Drama critic Christopher Small noted that Frankenstein is "uniquely new to every fresh generation of readers" but that it is also "familiar to them before they begin to read". For many of us this is true. We will be reading a book for the first time, but the story of Frankenstein has been around our entire lives in one way or another. With each turn of the page we will go deeper into a world that we have never been before, yet we will be doing so alongside characters we have known since preschool.
As we move through this book you may be surprised to find that there are no
hunchback assistants or angry villagers with torches chasing the monster
through the country side. These images have been added over the course of 100
years of movie adaptations, graphic novels and all sorts of other pop culture.
You may also be surprised to find that after 100 years of Hollywood the central
characters and heart of the story has remained unchanged. These cultural icons
in the public consciousness are almost identical to the ones that can be found
in Mary Shelley's 1818 original copy.
As we progress through this tale it will be exciting to see what portions
are as we expect them to be based on our film and pop culture knowledge and
what portions shock us because of how different they are from what we
A few words before we begin
As we begin this 8 year 4 month journey I would like to say a couple of words
about how I plan to move forward.
Each month we will all be reading a novel together. Of course, we all have different schedules
and responsibilities so we will not be reading at the exact same time, which
could lead to some spoilers if not handled well. Because of this I plan to spend the first
half of each month on author, background, literary and historical
information. These posts will give some
information about the book but will focus on bigger picture topics. The second half of the month will be on the
text itself. This will allow time for
all of us to be adequately progressing through the novel before information
from the book starts coming out. I would
hate to spoil a great book for someone. I
probably will not be able to stay away from everything for the slower readers
though, and discussions will be taking place throughout the month in the
comment sections. If something is being
discussed that could ruin a plot twist I will place the text “spoiler alert” on
the post or comment so you can decide if you want to read it or not. I ask other commenters to do the same.
My goal is to post 3 times per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) and I
should stick to this pretty closely. I
tell you this so that you can hold me accountable if I get behind. Also, I enjoy research immensely so if there
is ever a topic that you would like me to cover, or feel I have not covered
deep enough, let me know.
There are only 2 rules for this book club blog. First is that language should be appropriate
for all ages. I don’t think this will be
a problem but I want to say something now just in case. I have run into some potty mouths before and
I hate deleting comments for any reason.
Secondly, have fun.
With that, I give you Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus.