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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein (1818)

by Mary Shelley

Other authors: Harold Bloom (Afterword)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,81949836 (3.81)1 / 1491
  1. 323
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus, ghr4)
  2. 222
    The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells (Liondancer, artturnerjr)
    Liondancer: another scientist whose creatures get out of control
    artturnerjr: Both books share a similar blend of science fiction and horror.
  3. 191
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (MarcusBrutus, Cecilturtle, LitPeejster)
  4. 92
    The Golem by Gustav Meyrink (Kolbkarlsson)
  5. 71
    The Journals of Mary Shelley by Professor Paula R. Feldman (JessamyJane)
  6. 41
    The Sand Man / The Deserted House by E. T. A. Hoffmann (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Written within a year of each other, Hoffmann's The Sandman and Shelley's Frankenstein both feature man-made beings. And both have been adapted beyond recognition.
  7. 63
    Dracula [Norton Critical Edition] by Bram Stoker (Nubiannut)
  8. 30
    Grendel by John Gardner (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both books attempt to get into the mind of a monster.
  9. 41
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Morteana)
  10. 20
    Sielun pimeä puoli : Mary Shelley ja Frankenstein by Merete Mazzarella (GoST)
  11. 31
    Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (FFortuna)
  12. 20
    The Hidden by Richard Sala (Michael.Rimmer)
  13. 10
    The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories (Dover Thrift Edition) by Mark Twain (JolieLouise)
    JolieLouise: The Mysterious Stranger is about a creator's treatment of his creation.
  14. 10
    The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (leigonj)
    leigonj: The romantic elements of Frankenstein are clearly influenced by Goethe's classic of the genre. I was not in the least surprised when it was referred to directly in the text.
  15. 10
    Monster by Dave Zeltserman (Crypto-Willobie)
    Crypto-Willobie: A decadent noirish retelling of the Frankenstein story from the monster's point of view.
  16. 32
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  17. 54
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Both are novels about the horrendous consequences that arise from excessive human meddling with nature, i.e. "playing God."
  18. 21
    Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (thecoroner)
  19. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)
  20. 23
    The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A modern sequel

(see all 23 recommendations)

Horror (16)
Power (1)
1810s (2)

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English (477)  Spanish (6)  French (4)  Danish (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All (497)
Showing 1-5 of 477 (next | show all)
[b: Frankenstein|18490|Frankenstein|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1381512375s/18490.jpg|4836639] is probably one of the most poorly adapted books in existence. Most adaptations miss the point of the book itself entirely, and focus upon the horror of the scientist battling a hideous monster rather than the more monstrous aspects of himself. The novel could be viewed in the same way [b: A Wizard of Earthsea|13642|A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)|Ursula K. Le Guin|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1353424536s/13642.jpg|113603] is - a man battling his Jungian Shadow. Even such an interpretation doesn't quite do justice to [a: Mary Shelley|11139|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1386351586p2/11139.jpg]'s work. For all of its flaws, and this book has many, there's just something about it that I can't turn away from. With each reading I appreciate the book a bit more, although I agree with Harold Bloom when he states that the novel itself was far greater than Shelley could handle; it eventually became her own Creature, and Mary lived in its shadow the whole of her life.

[b: Frankenstein|18490|Frankenstein|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1381512375s/18490.jpg|4836639] is an homage and a send-up to the Romantic notions of inspiration and work. The Creature is not so much the mind or the heart of Victor as it is a better form of himself. The novel is Romantic, Gothic, and political - yet it also defies all of those conventions. The novel isn't in some dark distant castle, but rather every day life and modern cities. The novel isn't overtly political, but it does espouse that Nurture can turn a saint into a killer, and work the other way as well. Nothing is predetermined, but rather we make ourselves what we wish to be - and society does the same.

[b: Frankenstein|18490|Frankenstein|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1381512375s/18490.jpg|4836639] is a book better than its contents, and it's lodged into our psyche in a way that will never quite change. While not the first scifi novel, it is the first of our modern age. It fills many roles, and it's no wonder Shelley could never quite live up to it again. It's a novel best enjoyed multiple times, just.. never, never in its adaptations. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
A wonderful edition in slipcase.
  dirving57 | Jun 4, 2018 |
The reason it has a 1 star rating because for one I just thought the book suckes some serous A**. I was forced to read it in school and that maybe part of the reason I don't like it...I don't like to be forced to do anything and when I'm forced to read a book I will immediately hate it...beside I never really read all of it but I had a friend on here tell what happened after I stopped reading it and it sounded stupid any ways so I'm glade I didn't waste my time reading the rest of it. ( )
  Sam-Teegarden | Jun 2, 2018 |
Wow, okay, so Hollywood is a liar and I am an idiot.

Once upon a time, I believed I knew a little something about Frankenstein. I now see how wrong I was. Frankenstein is nothing like I thought it would be, and I think that's part of why I liked it so much. To be honest, I normally have a really rough time with classic literature. I can hardly understand it, much less enjoy it so I tend to steer clear. However, Frankenstein was a nice exception and a great surprise! I liked this book way more than I thought I would. Though I gave it four stars, I actually think I would rate it more around four and a half! Really nice classic! ( )
  spellbindingstories | May 24, 2018 |
I've been familiar with the story, or at least the cinematic versions of it, since I was a small child when my father let me stay up to watch Shock Theater with him in spite of my mother's objections. In fairness, he knew I'd be sound asleep by the first commercial, so probably wouldn't see anything too horrifying. I first read the book in my late teens or early twenties, and was surprised at how very different a story it was from what I was used to.

As with my recent rereading of Buddenbrooks, this reading of Frankenstein pointed up how much my emotional and philosophical views have changed in the 40+ years since I first made the acquaintance of Mary Shelley's creature (as distinct from Hollywood's version of it.) As a young person I read the book with a romantic sensibility, making Victor into the flawed hero, a victim of his own mistakes. But now I don't see him as any sort of hero or victim.

Victor is a moral coward, who spends years chasing the dream of becoming like a god, and in a split second, when he realizes what he's done, he suddenly repudiates his entire life's work because the thing he created repulses him, offends his aesthetic sensibilities! He abandons his newborn creature, and races around wringing his hands and wondering how he can escape the consequences of what he's done rather than dealing with them, and then he's surprised when those actions have consequences as well. Honestly, he's something of a moral idiot as well. I don't suppose this is an accident since I think one of the messages here is don't go screwing around with things if you haven't considered what the consequences will be, aka, just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean you should.

The story he tells to Walton while the latter's ship is stuck in polar ice is a cautionary tale. More than once he warns Walton to learn from his (Victor's) mistakes. And yet at the end, it is Victor who urges Walton to continue and damned to the consequences to himself or anyone else, proving I think, that Victor has learned absolutely nothing, and is content to place all the blame for the horrible events of the novel squarely on the shoulders of his creature. If there is a monster here, it's Victor Frankenstein, a man whose thoughtlessness and irresponsibility causes so many deaths and so much misery that it's difficult to care about his fate.

I also found that I was always aware that Frankenstein is considered to be the first true science fiction story, and thus with the sense that science fiction as a genre was created by a teenage girl, all of which gave me a greater appreciation of the history of this genre. That appreciation gave more depth to this reading, I think.

I say "reading" because I consider audiobooks to be reading as surely as I do reading text. A good narrator can add to the experience, and Dan Stevens does a bang-up job here, but in the end it is the story that the author has given us that we absorb. Thus, Reading.

If you're not familiar with the novel, as opposed to the myriad films adapted (often about as loosely as can be imagined) from it, you might consider sitting down with it. It can be a bit daunting at first, but soon the narrative works its magic, and you'll be caught up in the horror of the situation, and the anguish of the characters. There really is a reason why it remains a favorite 200 years on. ( )
2 vote Tracy_Rowan | May 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 477 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (258 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shelley, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casaletto, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couturiau, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hindle, MauriceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunter, J. PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, DianeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karbiener, KarenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehtonen, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Walter JamesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munch, PhilippeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pechmann, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polakovics, FriedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rennerfelt, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruiz, AristedesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seymour, MirandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wrightson, BernieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

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Frankenstein [Great Illustrated Classics] (Adapted by Malvina G. Vogel) by Malvina G. Vogel

Frankenstein [Step-Up Classic Chillers] by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein [adapted - Treasury of Illustrated Classics] by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Is abridged in

Is parodied in


Has as a reference guide/companion

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Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?
—Paradise Lost, x, 743-5
Author of Political Justice, Caleb Williams, &c.
Are respectfully inscribed
First words
To Mrs Saville, England. St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17—. You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.
The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence. - preface by P.B. Shelley
Mary Shelley: Though her life was fraught with personal tragedy, Mary Shelley was destined for literary greatness. (Barnes and Noble Edition)
Author's Introduction:  The publishers of the Standard Novels, in selecting Frankenstein for one of their series, expressed a wish that I should furnish them with some account of the origin on the story.  (Author's Introduction to the Standard Novels Edition (1831))
“ I had admired the perfect form of my cottagers—their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions: but how was I terrified when I viewed myself in a transparent pool . . . and when I was convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification.”
"I will be with you on your wedding night!"
It was the wretch, the filthy daemon to whom I had given life!
"I have lately been so engaged in one occupation that I have not allowed myself sufficient rest. But I hope that all those employments are now at an end, and that I am at length free."
I felt the bitterness of disappointment; dreams that had been my food and pleasant rest for so long a space were now become a hell to me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work for Frankenstein. It should not be combined with any abridgement or adaptation.
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Book description
Frankenstein was published in 1818, the work of a 21-year-old genius named Mary Shelley. Hundreds of movies, adaptations, and monster masks later, its reputation remains so lively that the title has become its own word in the English language. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, discovers the secret of reanimating the dead. After he rejects his hideous creation, not even the farthest poles of the earth will keep his bitter monster from seeking an inhuman revenge. Inspired by a uniquely Romantic view of science’s possibilities, Shelley’s masterpiece ultimately wrestles with the hidden shadows of the human mind.

About the author:

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in London in 1797, the daughter of well-known intellectuals. She married the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816 and spent much of her adulthood in continental Europe, surrounded by her friends in the English Romantic Movement. Her tumultuous life included the loss of three children in infancy and her husband’s death by drowning in 1822. Nevertheless, her contributions to English literature continue to fascinate and inspire readers and artists alike.

Victor Frankenstein is just a college student who wants to figure out the technical details of how life works. Obsessed with chasing this discovery, he creates something unthinkable. And then things all go wrong. Read a Gothic horror classic easily with this modern English translation. But don't worry about missing anything, because the original unedited 1831 version is here too, along with a scholarly essay.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439475, Paperback)

Frankenstein, loved by many decades of readers and praised by such eminent literary critics as Harold Bloom, seems hardly to need a recommendation. If you haven't read it recently, though, you may not remember the sweeping force of the prose, the grotesque, surreal imagery, and the multilayered doppelgänger themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece. As fantasy writer Jane Yolen writes of this (the reviewer's favorite) edition, "The strong black and whites of the main text [illustrations] are dark and brooding, with unremitting shadows and stark contrasts. But the central conversation with the monster--who owes nothing to the overused movie image … but is rather the novel's charnel-house composite--is where [Barry] Moser's illustrations show their greatest power ... The viewer can all but smell the powerful stench of the monster's breath as its words spill out across the page. Strong book-making for one of the world's strongest and most remarkable books." Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce Carol Oates.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 01 Jul 2015 14:47:18 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Presents the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his obsessive experiment that leads to the creation of a monstrous and deadly creature.

» see all 106 descriptions

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