Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

iconiconI'm about to read Frankenstein's Monster, so I decided that before I did so, I should refresh my memory and reread Frankenstein. I read it at least once in college (maybe more, I can't remember), and I believe once since, so I've read it a couple of times before.  I read so much, though, that I don't recall many details of a book once some time has passed, so I wanted to make sure it was fresh in my mind before reading the modern sequel to Mary Shelley's classic.

Despite the fact that I've read the book a couple of times before, though — or maybe because of it — I had a hard time focusing.  I found I remembered more details as I went along than I thought I would.  Frankenstein is fairly short, but it still took me an agonizing 4 days or so to finish it — and that was with a lot of skimming.  (Part of it may have been that I was distracted with anticipation of getting my Nook, but I'm not having the same problems focusing on The Girl Who Played with Fire, so I don't think that was the problem.)

I think it's especially interesting that I wasn't in the mood for Frankenstein this time around, because in college it was one of my favorites.  Not as much as, say, the Brontë sisters, but a great deal more than most of what I read as part of my English degree.  I was always fascinated with the fact that a young woman (quite young, actually) in the early 19th century would sit down and write a science fiction horror novel, when most women writers at the time were writing romances and cautionary tales.  It's pretty impressive, when you think of it like that.

The link above is to the Barnes & Noble ebook with the nice critical commentary and footnotes, which costs $3.99.  There are other editions on the website, notably many PubIt versions of the ebook that cost as low as 99 cents, but they typically don't have an introduction or footnotes.  If you don't care about that stuff and you want an ebook, you can get a free download of Frankenstein from Project Gutenberg.  I use that site to get most of my classics, and highly recommend it!

Note: Frankenstein is also available as a free ebook on Girlebooks.com, another of my favorite sites for free classics!

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