Elentarri's Book Blog

Book reviews and other interesting goodies.


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley, Marilyn Butler

TITLE:  Frankenstein


AUTHOR:  Mary Shelley


PUBLICATION:  Oxford World's Classics,

                            1818 Text


PUBLICATION DATE:  2009 (originally 1818)


FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780199537150



Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.



I've never read Frankenstein before, or seen any of the movie adaptations, so didn't know what to expect.  This is a story-within-a-story epistolary novel that starts off slowly but picks up pace in the second and third parts. The writing has it's moments, and on occasion was downright beautiful.  I can see why English literature teachers love this novel - so many themes and ideas.  I was, however, expecting more on how Frankenstein created the monster.  This aspect was covered in all of one short paragraph.  I also found Frankenstein's a bit daft for such an intelligent man.  He wanted to create a being but simply had no thought for what to do with it (him?) once created?  Frankenstein should have created a dog.  That would have created less drama for both the monster and the Frankenstein family.  None the less, an enjoyable story.



NOTE ON 1818 EDITION:  This was the original novel as written by Mary Shelley.  Later she revised it slightly to improve grammar.  In 1831, Mary Shelley published a substantially modified edition of the novel, for reasons that can be summarized as political correctness and making the novel more "respectable" to the public.  The Oxford 1818 edition provides a list of changes made for comparison.



The Difficulties of Donating Blood...

Taking out the Garbage...




I must take the garbage out on Tuesday morning...

I'm so excited,

I don't know what to wear..






Saturday was cold, wet and miserable. 

So I tried to read...

someone had other ideas....




Making Eden by David Beerling

Making Eden:  How Plants Transformed a Barren Planet  - David Beerling

TITLE:  Making Eden: How Plants Transformed a Barren Planet


AUTHOR:  David Beerling




FORMAT:  Hardcover


ISBN-13:  978019879830



"Over 7 billion people depend on plants for healthy, productive, secure lives, but few of us stop to consider the origin of the plant kingdom that turned the world green and made our lives possible. And as the human population continues to escalate, our survival depends on how we treat the plant kingdom and the soils that sustain it. Understanding the evolutionary history of our land floras, the story of how plant life emerged from water and conquered the continents to dominate the planet, is fundamental to our own existence.

In Making Eden David Beerling reveals the hidden history of Earth's sun-shot greenery, and considers its future prospects as we farm the planet to feed the world. Describing the early plant pioneers and their close, symbiotic relationship with fungi, he examines the central role plants play in both ecosystems and the regulation of climate. As threats to plant biodiversity mount today, Beerling discusses the resultant implications for food security and climate change, and how these can be avoided. Drawing on the latest exciting scientific findings, including Beerling's own field work in the UK, North America, and New Zealand, and his experimental research programmes over the past decade, this is an exciting new take on how plants greened the continents.




This is a fairly comprehensive survey of what we know about plant evolution - when plants first started growing on land, when leaves, stomata, roots, seeds, and flowers first developed.  Beerling also shows that without plants, Earth would not be the Eden that it is today.  Interesting, but some may find the genomic aspects too technical.  This book is something of a prequel to Beerling's previous book:  The Emerald Planet: How Plants Changed Earth's History.




The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories by Teresa Solana

 The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories - Teresa Solana

TITLE:  The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories


AUTHOR:  Teresa Solana





"Ingenious, always witty and sometimes gruesome short stories by one of Spain’s best-known crime writers.

An impressive and very funny collection of stories by Teresa Solana but the fun is very dark indeed. The oddest things happen. Statues decompose and stink out galleries, two old grandmothers are vengeful killers, a prehistoric detective on the verge of becoming the first religious charlatan trails a triple murder that is threatening cave life as the early innocents knew it. The collection also includes a sparkling web of Barcelona stories--connected by two criminal acts--that allows Solana to explore the darker side of different parts of the city and their seedier inhabitants.




This is a charming, witty and entertaining collection of crime stories, most set in Spain.  A fairly relaxing read for those over-stressed brain cells.

Time Travel...

SHORT STORY: ‘They’re Made Out Of Meat’ by Terry Bisson

It's a humorous first-contact story.  Enjoy!


‘They’re Made Out Of Meat’ by Terry Bisson



Baby Elephant Videos




Medicinal treats...

Wurst and Käse






These are about the only decent photos I have of my dogs.  They are either sleeping, zooming around or want to see what you are doing with the phone/camera.


Unintended consequences of loo-paper stockpiling...


Parent Working from Home

Currently reading

Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden
Progress: 5%
The Vampire Archives: The Most Complete Volume of Vampire Tales Ever Published (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by
Progress: 757/1056pages