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Frankenstein (Penguin Classics) by Mary…
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Frankenstein (Penguin Classics) (original 1818; edition 2005)

by Mary Shelley, Richard Pasco (Reader)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
21,33537064 (3.8)980
Member:hemlokgang
Title:Frankenstein (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Mary Shelley
Other authors:Richard Pasco (Reader)
Info:Penguin Audio (2005), Edition: Abridged, Audio CD, 1 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Audiobook, 1001, England, Film

Work details

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Author) (1818)

1001 books (79) 19th century (476) British (237) British literature (288) classic (1,109) classic fiction (79) Classic Literature (156) classics (885) ebook (103) English (134) English literature (256) fantasy (201) fiction (2,631) Frankenstein (168) gothic (627) horror (1,732) Kindle (107) literature (582) Mary Shelley (124) monster (138) monsters (177) novel (456) own (118) read (335) Romanticism (166) science (112) science fiction (1,003) sf (112) to-read (239) unread (123)
  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. 172
    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. 32
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  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 Aischylos (thecoroner)
  12. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)
  13. 23
    The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A modern sequel
  14. 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.
  15. 14
    The Merciful Women by Federico Andahazi (Mahlatikka)
  16. 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 980 mentions

English (358)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (369)
Showing 1-5 of 358 (next | show all)
A classic. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
A classic. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
What could you write at the age of 18?
  lseitz | Jul 1, 2014 |
Like most novels beyond a certain age, reading Frankenstein is done not so much for pleasure or entertainment, but rather as an exercise in literary examination. It’s part of the canon and a novel that any serious reader has an obligation to read, more because of its historical value than because they expect to enjoy it. Frankenstein is nearly two centuries old and the literary standards of the day were different from our own. Like any novel from the early 19th century, it has extremely long sentences, overly wordy monologues, and a fairly lax attitude towards things like plotting and pacing. The concept of the novel was still being hammered out, I guess you might say.

We all know the story: Frankenstein, a young Swiss medical student and researcher, stitches together a bunch of corpses and somehow creates a living being. Overcome with horror at what he has done, he flees the room, and (hilariously) just goes off and has dinner with a friend hoping the creature will be gone when he returns, which it is. Problem solved! Except when it turns up again and begins to murder his family, having found that it is loathed by mankind for its ugliness. Confronting Frankenstein while he is hiking on a glacier (incidentally, you can tell Shelley wrote this while on holiday in the Alps), the monster – who has done a remarkable job of teaching himself French by eavesdropping on some peasants, and now speaks like he was educated at Harvard – gives Frankenstein a terrible ultimatum. Gripped by loneliness and spurned by humanity, he demands his creator make him a female companion.

The underlying story is good. It’s easy to see why Frankenstein is a classic. The young and naive protagonist plays God and unleashes a horror on the world, which he first attempts to hide from before realising he must pursue and destroy it. It’s the original cautionary tale and a theme which has since reoccurred many times in fictin – I was particularly reminded of A Wizard of Earthsea and Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell. And it’s supported by strong, timeless themes: hubris, compassion, hatred of ugliness, cruelty begetting cruelty.

The problem with it from a modern reader’s standpoint is the same as any other 19th century novel, which is that it’s far too long-winded, wordy and descriptive. The majority of the book is given over to Frankenstein’s accounting of his mental anguish as he faints, trembles and shrieks his way through the consequences of his actions. If one were to take this novel again and write it in the modern day, it could probably be squeezed down into about 60 pages. Frankenstein is a classic of literature and has a pretty good story lurking beneath its waffling prose, but I can’t recommend it as a good book – I only found it interesting in its capacity as a historically significant novel. ( )
  edgeworth | Jun 30, 2014 |
I loved the monster and his humanity, in some ways he seemed more human than the other characters. The characters were all distinct, and I loved seeing the different views they held of one another. And I was glad to see the ending left open enough from readers to make their own judgments. ( )
  LaPhenix | Jun 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 358 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (315 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shelley, MaryAuthorprimary 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
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 57 descriptions

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