Wednesday, May 2, 2012

#100 - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - - let the book club begin!

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 know.  

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.


  1. I cheated and started several days ago. I am really excited to do this. I already started downloading the ones that I can get for free on my Kindle. I love that many of these are totally free. What a great blog idea! I'll try to keep my spoilers to myself for a bit.

  2. Many of these books are old enough that they have passed into public domain so they can be recieved for free. I dont understand the rules exactly, but I enjoy the benefits.

    Glad you are enjoying this! Watch this blog and I may be giving away a couple of the books that you cant get for free.