him. He still doesn’t think he’s got any responsibility to him. The poor monster has managed to learn to be a caring, loving, intellectual creature during this time – even though his every encounter with humans has lead to them screaming and running away, fainting, or trying to hit him. Frankenstein decides to try and kill the monster, but bad luck dude – you made him super big and strong, you idiot.
The monster does turn to murdering all of Frankenstein’s family and trying to ruin his life, but I think he was put under extreme ‘he started it’ provocation. Plus, every human that sees him is so horrified they can’t even hear what he’s saying – nice. The monster wants Frankenstein to make him a lady monster companion and, after some dithering, he decides not to. It’s all a bit downhill for Frankenstein’s friends and family after that.
The whole story is nicely sandwiched between the story of Captain Walton’s attempted voyage to the North Pole. He encounters Frankenstein toward the end of his adventure and Frankenstein tells him his story.
Final thoughts are that I’m really glad I read this book. The text is quite dense and the word wretch is used at least a thousand times. There are some beautiful images created of the natural world. The descriptions of the monster are sparse, but extremely effective at creating a frightening vision. You get that he is ‘a hideous wretch’, has a black slit for a mouth, and you are told his hand looks mummified. The vision I’ve created of Frankenstein seeing the monster smirking at him from outside the window, after he’s killed Frankenstein’s wife, is terrifying!
Top tip: if creating a hideous monster, make it look less hideous and make it tiny! Like one of the baby zombies in Minecraft.