I'll just do one write-up, since from what everyone was saying, no one who HAS read the book before really remembers jack about it worth spoiling, but if I'm wrong and someone does want to discuss some spoily stuff let me know, and I'll start splitting it up.
Also, mea culpa, I put the first reading sections as three letters, but it was four, I missed the fourth somehow (maybe because the third was so short). But I figure everyone knows what I meant, right?
Also, can anyone go into this book without hearing it in their head as "Frahnk-ehn-shteeeen"?
Ahem, anyhow. So we open up this thrilling Gothic Horror classic with... J. Random Dude who's off on an expidition to the arctic, of course. WTF? It even threw me, since as I said I remember very little of my original readthrough.
Dude, four letters over the course of more than six months? Glad this guy isn't my correspondent. Some nice brotherly love, there! I mean, maybe if it was implied that there were other, less-important-to-the-book letters in between there, but I'm not getting that impression.
I'm also wondering if there's supposed to be something in the different ways that the guy signs off his name. I mean, I'd just chalk it up as a touch to try to make it seem more realistic and natural, but I know I don't tend to sign off letters (to the same person anyhow) in a ton of different ways like that! Maybe it was different Back In The Day, though.
I like how Robert is like practically totally in love with his little ship-board guest, and doesn't even give his bloody name. I mean, knowing what we know as modern readers it's pretty apparent who he is, but it just seems odd, ya know? In a similar vein, wow, I'll chalk his description of friendship and longing and bonding and all up to the difference in eras, but yeah. I could easily see someone starting this book and figuring there's something more to it.
I think that was most of what I wanted to say. Not sure how effective this is as an opening though, because it's so... distant from the actual meat of the book! But oh well, framing devices, gotta love them. Some more so than others.
Anyhow, please, discuss!
Remember, since this is a meatier novel, we're doing a daily schedule on this one, so Chapter 1 discussion is tomorrow.