In spite of this, the book was a constant surprise. Most noticeably, there is no triumphant, “It’s alive!” moment in the book. On the contrary (spoiler ahead), Victor Frankenstein flees in terror the moment his creature takes its first breath, setting in motion all the tragic events that occur thereafter.
Therein lies my problem with this book, the reason that I did not give it five stars. The truth is, Frankenstein is a selfish coward and a hypocrite and I despised him throughout the book. The book was difficult for me to read, let alone enjoy, because I was struggling with anger and disgust almost from beginning to end. (If you want to know how I think Frankenstein should have behaved, simply watch Young Frankenstein!)
In spite of this, it is clear to me why Frankenstein is a classic. I’m no philosopher, but even I found myself considering some big questions. What makes us human? What is our relationship with God? Is science evil, or only when scientific advancement is pursued recklessly with little thought of morality or responsibility? These are issues that resonate with all of us.
Frankenstein's relevance, longevity, and influence definitely make it a five star classic, but it was a four star read for me.