Well, I finished Frankenstein. It took me about a week. (Alright, 8 days.) It was OK, not my favorite, but pretty good reading. At least until the end where there are these huge, moralizing speeches from the characters. (I’m really trying not to spoil anybody who hasn’t read it, although I’m assuming that you know the basic plot.)
The subtitle is “The Modern Prometheus,” and I couldn’t quite remember who Prometheus was, although I did know that he was from Greek mythology. So, like any good Internet addict, I googled it. There was some interesting background on Wikipedia. In case you don’t want to read it, it turns out that Prometheus was the Titan (kind of the gods that came before the Greek gods that we are familiar with) who created mankind. That is an obvious parallel with Frankenstein, who created the “monster” in the story. Prometheus also gave mankind the gift of fire, although he was severely punished for this by Zeus. (I guess Zeus and company had taken over by this point. I seriously need to read up on my mythology some more.) That is also very like the story of Frankenstein, where the eponymous character is punished for his “gift” of life to a monster.
Frankenstein is certainly tragic, very gothic. Like I said, though, I didn’t think it was great. A lot of people have said that they sympathize with the monster much more than Frankenstein himself, and I do get that. It’s not like he asked to be created. The story he told in the middle of the book about life on his own is pretty good. However, at the end, when he started moralizing about all the things that he did wrong, I quickly lost sympathy for him. It’s hard to be sympathetic with someone so boring.
So what’s the verdict? I guess it’s worth the read if it sounds interesting to you. If not, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It’s a classic, so it will always be there if you change your mind.