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The Last Man (Oxford World's Classics)

The Last Man - Mary Shelley I spent a whopping six months finishing this (though there was approximately two or three months where it wasn't read at all, because of school), which is a horrendous slow reading pace for me.

I went into the book expecting something akin to Frankenstein. In that regard, I was sadly disappointed. It's not a bad book, as my three stars clearly states: I did like it. But it is long winded. The writing is beautiful, but the action is slow and at times rambling. The plot moves in strange ways. I did not like the way random characters are introduced into the story only to be never heard of again. I understand this is supposed to give flavour and zest to the story, but for my part, it didn't work. The novel would have benefited greatly if it had been shortened considerably.

That being said - I loved the last volume. And in my opinion, the very last two-three chapters are the best of the entire novel. They are very moving, very lifelike and full of emotion. The main problem I had with the start of the novel has to do with the fact that I couldn't really picture anything - there was so much abstract philosophy tossed in at every single point. Not so with the ending. It is strong and evocative and very vibrantly written. I would give the ending five stars without a doubt.

Also, the book made me want to read Frankenstein again. And it certainly hasn't deterred me from wanting to read more of Shelley's. Which is a good thing.