Wednesday's Inspiring Books

It's that time of the week again, kids - time to share a book that inspired or influenced me to become an author.  They've been a mixed bunch so far. Shall we recap? Let's recap.

So far we've had:

You can make of that what you will, dear readers.

Today's book is another older one, and not necessarily (or at all) a children's book. Today is a sunny, hot, beautiful summer Sunday [at the time of writing!] in New Jersey. So let's talk about Frankenstein. Yeah, that works.

I read this version. I liked it so much I bought a cloth-bound version for keepsies. 

Strangely, even today, Frankenstein makes me think of buses. Specifically, the 139 from Bearwood Junction to Haybridge Sixth Form, Birmingham, UK. Why? 'Cause that's the bus I read it on. Or at least, the bus I kept reading it on.

Frankenstein is one of those books - Dracula is another - that created a monster in its own right, and sometimes gets lost in all the forms and variations that exist. Yes, Frankenstein is the name of the man, not the monster, but common misconceptions go far beyond that. Why? Because you don't have to read the book to know what it's about. It's entered into our cultural consciousness, so that, like Loch Ness's Nessie or who Jesus is, you don't have to be explicitly taught. You just pick it up. You just know this sort of thing.

Wrong, though. The major parts of the book are pretty standard Hollywood fair, but the book itself - again, like Dracula - is incredibly different, and much more complicated, than many might think.

I started reading it because it was one of those books - you know, the types you've never actually read, but feel, in some vague way, you probably should have. I loved it. Not just the story, but the literary devices Shelley uses, the way she tells it, and her lightening-sharp dialogue. So, I read it on the bus, 'cause I wasn't finished yet, but it was time to go off to college. I did feel awkward, a bit. It's not a cool thing to do. Especially not since it was an old book. But the story was good enough and the writing clear enough that I didn't care. I wanted to read.

So how was I inspired? 

This book is so good that it's not only famous among people who choose not to read it, it's good enough that I wouldn't put it down on the bus.

Imagine writing a story like that. One that passes the bus test. Or the elevator test. Or the walking to your car and you're late for work test. The stay up all night test. The read this book till it's finished, then I'll eat dinner test. The yes love, in a minute test. The flippin' heck, how is it midnight?! test

A book good enough to be read. 

That's the dream.

No comments:

Post a Comment