Let’s cross out the The Classics Club monthly meme today while I’m still on this blogging spell and before things go out of control. Here’s the topic for this month.
What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?
That would be Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I totally had nothing to expect from it when I planned to read it, so when I started and found out how beautiful its prose is and how heart-wrenching the characters’ situations are, I was just, well, surprised. All my notions that Frankenstein is The Monster (he is The Monster’s creation, FYI) were dispelled, and that makes it doubly surprising for me.
I have a nagging notion that the edition that I read is abridged because the various copies that I see are between 200 to 300 pages. The edition that I read is only around 150 pages. Those longer editions, however, have very long introductions, and these may be why they seem longer. Is it worth reading these intros?
The other classics that I read are not as surprising as this because I knew what to expect from them based on my experience (Faulkner and Tolstoy) and based on reputation (Austen). I will soon be reading Bowen’s The Death of the Heart. Same with Frankenstein, I have nothing to expect from it. Maybe it will turn out just as good and surprising as Frankenstein.