Frankissstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson is unlike any book I’ve ever read. I’ve never read sexually graphic scenes so close to philosophical inquiries, so close to song lyrics, so close to notable passages of literature. Yet, somehow, Winterson pulls these unconventional combinations off in this novel. And all the various pieces of the novel and its multiple narratives come together by the end of the novel, which means that you should definitely read this novel to the end.
This novel is for those literary geeks who also enjoy being entertained and laughing a bit. And it’s for those who want to unpack complex ideas about what it truly means to be human, especially in the age of AI (artificial intelligence) and in an age where gender and gender assignations are being discussed more than they ever were before. Although there is still much further for us humans to go on that front, as the novel also touches on.
Do we need human bodies to be human? Are our identities tied to our minds or our bodies, or both? How intertwined are narratives and the stories we tell and read to our identities, our humanity, our history, our current reality? This novel will have you asking yourself these questions. And then some. It offers an intellectual feast for the inner contemporary philosopher in any reader.
Here are some notable quotes from the novel:
What is identity but what we name it?
… We live by language.P. 62
This story has become my reality.P.147
Overall, this novel was as beautiful as it was raunchy and honest and intellectually stimulating. However, within its pages, I did not encounter the sense of love that I was seeking and felt like I was being promised (in a way). There was no real love or genuine affection for any of the characters or narratives or inventions or storytelling – or for humanity or life itself- in the end. But it was still very much worth the read. And I will recommend it to fellow lit nerds to be sure.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
For more information about this novel, see the summary of Frankissstein: A Love Story on Goodreads.
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