Another year, another attempt at reading every assignment of the Sword-and-laser bookclub: The first one for 2018 was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. I had wanted to read the old horror/fiction-classics like “Frankenstein” and “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” for a long time so this was the perfect opportunity to get at least one of them off my list.
The story by Mary Shelley surprised me right from the start with the way it was told. Everything is pretty much a retelling of events by Victor Frankenstein himself as part of a letter the captain of a polar expedition writes to his sister in England. I really didn’t expect the book to start that far up north 😉
What I expected instead was that more or the story (if not all of it) would take place in England and not in Switzerland and Germany. At least that explains the German name of Victor Frankenstein. That being said, the characters get around quite a bit. Switzerland, France, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, England… It reflects the romanticisation of traveling in the 18th and 19th century.
Compared to some other books from that time, Frankenstein IMHO holds up pretty nicely! With the rise of AI and genetics topics like “what makes up a living being” and what rights it should have are now more important than ever. The book also deals with things like (xeno)phobia.
In general, I really enjoyed this book, something I wouldn’t have expected to this extend.