Reading Challenges, Reviews

Review: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

frankenstein

When I was eighteen or nineteen do you know what I was doing?

Not crafting a masterpiece of literature while spending time with my soulmate. I believe I was actually freaking out over college applications coming in.

Mary Shelley was fast working on something that would leave her a master of a genre, perhaps one of the foremost writers of the gothic horror movement.

She was writing about humanity in a way that was horrific, in a way that would make every reader consider how they react to people, what they would do if they could harness the power of God and “how on earth a woman could come up with such a plot?”

In the company of her husband, Percy, and none other than Lord Byron himself Shelley would later say that the plot came to her when she lay her head down to sleep. However I doubt she would realize until much later the impact that this novel would have in later years. How it would continuously be in print, and would spurn on continuous re-writes, movie adaptaions, TV adaptations, halloween costumes, comics, jokes, drawings…

But there’s a reason it lasts and it lies in the beauty of the writing. The well formed, elegant prose, guaranteed to enrapture and capture the reader, the slow unraveling of the story and the very question of what it means to be human. Of what it means to have power.

It is also to see, given context how this book may have ended up banned, though I will never agree with banning any book. But the author in question was not only female, but wrote about someone taking in the power of God, of creating life without married reproduction.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a classic, or anyone who loves a scientific spurned horror tale. Or just anyone.

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30 Day Challenges

Book Challenge Day 2

2. A book you’ve read more than 3 times.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I don’t remember the first time I read this book, I honestly don’t.  I just know that I’ve read it almost every year since. I don’t know if it’s because of the quality of the writing. Or if it’s because I’m so impressed that a female author, who by all accounts should not have been able to be published without a world of scorn not only did so but did so multiple times. I’ve also always found it interesting that this book came before Sense and Sensibility but that that book kind of (at least to me) became the rough draft for the conclusion of this one. Especially considering I’m not actually a huge fan of that novel, but simply love this one.

The characters are strong, and yes there are some issues from a feminist point of view, but I would like to think that this novel, and Lizzie was feminism in its earliest stages, a woman railing against what was expected of her, and doing what made her happy as opposed to what made her parents happy.

 

(Honorable mentions: The whole Harry Potter series, Little Women and The Eyre Affair)

Book List 2014, Reviews

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This remains one of my favourite books, upon yet another re-read. The world build is so fantastic, and so welcoming and yet foreboding all at the same time.

The characters are easy to love. Sam with his ernest need to protect Frodo, Merry and Pippin with their steadfast loyalty and their sense of adventure which does begin to crumble. Gandalf with his intelligence and wisdom. Aragorn. Legolas.

And the language, and messages within this book always stay with me. I think years from now I’ll still recall lines and passages and rejoice in knowing them.

“The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present,” in particular is a line I love.

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Book List 2014, Reviews

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book almost disorienting to read, but yet I couldn’t put it down as I was drawn into Billy Pilgrim’s world, and the way he perceived what was going on around him. Yet, I don’t believe i would’ve read beyond the first chapter, if it hadn’t been written in the way it was. The story of a man struggling to come to terms with what he needs to write, and how to write it.

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