I read Frankenstein on Saturday. I didn't think I was enjoying it and then suddenly seven hours had passed and it was over. Truth be told I'm still not sure how I feel about the book. It's hard for me to tell if it was written by a young girl with a real soft spot for weak, useless, cowardly men - totally possible - or if it was written by a literary genius with keen and subtle eye for human, especially male frailty. I'm leaning toward the second. She was Mary Wollstonecraft's daughter, after all.
The thing that weighs me 100% toward the second now is the framing device. Frankenstein dies a total douchebag. Just a few pages after all his fine words about limitations and not doing things that get everybody killed, he delivers a big rousing dying speech to the ship's crew about how they should all man up and get killed. And the narrator, who's a douchebag-in-embryo, thinks it's lovely, even though some of the crew have already died, and the narrotor thinks that probably the crewmembers who were still alive'd be convinced by it.
And then bam! Next section and they've turned the boat around to go home. Frankenstein is full of shit, everybody knows it except our unreliable narrator - an unreliable narrator framing Frankenstein, the second unreliable narrator. And then the monster comes for his swansong, and that's that. Monster gets the last word, indeed the last value judgement: Framing Unreliable Narrator's all in shock as the book closes, and doesn't have a word left to say.
Okay, I guess I quite like it. But I've had to think about it.