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review 2020-04-27 06:16
Review: Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
Deeplight - Frances Hardinge

 This book drew me in with its cover, as is often the case. I was intrigued by the synopsis. And several reviews of it called it a merging of Frakenstein, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde, and that left me even more interested. Normally with that much hype surrounding a book it is bound to disappoint, at least a little bit, but this book was fantastic.


Hark was a fabulous character. He was uncertain and timid but trying to find a foothold in the world. He could see that his friendship with Jelt was changing but admitting it to himself meant that nothing would be the same. He broke my heart and left me cheering him on. He had a great story arc. Through the course of the story he was forced from being a little boy running a small time con to a man who takes responsibility for his own story.


I had a hard time feeling too much sympathy for Jelt because he was pretty mean to Hark from the moment we met him. But, despite that, I felt tremendous sympathy for how Hark dealt with the changes in his friend.


The gods were presented as monsters first, deities almost by accident, and I liked that approach. The idea of monster gods is appealing to me and this was the perfect blend of monster and majesty to suit me. The world this book was set in was also beautifully detailed. I could feel the undulating waves of the Undersea. The permeating fear of it that fed the gods for thousands of years. It was a beautifully written story. My only complaint was that the ending when Hark is going after the heart dragged on for a bit too long. After about 50 pages my mind started to wander and I wished we could stop describing everything so thoroughly and move on with the action a bit quicker. But the ending was compelling, as was the epilogue. I read the last thirty pages or so with tears streaming down my face, my heart breaking and cheering for Hark all at the same time. In the end this was a story about the power of stories, and it had a profound power all its own.

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review 2020-04-20 15:57
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice Hindle

by Mary Shelley


Frankenstein starts out in a format that I usually don't like much, that of reading letters that give information, but it is done with strangely beautiful writing and I do think I would have read the whole book in this format if it had been written that way. However, this only forms a sort of lengthy prologue to the story proper and changes to standard prose chapters in Chapter One.


What strikes me is the quality of the writing. There is something about books written in this era that allows first person exposition to be carried by the poetic phrasing of another age. The main character's enthusiasm is tangible and although we may not understand exactly what he has in mind at first, his desire to accomplish something really special translates well and grips us within his developing thoughts.


I soon learned that the old black and white movie that I grew up with has little to do with the book. Rather than the grunting hulk that we see in the classic film, the monster is while very large and deformed, very eloquent in speech and of high intelligence. Though he can kill accidentally as happened in the film, most of his deeds are done consciously with malice, due to what he refers to as " Misery in deformity." He is a cold blooded killer rather than the confused being depicted in the film.


The writing is exceptional. Frankenstein's passion of words conveys a rapturous emotional state when he is sure he has discovered the secret to life and gathers what he will need to conduct his experiments, to create life. Unlike the film, we learn about Frankenstein's family, who play significant roles in his story. At times the creature seems to have a generous and sensitive nature and is highly intelligent. He speaks poetically and the reader could almost sympathise with him, especially when Frankenstein behaves amazingly stupidly toward the end.


Much of the horror is conveyed through the protagonist's emotional reactions. The story actually drags out towards the ending, but it was an amazing read and has much to say about the nature of man and how he can be affected by kindness or cruelty. I can see why it became a classic.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-04-07 16:22
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Marilyn Butler

TITLE:  Frankenstein


AUTHOR:  Mary Shelley


PUBLICATION:  Oxford World's Classics,

                            1818 Text


PUBLICATION DATE:  2009 (originally 1818)


FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780199537150



Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.



I've never read Frankenstein before, or seen any of the movie adaptations, so didn't know what to expect.  This is a story-within-a-story epistolary novel that starts off slowly but picks up pace in the second and third parts. The writing has it's moments, and on occasion was downright beautiful.  I can see why English literature teachers love this novel - so many themes and ideas.  I was, however, expecting more on how Frankenstein created the monster.  This aspect was covered in all of one short paragraph.  I also found Frankenstein's a bit daft for such an intelligent man.  He wanted to create a being but simply had no thought for what to do with it (him?) once created?  Frankenstein should have created a dog.  That would have created less drama for both the monster and the Frankenstein family.  None the less, an enjoyable story.



NOTE ON 1818 EDITION:  This was the original novel as written by Mary Shelley.  Later she revised it slightly to improve grammar.  In 1831, Mary Shelley published a substantially modified edition of the novel, for reasons that can be summarized as political correctness and making the novel more "respectable" to the public.  The Oxford 1818 edition provides a list of changes made for comparison.



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text 2020-02-23 00:37
Reading progress update: I've read 68%.
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice Hindle

I don't get the hype. Most of this story is vague and lacking in details. But then the writing tries to hide it by using flowery prose. I'm going to finish this just to say I did, but it's just... lacking.

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review 2019-11-16 00:00
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice Hindle What a great reading experience this was, I loved the story, the writing and vivid descriptions. Completely different from the film that I remember and the audible version with the narration by Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) was an added bonus.

It’s difficult to believe that this gothic fiction story was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley when she was only eighteen Years old and while the writing style is formal and literary the story is so engaging and thought provoking and after a few pages I was totally absorbed with the atmosphere and the Tale of the monster.

At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science.

I had a copy of this book sitting on my real life shelf for years and never felt drawn to it as I had seen Frankenstein Movies on Tv and felt it was pointless at this stage reading the book as I knew the story and only when I came across an audible version narrated by Dan Stevens did I feel a pull towards this classic. I read and listened to this one and was totally suprised by how much I Enjoyed this Novel.

What an imagination this eighteen year old girl had in the beginning of the 1800s, the setting and the characters are so brilliantly depicted and you feel like you are part of the story as you follow follow Frankenstein on his travels. It’s dark and atmospheric and perfect November reading.

I love when a book like this surprises me and while I had to suspend disbelief a little with some elements of the story and the happenings, it was worth it for the entertainment and reward I got from this novel.

A memorable and thought provoking read and a book that keeps it’s pride of place on my real life bookshelf

I think readers who have enjoyed books like The Woman in White might well enjoy this one too.
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