The ninetieth book: #74 Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

Thanks to a summarized retelling of the book by the podcast Fictional, I knew that this book wasn't quite like what the movies and pop culture portrayed. The monster's creation is a small part of the story, with no observers or an Igor really present. Instead, the story focuses on Frankenstein dealing with what he created, throughout trying to escape responsibility - abandoning the monster until it gets his attention by murdering his loved ones. Even when asked to make a companion for the monster, he starts but destroys the creature in disgust.

As much as he frets about his relationship - mostly a courtship of his adopted cousin - it reads as a standard romance novel and really is just a set up for the horrendous things happening around him. The monster's story about how he survives afterwards is the more interesting description of his life, and his descriptions of his struggles to find any meaning are harrowing. Even after Frankenstein's death, the monster can't find peace, and the tragedy is his, as much as his creator wants otherwise. It's a powerful story that resonates now, even if popular culture didn't follow up.