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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein (original 1818; edition 2005)

by Mary Shelley, Karen Karbiener (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
24,32344045 (3.81)1242
Authors:Mary Shelley
Other authors:Karen Karbiener (Introduction)
Info:Barnes & Noble Classics (2005), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, literature, british

Work details

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

  1. 313
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus)
  2. 192
    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. 73
    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. 42
    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 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.
  12. 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."
  13. 21
    Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (thecoroner)
  14. 32
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  15. 21
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Morteana)
  16. 11
    Sielun pimeä puoli : Mary Shelley ja Frankenstein by Merete Mazzarella (GoST)
  17. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)
  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 1242 mentions

English (426)  Spanish (4)  Danish (3)  German (2)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (440)
Showing 1-5 of 426 (next | show all)
The real horror of Frankenstein is in Frankenstein's realization that he destroyed everyone he held dear in his prideful act of creating a living being. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
I had high expectations for this book going into it and was happy that it was a buddy read in one of my GR groups. The novel is much more character study-esque than things that go bump in the night. I enjoyed the creator/created parallels between characters as well as the juxtaposition of god/man, god/adam, good/evil, a soul struggling versus the happiness of the guiltless (Frankenstein and Clerval), the love of a mother and Frankenstein's love of his Elizabeth, and practical knowledge vs. both morality and forethought of consequences.

However... dun dun dun!

However, though Frankenstein poses a theory that all should be aware of and I found the aforementioned parallels very interesting, there were certain things I didn't like. I didn't like the repetitive yet unsatisfying description of "the fiend." Though describing his features as clumsy and grotesque fit in with the response of interacting characters, I didn't find it very moving. Yes, his face is ugly... okay. He's lumbering and coarse and doesn't look the part of regulation humanoid. There's just only so many times I can read the same deal. I want to know what it actually is that slickens the skin and jolts the nerves upon a glance, an encounter. What stays in the mind, what makes his creation's features strike such an imprint besides the bitter yellow eyes and a murderer's smirking taunt within Frankenstein's being - and all that experience his presence for that matter.

I also sighed inwardly a bit once I realized that the reader was to receive Frankenstein's narrative secondhand. Though Shelley made the effort to add in, later in the novel, that Frankenstein perused Walton's writings and corrected errors, it felt clumsy as secondhand accounts often do. While I tend to appreciate Victorian writer's usage of the omnipresent third person or narrative annexes as a literary tool (Bronte, Dickens, etc.), a word-for-word narrative delivered in letter form by a listener created a bit too much of a disconnect for me. I didn't feel enough personal emphasis from Walton in his own regard. I mean, you sit by someone as they tell you that they not only figured out how to spark life into being but that they did so and are now pursuing same being out into the frigid depths because the fiend retaliated by going on a murderous spree concerning his closest friends and family members... you kind of expect more than, "I see by your eagerness, and the wonder and hope which your eyes express, my friend, that you expect to be informed of the secret with which I am acquainted; that cannot be... I will not lead you... to your destruction...learn from me." From Frankenstein... and Walton's sitting in the corner with crickets.

Where is Walton's character arc? Yes, Walton is embarking on a dangerous and foolish voyage because his ego parallels that of the budding Frankenstein's future folly. He has a close female relative (ie Frankenstein's Elizabeth) that he discloses some reaction to Frankenstein's tale to. For the most part we simply see him enraptured by Frankenstein's carriage and intellect. He seemed incidental and forgettable and I wanted more from his corner- I wanted to read of a reaction other than awe in the face of Frankenstein's idée fixe.

Not to mention... HOW did our boy Franky not realize that his fiend would take Elizabeth from him when he explicitly states that he'll be with him on his wedding night?! Of course he's going to kill what you've denied him, the happiness that lies in the nature of a union of equals, an empathetic party to his plight. Can we be a little more naive? Oh wait, we created a monster and then took to our bed hoping the boogie man would go away. Point taken.

Primary disappointments aside, the parallels and the theory posed mentioned above were enjoyed. The subject inspires the moral debates so prevalent in Victorian lit and it's something that has repeatedly drawn me to the novels of the era. We must decide who the monster is, who should prevail (if anyone), and the consequences of man both in his actions and inactions. Prose that can inspire thought is always worth it. ( )
  lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
Leído para el reto 12 months-12 classic: Enero.

2015 Reading Challenge #23: A book more than 100 years old.

El estilo de escritura de este libro me cautivó y molestó de igual manera. Mientras los monólogos internos de los personajes están llenos de reflexiones excepcionales, los diálogos tienden demasiado al melodrama.

"—(...)Podré morir, pero antes, tú, mi tirano y verdugo, maldecirás el sol que alumbra tus desgracias. Ten cuidado; pues no conozco el miedo y soy, por tanto, poderoso. Vigilaré con la astucia de la serpiente, y con su veneno te morderé. ¡Mortal!, te arrepentirás del daño que me has hecho.

—Calla, diablo, y no envenenes el aire con tus malvados ruidos. Te he comunicado mi decisión, y no soy un cobarde al que puedas convencer con tus amenazas. Déjame; soy implacable. "

Por otra parte, la historia en sí me ha encantado. La vida del monstruo me ha parecido conmovedora, y justas las desgracias que ha padecido Victor Frankenstein. La inconsciencia es uno de los peores defectos de los hombres, y aun peor es la de aquel que persigue la grandeza. Hecho que Mary Shelley desarrolló espléndidamente.

Este es uno de esos raros libros cuyo mensaje es mas grande que la historia que trasmite explícitamente, y cuya analogía puede aplicarse inclusive en la sociedad actual. Pensemos en un niño no deseado, quien solo anhela ser aceptado pero debe padecer una vida de sufrimiento por no ser querido, ¿no es su historia de sufrimiento igual a la historia del monstruo? ¿No tendemos acaso a juzgar, aun, por las apariencias?

Un clásico que nos hace enfrentarnos a nuestra humanidad. ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
What a dreary and depressing book, and an insultingly long one too. I felt like I was reading the equivalent of a wet tissue. What can we say about our titular hero, the exasperating Frankenstein? His dramatic grieving, his unwillingness to confront his obstacles, the maddening passivity - – it all built until I was rendered quite insensate. The final outcome came, went, and flickered out with a sputter, my goodwill almost entirely used up (I barely made it to the end).

Why couldn't this book have yielded the promise of the first several chapters? Shelley sets the machinery up wonderfully. How could one not be curious about the mysterious hulking figure, sledding through the cold dark and sleet over a vast, frozen ocean? I wanted to know more about that deadly chase - the 'marvelous', as the framing narrator says - and much less about all the sobbing and weeping. Wet tissue, indeed.

( )
  Peter_Scissors | Jun 21, 2016 |
This story was not quite what I expected when I began to read it at first. I think I would have enjoyed the print version more than I enjoyed the audio version. The narrator would get too breathy sometimes and it was distracting from the story. I did like how the monster appeared quickly in the tale and the description of Frankenstein's reaction to him. Shelley did a great job of describing how humanity made him into a monster. The story dragged in parts, but again I think that was the narrator's interpretation more than the actual story itself. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but I'm not sure I'd read it again. ( )
  jguidry | Jun 11, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (240 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shelley, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldAfterwordsecondary 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
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
Weiss, JimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wrightson, BernieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Awards and honors
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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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)

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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)

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