Friday, April 25, 2014

Round Robin Blog Topic: You Loved the Blurb--What Happened?

April's Round Robin Blog topic:
You loved the blurb. First page sounded interesting. You bought the book. What makes you throw the book you're reading against the wall, stomp on it and go find another?

The blurb on the back cover or the inside sleeve of a book is supposed to draw you in and make you want to buy the book. It is supposed to be intriguing, giving you a flavour of the novel. 

Catchy Blurb: "One of the best-known horror stories ever. Victor Frankenstein, a Swiss scientist, has a great ambition: to create intelligent life. But when his creature first stirs, he realizes he has made a monster. A monster which, abandoned by its maker and shunned by everyone who sees it, dogs Dr Frankenstein with murder and horrors to the very ends of the earth . . ."

Deciding to read Frankenstein was a bit of a whim. I wanted to see how different it was from the twentieth-century film versions, and since I loved B Stoker's "Dracula" i expected to add this classic to my "keeper" shelf.

I can't blame Mary Shelley for some of the things I disliked. I find early 19th century fiction to be strangely peppered with sensitive, high-born protagonists who suffer nervous fits. But these delicate lords who require six months of recuperation try my patience. And Victor Frankenstein has so many nervous fits -- and spells of madness -- that it's a wonder he ever gets a chance to build a monster in the first place.

II can't excuse Victor Frankenstein's justifications for his actions. I could see it if Shelley were ultimately condemning Frankenstein for being such a lazy, selfish, ineffectual, and cold-hearted but she isn't. The only thing Frankenstein did wrong was to play God by delving into the secrets of nature.

The fact that he totally abandoned his "monster" is not seen as irresponsible. And when that monster found itself alone and terrified, spurned by all humans, unable to find companionship even from the man who created him-- Victor Frankenstein doesn't think this is particularly sad. When the monster decides to get revenge of those who rejected him -- Frankenstein (and Shelley) both label the monster as "cruel" and "bloodthirsty."

Almost half of the book is about the monster's good deeds and his heart-wrenching attempts to join a society that will never accept him. The other half is about Victor Frankenstein running away from every responsibility he has.

 When describing geography, Shelley entranced me. When it came to characterization, however, I could only care about the monster...and I don't think she intended it that way.  (The book gave me nightmares.  Not because of the monster but because of the "abandonment").  

Thank you for stopping by to view my blog post today.  
Next on the blog tour: Beverley Bateman -

Happy Reading,

A complete list of this month's guest bloggers: