Shelley’s Frankenstein

What a novel Frankenstein is. Rereading it – particularly the hardcover Bernie Wrightson version – is such a joy. Admittedly, the epistolary style is a little archaic and the novel does ‘tell rather than show’ when compared to some of today’s contemporary horror, but it’s easy to see why it’s a classic.

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Everything from the atmospheric building of dread, the existential themes, the recurring motifs (rain shortly before the monster appears being a particularly memorable one), and the malignant cruelty of the monster’s actions being so dependent on Victor’s treatment of it make for a really thought-provoking read.

Finally, and this is possibly my favourite part of it, the nature of the novel’s narrative coming from the minds of its three protagonists is so clever in the way it mirrors the way Frankenstein pieced the monster together from the parts of individual cadavers.

As for Wrightson’s work on this, you don’t need me to tell you how good it is. It’s the stuff of legend, and as we all know, Wrightson’s passion for the project resulted in a truly beautiful version of the text.

What more can be said about this? I guess it’s as simple as this: if you haven’t read it for a while, or if you’ve never read it, and you feel like brushing up your knowledge on one of the all-time greats, pick up a copy and get to it.

 

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