Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a classic in the true sense of the word; with timeless themes and an important place in literary history.

The story beings in the northern ice caps with Robert Walton, a young man seeking adventure in the uncharted areas of the world. His trip is interrupted when the boat he sails on comes upon a strange man stranded all alone in the ice caps needing assistance.

This man is Doctor Viktor Frankenstein, who proceeds to tell Walton an almost incomprehensible story about his journey to recreate human life. The result of this journey, is Frankenstein's monster.

The beauty of Frankenstein is just how human Frankenstein's monster really is. He is a man who desires love and companionship. In his early years of being he seeks friendship and family. He wants people's approval and notice in order that he can become the man that he feels that he is.

He is then deeply wounded by the sudden and cruel realisation that he is fated to a life of nameless isolation, where he will only ever be met with abhorrence and rejection. His grief and despair at this realisation force him to seek the assistance of the man that he himself despises, his creator, Viktor Frankenstein.

Sadly, when he finds that even this avenue cannot bring him relief from his pitiful situation he dedicates his life to destroying his creator, hoping to find peace but only to discover that his destructive acts cannot satisfy his all too human desires.

Because of this, it is the nameless monster created by Frankenstein that holds our sympathy, despite his murderous acts. Frankenstein himself becomes a selfish figure that having achieved his desired outcome, refuses to take responsibility for the life that he has created. He suffers for this undoubtedly, but it is his creation that you cannot help but feel fascinated by and feel pity for.

It is incredible to think that at the age of 18 Shelley was able to write such a book; a book that so accurately captures the depths of human nature and feeling.

Not only this, but Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus played a significant role in the development of the horror genre, as well as having an important place in romantic and gothic literature, and to a lesser extent science fiction as well.

This is a classic in the true sense of the word, and a book that I recommend to everyone with a love of literature.

7 / 8
Brilliant, couldn't put it down. Recommend that you buy it.

Have you read this book? How did you feel about Doctor Frankenstein himself? Did you think that he did the right thing is failing to assist his creation or did he fail to responsibility for his actions?

Labels - use them or lose them?

Labels - use them or lose them?

It's that time of year again - the time of year where I think about what changes (if any) I will make to my blog. Already I have posted a poll about rating books, and you can see the discussion about this here and the results of the poll here.

Now I am wondering - does anyone use the label's widget to navigate around other people's blogs?

You know the one I mean. It's definitely a widget in blogger (although I am not sure about wordpress) and it often appears in people's sidebars.

It essentially takes all the labels you apply to your posts and creates a pretty list of them is different sized fonts according to how many posts have with that same label.

I label my posts and I have this widget in my side bar - but it occurred to me - I have almost never used this widget to navigate around other people's book blogs and I wonder how often people use it to navigate around my own.

So my main question is this - do you ever use the 'label' widget to navigate around other people's blogs?

If the answer is NO, then my second question is this - why do you have a 'label' widget in your own sidebar?

If you don't have a label widget in your sidebar, then this question isn't for you as I am assuming your answer would be that you don't display the widget because you don't use it on other people's blogs, although if your explanation is different please share it with everyone.

If the answer is NO, then my third question is this - why do we give our posts labels at all?

My answer to this would be that it helps me search for posts with more ease. For example, I want to write about a post about my top 5 Australian books read in 2010, all I need to to is click on the 'Australian' label in the edit posts tab in blogger, and I am given the list of all my Australian books to have a look through and pick the best 5. What do you think?

I am looking forward to your comments and the results of the poll.

Results of the review rating poll

The results are in!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll and the to everyone who participated in the great discussion that followed my original post about rating books within your review.

Most people said that they rated their books mainly because it helped that gain some overall idea of how they enjoyed the books that they had read in the last year.

The results of the poll were that:
  • 9 people said that they always look at the rating given by the reviewer,
  • 6 people said that they sometimes look at the rating given by the reviewer, and
  • 3 people said that they never look at the rating given by the reviewer.
Whilst I am one of those people who is only interested in the review and never looks at other people's ratings, I will continue rating books I read on my 1 - 8 scale as I always have. It seems that it assist them majority of people and it definitely has its place in the book blogging world.

Hope that has helped other bloggers out there who were having the same thoughts.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood is one of the best books I read in 2010 and one that I cannot recommend any higher to everyone. 

It is not very often that I fail to review a book, but this is a book that is so fabulous that no review I write could ever do it justice.

Atwood has outdone herself and I think that this is now one of my most favoutire Atwood novels, if not one of my favourite novels of all times.

It is a novel that follows on from Oryx and Crake, which I was as equally blown away by when I read it.

The Year of the Flood surpasses its predecessor in so many ways that I couldn't even begin to attempt to atriculate what I loved about it.

Suffice it to say that this is a book that you should read, no matter who you are (although you probably read Oryx and Crake first).

In order to make up for the deficiency in this review here is the link to The Year of the Flood's website.

There have been many posts out there recently about The Year of the Flood and dystopian fiction. If you have read this book and reviewed it, please feel free to leave a link to your review. Is there is anyone else out there that was as impressed with this book as I was?

8 / 8:
One of the best books I have ever read. Everyone should read it - it is totally amazing. I am in love.