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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
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Frankenstein (1818)

by Mary Shelley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,80040453 (3.8)1114
  1. 293
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus)
  2. 182
    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. 171
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (MarcusBrutus, Cecilturtle, LitPeejster)
  4. 71
    The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844: 1814-1822 (Journals of Mary Shelley, July, 1814-1822) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (JessamyJane)
  5. 82
    The Golem by Gustav Meyrink (Kolbkarlsson)
  6. 30
    Grendel by John Gardner (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both books attempt to get into the mind of a monster.
  7. 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.
  8. 63
    Dracula [Norton Critical Edition] by Bram Stoker (Nubiannut)
  9. 31
    Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (FFortuna)
  10. 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."
  11. 21
    Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (thecoroner)
  12. 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.
  13. 10
    The Hidden by Richard Sala (Michael.Rimmer)
  14. 11
    Sielun pimeä puoli : Mary Shelley ja Frankenstein by Merete Mazzarella (GoST)
  15. 00
    Revival by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: Revival is an homage to Frankenstein
  16. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)
  17. 33
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  18. 23
    The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A modern sequel
  19. 24
    The Merciful Women by Federico Andahazi (Mahlatikka)
  20. 46
    Pride And Prometheus by John Kessel (aethercowboy)
    aethercowboy: Pride and Prometheus is a clever and award-winning melding of Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein. Worth reading alongside the original. It won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award, and was nominated for a Hugo and World Fantasy Award.

(see all 21 recommendations)

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» See also 1114 mentions

English (390)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (401)
Showing 1-5 of 390 (next | show all)
Frankenstein is one of those books which everybody thinks they know the story but that happens to be totally different from the popular account. The story is multi-layered: A story told in letters giving an account of another life. The most surprising fact is the erudition of Frankenstein's monster that, by the way, speaks French despite being created in Germany (probably out of German body parts) by the troubled existence of Viktor Frankenstein who is from the city of Geneva. The monster learns French by observing a French refugee family in Germany and reading the few books in their library.

The different story lines, protagonists and motifs are a sprawling mess. A modern editor would certainly have triggered a clean-up of the manuscript towards one of these strands as the novel is at times a horror story, a Bildungsroman, travel and adventure writing and even a part-time romance. This complexity has made it very difficult to produce a good movie. Most memorable are certainly the different characters - though not yet imagined as Boris Karloff and the mad scientist. The different scene locations are also featured prominently. Landscape is very important too with scenes in Switzerland, Germany, France, England and the North Pole. ( )
  jcbrunner | Jun 30, 2015 |
I didn't know what to expect from this book, although I did suspect it would be quite unlike the Hollywood and Hammer film versions of it. It is different and surprisingly easy to read, considering its age. I think this is because of the variety of first person narratives and the cleverness of Mary Shelley and her story. I find the basic idea about a proud man creating a monster he can't control still brilliant, shocking and as relevant today as it must have been when it was first written. ( )
  AmiloFinn | Jun 12, 2015 |
Summary: Victor Frankenstein, the son of a wealthy Geneva family, was encouraged in his pursuit of the study of the natural sciences, and from his reading gleans the idea of creating life from non-life. So he builds a creature from human body parts, and animates it, and is then struck by the horror of what he's done, during which time the monster escapes. It soon learns that it is monstrous, and by hiding in a shed near a house with a family, learns language. It vows vengeance on Frankenstein, for creating it and abandoning it, and proceeds to kill those that Frankenstein loves, and to destroy his every chance for happiness.

Review: This was a really fascinating read, and made for a surprisingly intense discussion at book club. I'd grown up with the pop-culture monster image in my head, and I knew enough to know that Frankenstein was the scientist, not the monster (although does his behavior make him the one that's truly monstrous? Discuss.), but I'd never before read the actual book. I was surprised how much of it doesn't match the Hollywood version, and by how much of it's from the monster's point of view - he's very articulate, which surprised me.

The prose was really pretty dense - no point in saying once what you can say three times with a bunch of adjectives, I guess - and there was a lot of wailing and (metaphorical) gnashing of teeth and rending of garments, which got a little bit (a lot, actually) tiring. But I liked that it could be read on a number of levels - as a horror story, as a story about scientific ethics, as a story about the human condition and what it really means to be human, so that was all great. I also entertained myself as I was listening by seeing how far I could carry my theory that Frankenstein himself actually was murdering all those people - several times throughout the novel he goes into fits and has a fever from which he doesn't recover for several weeks, and when he does, someone else close to him is dead. It doesn't quite hold up throughout the entire story, but I thought it made an interesting possibility. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I didn't love it, but it's absolutely worth reading, both to get the real scoop on the mad-scientist cliche, and to provide lots of really interesting possibilities for debate with others. ( )
1 vote fyrefly98 | May 12, 2015 |
A scientist creates a creature who then terrorizes the nearby town. The monster learns about the town and the people in it to where he can understand and communicate. This teaches kids no matter ones appearance, we should learn to accept them for who they are and not judge them by what they look like. ( )
  amartino1208 | Apr 28, 2015 |
While the story had some flaws in my opinion, which I won't enumerate here, I really liked the story overall. I found it very interesting to get the "real" story of Frankenstein after having grown up with a certain image of him from the media, TV, and movies. I was surprised that I had no idea what the story was really like. The only thing my notion of it and the actual book had in common was the fact that Frankenstein created a monster. (Did I miss the lightning bolt?) He didn't even look the same! I was excited at the premise, but then would find the story lacking at times, and was frustrated as I felt great potential for it to have been better. I got the feeling that the author was trying to create some degree of sympathy for the monster, and for most of the book I did not feel it. In fact, I thought he whined a bit too much. But at the end... well, I loved how it ended. I did feel sympathy. He was the monster I wanted him to be. Fun to read right before Halloween. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 390 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (314 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shelley, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldAfterwordsecondary authorsome 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
King, StephenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Walter JamesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruiz, AristedesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seymour, MirandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiss, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wrightson, BernieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
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
Dedication
TO
WILLIAM GODWIN
Author of Political Justice, Caleb Williams, &c.
THESE VOLUMES
Are respectfully inscribed
by
THE AUTHOR
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))
Quotations
“ 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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.

Haiku summary

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 7 descriptions)

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

» see all 66 descriptions

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