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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
22,12539456 (3.8)1069
  1. 283
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus)
  2. 171
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (MarcusBrutus, Cecilturtle, LitPeejster)
  3. 182
    The Island of Doctor 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.
  4. 71
    The Journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844: 1814-1822 (Journals of Mary Shelley, July, 1814-1822) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (JessamyJane)
  5. 72
    The Golem by Gustav Meyrink (Kolbkarlsson)
  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. 31
    Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (FFortuna)
  9. 21
    Prometheus Bound by Aischylos (thecoroner)
  10. 32
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  11. 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."
  12. 10
    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. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)
  15. 23
    The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A modern sequel
  16. 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.
  17. 24
    The Merciful Women by Federico Andahazi (Mahlatikka)
  18. 16
    The Bride of Frankenstein by Carl Dreadstone (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: After you finish the Gothic original, have some fun with this film novelization.
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» See also 1069 mentions

English (380)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (391)
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
As strange as it may sound, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the complexity of the language, the plot and events, and the suspense. I thought that it was actually a very sentimental and touching book that commented on one's loneliness in society. It was beautifully written and extremely imagistic, depicting beautiful mountain and environmental features in Switzerland. I also somehow use Frankenstein as my example for all my SAT essays because it has a uniqueness and malleable quality that enables it to work for many of the prompts. It was heartbreaking at the end to see so many people die and have both characters regret their actions, but it also made the text more powerful and haunting. I was so refreshed to read a thought-provoking book like this which is why it has probably stuck with me for so long.
  TimSher | Jan 22, 2015 |
What is there to say about this that hasn't already been said? It contains a lot more than most adaptations would lead you to expect. The Frankenstein of this novel is a university student when he creates his Creature, as opposed to the older "mad scientist" of many movies, and really only goes mad after the Creature has been brought to life. We hear more from the Creature himself, too, as he tells his story. And the fallout from the Creature's path of destruction is much more personal and much more terrible than a generic monster movie.

I was pleasantly surprised by how readable this was. I'd heard it was told with multiple levels of narration: the whole story is presented by an explorer, Walton, who rescues Frankenstein in the high arctic. Walton then records Frankenstein's narrative, and within Frankenstein's narrative there are letters from his family and friends, as well as a section narrated by the Creature himself. But even with all these levels, it was easy to identify who exactly was narrating, thanks especially to the use of chapter breaks.

Recommended for those who like to read the classics. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Jan 10, 2015 |
I first read this tale when I was too young to get it. I hadn't read other novels from that time period and I only knew the story from the Universal and Hammer films. I am a big boy now, and on my second reading , I found it is an excellent novel of ideas, with a good horror plot to maintain interest. I am also more accepting of what novels of the time period were like.

So, have I become an expert in early nineteenth century literature? No, but I've read early Dickens, Charles Brocken Brown, and the opening pages of Ann Radcliffe's The mysteries of Udolpho, and from this little learning, I've learned that the audience of the time loved melodramatic plots, long flowery expositive speeches and detailed descriptions of landscapes they could neither see or imagine. They also liked their characters larger than life and full of emotion. They must have reveled in Frankenstein's secret shame and guilt and in the monster's suffering and rage.

For myself, I love graphic novels and B-horror movies and am no stickler for realism. I wouldn't have finished or liked the book if I hadn't emphasized with the inner turmoil of man and monster: the man unable to love something hideous or to warn his loved ones of the danger; the monster who couldn't get anyone to love or accept or even thank him, reduced to hiding in cellars and roaming in wildernesses and living in caves. I've read a lot of Shakespeare this year and apparently reading so many great theatrical speeches has made me tolerant of the speeches of lesser writers. As for the picaresque details, I like them when they are well done and found Shelley's descriptions of the Swiss lakes and mountains and other backgrounds added much to the atmosphere. I only became irritated with her travelogues when she had Victor and his friend travel through England and she began extolling the beauties of her country instead hastening Frankenstein on to the creation of the bride.

As for the horror, the monster kills the scientist's loved ones. What kind of brat was I to want more?

As for Ms. Shelley's ideas, I could enjoy the characters and storylines they generated without agreeing completely with them. I was raised as a fundamentalist Lutheran, and made aware of what I owed my creator and savior. Even after years of near apostasy, I was found Frankenstein's admission that a creator owed something to his creation to be daring and thrilling and borderline blasphemous. I didn't buy the monster's insistence that he was born good, that he didn't want to commit his terrible crimes, that he didn't enjoy committing them (he claimed to have cried while strangling Victor's friend Henry), and that he committed them only because Victor - and society - had been mean to him. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Dec 26, 2014 |
"Como quien, en ruta solitaria,
marcha con miedo y terror
Y, después de mirar una vez hacia atrás,
Sigue su camino sin volver a hacerlo,
Sabedor de que un enemigo implacable
Sigue de lejos sus pasos". Coleridge. ( )
  darioha | Dec 3, 2014 |
This truly is a classic tale of social insight, a story of one seeking acceptance and desiring companionship but being rejected and branded a monster. The thing that I liked most about this book is the fact that it’s divided into two accounts, designed to view both sides of the story. The first part of the book ‘Frankenstein’ tells the story of the life of Victor Frankenstein, the creation of Monster Frankenstein and the death of his younger brother William. A servant ‘Justine’ has been put on trial for this murder, but Victor knows the identity of the true killer. Monster Frankenstein and Victor finally meet up and despite his desire to kill his creation, Victor is forced to listen to the monster’s story, after being threatened.

‘The Modern Prometheus’ tells the story of the Monster Frankenstein, confused and unsure from the very first day of life, found himself hiding in the woods watching people and learning how to find food, create a fire and how to differentiate between the feelings of happiness and sadness. Watching a family in poverty taught Monster Frankenstein many things and he started chopping wood and shoveling snow for the family while they slept. His loneliness finally drove him to show himself to this family who ended up running away in fear. With a mixture of loneliness and anger, he seeks out his creator, finding his way to William where he decides to kidnap him for companionship and ends up accidentally strangling him.

This is where the two stories meet and monster Frankenstein pleads with Victor saying he’s ‘a good creature turned bad by unforgiving humans who scoffed at friendship’. The monster pleads with Victor to make him a companion which he would take and never be heard from again. Victor reluctantly agrees but found it harder and harder to do, even though his family was in danger. Victor began to realize the female companion could wreck much havoc by giving birth to more monsters and refusing to be with the monster as a mate altogether.
Monster Frankenstein swears revenge and goes about killing everyone close to Victor in attempt to show Victor what it feels like to be alone. As Frankenstein dies, the monster appears in his room and begs his dead body for forgiveness.

In the end the story has no true villain or hero. Monster Frankenstein and Victor Frankenstein were both portrayed as hero and villain. The story also leaves you wondering on how you treat others, do our actions end up turning people into a ‘monsters’? Overall this was a brilliant story, although the language was at times hard to understand, it is still worth the read.

This review can be found on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2009/04/21/frankenstein-or-the-modern-prometheus... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Nov 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 380 (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
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.  (Dover Thrift Edition)
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!"
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:51 -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 65 descriptions

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