The Transformation (Fantasy and Horror Classics)

The Transformation (Fantasy and Horror Classics) - Mary Shelley This is a good little book: just three stories collected together, but they're all interesting.The first two are in the Gothic tradition: the title story, Transformation is a story of about the squandering of youth's potential, of decadence and selfishness. A morality tale, but not overbearingly so. The scene of Guido on the desolate shore, meeting with the dwarf cast up from the stormy sea is very effective.The second story, The Mortal Immortal tells of the growing loneliness and despair felt by Winzy (who considers himself to be a young immortal, being only 323 years old) as all that he knows and loves passes away. This is a take on the Sorcerer's Apprentice motif and the most tragic in tone of the three stories.The last story, The Evil Eye, is not Gothic, but would, I'm sure, have been received as rather exotic at the time of its original publication (1829). Set in Albania and Greece, this is a tale of sibling rivalry, vengeance and treachery, piracy, banditry and abduction. The unlikely coincidences are forgiveable in such an engagingly-told story.I liked the way Shelley switched the focus on characters as you're not at first sure where your sympathies should lie. I think it's good when authors skew your expectations and don't immediately give you everything on a plate.