Read Falkner by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Free Online
Book Title: Falkner|
The author of the book: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 794 KB
Edition: Borgo Press
Date of issue: February 1st 2003
ISBN 13: 9781592249343
Read full description of the books Falkner:I'll use this novel as an illustration of what makes or breaks a book, at least for me.
A story whose subject or plotline isn’t of especial interest to you, but is WELL TOLD, draws you in, sometimes even captivates you.
On the other hand, a storyline or subject that piques your interest, but told in an awkward or unimaginative way….. the whole thing gets downgraded to a mediocre experience at best.
Falkner, unfortunately, was the latter.
I was interested in the plot from the start. For one thing, any story that begins with an orphan --- count me in. If this young orphan is alone in a cemetery visiting the parents’ graves? Even better. Now add a strange man who arrives in this small town, driven by guilt and anguish, intent on taking his own life; he finds a shadowy corner of said graveyard, prepares to apply the fatal blow to his own body … only to be surprised by the orphan, who stays his hand.
Yup! I’m all in.
But after reading this book, my opinion is that Mary Shelley was a great *idea* person, but not a particularly talented writer. Quite good at dreaming up a story, but executing it … not so much.
I read Frankenstein a few years back, and remember really liking the plot, and more so, the big ideas, the elements that made up the story. But I remember being fatigued by the needlessly wordy passages, the repetition. Falkner was a similar experience for me. The plot, (while perhaps a bit contrived), explored parental and filial relationships; noble duty overcoming societal dictates; themes of hopelessness and redemption, loyalty, mercy and revenge, forgiveness, and the power of selfless and genuine love. I knew it was going somewhere good, if only Shelley would get out of her own way and tell the darn story already!
The first roughly half of the book is written in an eye-crossingly bland style, which consists almost entirely of plain. linear. narrative.
and loooong descriptions of characters’ appearances, feelings, and motives.
Despite my incipient interest in the fates of these people, I nearly gave up reading… when around 45%, I suddenly encountered a wonderfully written chapter. At this point, the story picked up some speed. The writing continued, at turns, dull and somewhat engaging. But there was some well-written dialogue, and interesting parallels in later scenes to earlier events.
The whole of the story follows Falkner – the man at the beginning bent on suicide – his relationship with the orphan girl, the reasons for his anguish, and the outcome. Falkner’s story involves other people from his past and present who play key roles. There’s certainly enough here that, in the hands of a capable screenwriter, would make a thoroughly enjoyable tv mini-series. But the story as written, requires a person to really flex their reading muscles and push through.
So, in the end, I’d say it was a good story, but only a so-so read.
Falkner is a deceptively simple story, yet it has a lot to say. It made me think, but not feel. A good reading experience makes me do both, to some degree. Good storytelling seems to make all the difference.
Read information about the authorMary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published.
The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression.
The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.
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