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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
25,03845944 (3.81)1322
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 (1818)

  1. 323
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus)
  2. 202
    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. 72
    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. 63
    Dracula [Norton Critical Edition] by Bram Stoker (Nubiannut)
  8. 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.
  9. 20
    The Hidden by Richard Sala (Michael.Rimmer)
  10. 31
    Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (FFortuna)
  11. 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.
  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
    Sielun pimeä puoli : Mary Shelley ja Frankenstein by Merete Mazzarella (GoST)
  14. 21
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Morteana)
  15. 21
    Prometheus Bound by Eschilo (thecoroner)
  16. 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."
  17. 32
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  18. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)
  19. 23
    The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Theodore Roszak (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A modern sequel
  20. 24
    The Merciful Women by Federico Andahazi (Mahlatikka)

(see all 22 recommendations)

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» See also 1322 mentions

English (438)  French (4)  Spanish (4)  Danish (3)  German (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  All (455)
Showing 1-5 of 438 (next | show all)
Read the french edition a while ago (Like 2 years or something..) and it was just GREAT! Guess I should read the English edition as well... ( )
2 vote d3vr | Dec 28, 2016 |
The novel is as complex in its vocabulary, its ability to elicit emotion from the reader and its horror.

There are better places on the 'net and elsewhere to give you a summary of the plot. See the Cliff Notes site for the best rendition: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/Frankenstein-Book-Summary.id-1...

The book starts out on a ship that is exploring the extreme north, where ice floes and freezing temperatures are the norm. The captain sees a figure on a dogsled going across the landscape. He thinks this is weird. Then he later finds a man on an ice sheet near death.

The captain, Robert Walton, pulls him aboard and is amazed at his articulate manner (I guess hanging out with sailors all day for weeks does that to you). His name is Henry Frankenstein. Henry finds that Robert has some interest in bringing things to life, etc., and experimentations of that nature. Henry freaks out and says no, let me tell you my story.

And so it goes.

Though Shelly's language is at times a bit of a chore to get through, I was impressed with the flow and style of the story, her commentaries on family, Nature, the poor, and Man daring to act the role of Creator.

The details of Victor creating the creature are a bit weak, but understandable. After all I'm sure Henry did not want to give all the details otherwise we'd be setting up shop and doing it ourselves!

There are not secret labs, no big electric machines and no maniacal servants or criminal brains. There is plenty of secret work, as Victor, through use of chemistry and alchemy texts, creates the "spark of life." But, he is so horrified at what he has done, that he suffers a nervous breakdown and takes months to convalesce.

The creature, with no guidance and his master abandoning him, wanders the countryside as he learns to survive. He starts out noble and appreciative of nature, but also finds that Man rejects him utterly.

Unlike God's creation of Adam, and Genesis' exclamation that His creation was "good", Victor's creation is found to be evil.

The creature holes up in a cottage where he can spy on the people therein. There, he learns the language and the behaviors of the three people within. Here Shelly makes much about the unfairness of prison justice and the squalor being experienced by the common folk of the time. Living during the time of the Industrial Revolution, it is understandable she would make comments along the lines of destitution and that machines alone can degrade Man. Quite interesting.

As the story progresses, the creature decides that he will avenge himself against Man and against his creator for making him ugly and wretched.

And so the horror begins. Victor tries to make a life for himself but the creature has other plans as the creature kills his little brother William.

Victor finds the creature and they make a bargain: create a female version for the creature's companionship and he will go off to South America and leave him forever. And if he does not, the creature will make his life a living Hell.

What a choice, huh?

Anyway, Victor tries to make a woman for the creature, but then changes his mind and rips it to shreds. He is afraid that they will reproduce and populate Man with these demons. (Why he didn't just make the female version incapable of giving birth, I'm not sure.)
And so the story goes: through the wretched squalor of poor villages, through the injustice and inhumane prisons and tribunals, the death penalty for an innocent, and further death of Victor's father, the murder of his wife Elizabeth and Henry Clerval.

The struggle and horror between the creature and Victor is ameliorated by Victor's view of Nature, in the Swiss Alps, and his travels along the Rhine and in England, Scotland and Ireland. Interesting how Shelly shows that Nature, or God's creations, will create a positive joy, but Man's abominations will not.

Shelly makes many comments not only on the society of her time, but philosophical concepts of science gone made, of horror and squalor, and of the justice systems of the time.
[b:Frankenstein|18490|Frankenstein|Mary Shelley|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255576965s/18490.jpg|4836639] ( )
1 vote James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
This was NOT at all what I thought it would be going in.

The daemon [Frankenstein's monster] was not the monster in this book. Yes, he committed grievous acts of violence and psychological torture and should have been properly punished, ie, killed, but Victor Frankenstein was the character that made me shudder with horror, loathing & revulsion.

A completely self-absorbed, self-centered genius, Victor showed me the worst of humanity. He ignores his family to pursue his own ambitions. He creates a new life, and then immediately spurns and rejects it, his reason being that it was ugly and revolted him. He created it ugly, it didn't spontaneously turn into fugly ugly man when it was given life.

Once Victor denies his creation, he simply ignores the very fact that he created it for several years. He doesn't seek it out to try to reconcile with it. He doesn't seek it out to kill it, even though he is convinced it is evil" from its life's inception. He ignores it, almost like if he pretends it didn't happen, then it didn't.

He falls sick, very similarly to how Raskolnikov [from Crime & Punishment ] does after he commits his crime. Victor knows he has committed an unforgivable sin, but he won't, he can't, admit he was in the wrong.

Then the daemon strikes. It begins an attack against Victor that is truly horrific, as premeditated and thought out as if from the mind of a master criminal. Death, death and death. Interludes of peace. Tauntings, whispers, obsession.

In the end, I found this story to truly be a horror story. Victor claims that the spirits of his deceased relatives give him strength to hunt the monster down. Where was that strength before? Why did Victor not hunt it down before? What made Victor ignore the fact that HE was the true killer of his family,not the daemon?
There was only room in Victor's life for Victor. The daemon, Victor's father, his brothers, his lover/wife, all only impinged on Victor's life as much as he lets them.

Victor Frankenstein was a true monster who made others pay the price for his own horrific deeds. He refused to think about the consequences of any of his actions and he only regretted past actions as they inflicted pain upon him.

This was not a scary book, by any means, and I suspect many people would be bored by it. Those same people who read the Twilight Saga, play the lottery, eat their hamburgers, watch the television and generally lumber through life. So, can you think for yourself?" ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This is absolutely hands-down one of my favorite stories ever. ( )
  Deb_Ann | Nov 25, 2016 |
Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus - Mary Shelley
3 stars
Blackstone audio performance by Simon Templeton, Anthony Heald, Stefan Rudnicki

Probably, I should have read this one before I ever saw Young Frankenstein. I’m glad that I finally read the original effort that has inspired so many others. But, as I was reading and listening to Mary Shelley’s pompous, moralizing characters, I kept thinking that it would be so much more fun to watch Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn. From a 21st century perspective, I think I find the genius of the young author more interesting than her creation.
  msjudy | Nov 6, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (151 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
Ruiz, AristedesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seymour, MirandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary 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
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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.

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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 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 65 descriptions

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