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lgpiper

Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

Frankenstein

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley, Maurice Hindle God, this was tedious. Victor Frankenstein is just about the most self absorbed asshole ever to live. He is totally clueless regarding the people around him. Everything revolves around him. Despite being allegedly brilliant, he has the critical thinking skills of a newt.

This book is, in a way, a good example of the evils of racism, but I doubt that Shelly or most of her readers understood it that way. Basically, Frankenstein's monster was deemed wicked and depraved merely because he was deformed and ugly, not because of any inherent character flaws. In fact, during the book, we learn that he was amazingly intelligent and sensitive. He went off the rails, so to speak, only after constantly enduring deprivation and scorn inflicted upon him merely because of how he looked. Yeah, if you throw enough brickbats at a person, eventually they might retaliate. Big surprise. So, in Shelly's distorted world view, one's throwing the brickbats at creatures whose only sin is ugliness, isn't depraved, but if the receiver of the undeserved brickbats retaliates in any way, then that retaliation confirms depravity? WTF?

Do yourself a favor and don't bother with this book. It really and truly sucks. In addition to a story that makes no rational sense, the book is backed with tedious page after tedious page of that horrid 19th century gratuitous glorification of nature and much maudlin brooding on one's emotional state. If you want to read a classic "monster" book, do yourself a favor and read Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was indeed a good book. I can't adequately express my contempt for this particular piece of trash.