First Published in: 1818
Author: Mary Shelley
An adventure buff along with the team of a captain and sailors were sailing towards the north pole when one day after many days they had spent sailing they encounter a lost man sailing alone, his boat destroyed, they take him in, offer him to stay with them, try to nurse him back to health. On asking how he ended up alone in such a treacherous route he narrates his story. A young boy with inclination towards science sets out to a university to further his studies. There he discovers his interest in biology and life form. He starts visiting morgues and analysing what makes up human bodies, how can this life be synthetically created and similar thoughts occupy his mind uncontrollably. He leaves going to classes and instead starts exploring and working on his new idea of creating life. He studies the tissues that make up the body and starts developing and putting all ingredients together. One day he wakes up to his invention in full life form and gets scared of its horrifying countenance. He instantly regrets what he had done, runs haywire but falls into terrible sickness after that encounter. On his return to his home where this lab was he was relieved to find that that figure was no longer there but doesn’t recover for long. Soon he receives news of his younger brother’s murder. He travels to his hometown and on the way visited the place where the alleged murder had happened and encounters the monster he created again. In that instant, he becomes sure that the monster is the murderer. During the course of time he starts losing his other family members and his closest friend, again in circumstances which were mysterious to others but only he knew who was doing this.He sets out to find the monster and in fact catches him when the monster narrates his story and his disappointment when his own creator abandoned him, his willingness and effort to establish connection with others but always failing due to horrible countenance which is why he tells he set out to ruin his creator and everything he held dear. Victor requests him to stop all this but he agrees in one condition – that Victor again make a similar form so that the monster has a company to spend his life with, someone who would love him and not fear him. He also warns Victor to be ready to face consequence on his upcoming wedding day if he fails. Victor promises to fulfil his wish and sets out again to a secluded place to setup his lab, starts work again but this time not with the same enthusiasm. After unwillingly dragging himself to work on it every day, one day he decides to let go and let this end with him on his wedding day. As promised, the monster destroys his life once again by sparing him but killing his wife on their wedding night which was not what Victor had expected. That is when Victor sets out to find and destroy his creation which he fears will destroy the world if let off which is how he had ended up on their boat.
This is not the type of genre that I usually read but it has always been hailed as a classic so I picked it up. It however was better than I thought.
The premise is very interesting and unique which is highly appreciable but it got a tad bit boring for me in between. The most interesting part for me was when the monster describes how and where he lived, his fears of facing someone, his efforts to develop a relationship. It made me sympathize with him.
Although highly unreal at the time when it was written it doesn’t seem very far away from doable in today’s times. The way the world is moving forward with technological advances and inventing new things, developing AI, reading thoughts, reaching out to aliens, the doom seems near. I am not at all a pessimistic person, believe me, but the extent of technology overwhelms and scares me.
“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” – Bertrand Russell
For me this falls in second category 😀