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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 ratingConversations / Mentions
28,79852055 (3.81)1 / 1544
  1. 333
    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus, ghr4)
  2. 222
    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. 191
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (MarcusBrutus, Cecilturtle, LitPeejster)
  4. 102
    The Golem by Gustav Meyrink (Kolbkarlsson)
  5. 71
    The Journals of Mary Shelley by Professor Paula R. Feldman (JessamyJane)
  6. 41
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Morteana)
  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. 30
    Grendel by John Gardner (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both books attempt to get into the mind of a monster.
  9. 63
    Dracula [Norton Critical Edition] by Bram Stoker (Nubiannut)
  10. 20
    Sielun pimeä puoli : Mary Shelley ja Frankenstein by Merete Mazzarella (GoST)
  11. 20
    Monster by Dave Zeltserman (Crypto-Willobie)
    Crypto-Willobie: A decadent noirish retelling of the Frankenstein story from the monster's point of view.
  12. 20
    The Hidden by Richard Sala (Michael.Rimmer)
  13. 31
    Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (FFortuna)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 32
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz-James O'Brien (Anonymous user)
  17. 21
    Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (thecoroner)
  18. 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."
  19. 00
    Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror: The Castle of Otranto; The Old English Baron; Mistrust; The White Old Maid; The Heir of Mondolfo; The Fall of the House of Usher; Carmilla by Robert Donald Spector (FrankNstein)
  20. 11
    Poor Things by Alasdair Gray (bertilak)

(see all 24 recommendations)

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English (500)  Spanish (6)  French (4)  Danish (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (520)
Showing 1-5 of 500 (next | show all)
I'm actually really glad I read this book--I'd always been put off by the movie image of the creature, with screws and stitches all over the place, but that's not how he's described here, and this book doesn't feel like that at all.

The nestling narration is really intriguing--it draws the reader into one story at a time.

Victor Frankenstein and the Creature are both morally, shall we say, gray. Interestingly, I sympathized greatly with the creature whose morality was pretty straight for most of his early 'life'. And yet, I also can't blame Frankenstein for the creature's actions.

Really good story, highly recommended. ( )
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
What makes this story magnificent is that it doesn't rely upon cheap thrills or blood or gore to achieve its horror (not that I'm opposed), and yet without any of these things it chills you to the bone with its monster. Although there are shocks and twists along the way, truly terrifying is what Shelley exposes about the nature of humanity, it's biases, its frailty in memory and perception, and its conceptions of truth, beauty, and purpose. As you approach the end, you have a sneaking suspicion the real monster of the book is you, in the emptiness of all that you think you are and all that you are not. That's the magic. As so few books can, this story transcends its pages to include you as one of its destined characters, to spook you with your own conclusions it had set lying in wait…and in this way you sympathize with both Frankenstein and his monster in having both created an existential terror while also being one! And thus you are left unhinged.
Beware: the more you chew on this book the more it will haunt you...someplace deep, very deep.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years. Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can be read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, “the modern Prometheus,” tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life.



Shelly depicts birth as both creative and destructive, and the monster becomes a disfigured mirror of the natural cycle of life.
The monster, therefore, embodies Dr.Frankenstein’s corruption of nature in the quest for glory.
The protagonist's hamartia (fatal-flaw) - the god complex - is most clear in the line:
“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.”

This, for some, maybe an allegory of Gnosticism whereby God is a tyrant who creates evil in the world through repression.
What is the final verdict in terms of the Creature's good or evil identity?
Also are we, as human beings, formed by "nature" or "nurture" or both?
It is really hard to say who is the monster/evil, Creator =!= Createe.
But then again, how would we measure humanity in either of them?

The Daemon* was innocent, sweet, and caring, but also abused, abandoned, and unloved. The fact that society fails in its ability to sympathize with the creature is evidence enough of the absence of morality and common decency. As a result, the creature is a prime example of isolation. Essentially, the Creature does not begin as the cruel and monstrous murderer, but rather is a product of the lack of sympathy from society, and more importantly from his creator, Victor. Even being the source of the Creature's misery, a dying Victor earns his "child's" loyalty as the Creature drapes himself over his dying "father" and exclaims, "Oh, Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! I...destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst". As if facing the reality he has painfully known all along, the Creature beholds his dead father and states, "Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me".

Maybe the monster is more human than the human.

( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
What makes this story magnificent is that it doesn't rely upon cheap thrills or blood or gore to achieve its horror (not that I'm opposed), and yet without any of these things it chills you to the bone with its monster. Although there are shocks and twists along the way, truly terrifying is what Shelley exposes about the nature of humanity, it's biases, its frailty in memory and perception, and its conceptions of truth, beauty, and purpose. As you approach the end, you have a sneaking suspicion the real monster of the book is you, in the emptiness of all that you think you are and all that you are not. That's the magic. As so few books can, this story transcends its pages to include you as one of its destined characters, to spook you with your own conclusions it had set lying in wait…and in this way you sympathize with both Frankenstein and his monster in having both created an existential terror while also being one! And thus you are left unhinged.
Beware: the more you chew on this book the more it will haunt you...someplace deep, very deep.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has endured in the popular imagination for two hundred years. Begun as a ghost story by an intellectually and socially precocious eighteen-year-old author during a cold and rainy summer on the shores of Lake Geneva, the dramatic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his stitched-together creature can be read as the ultimate parable of scientific hubris. Victor, “the modern Prometheus,” tried to do what he perhaps should have left to Nature: create life.



Shelly depicts birth as both creative and destructive, and the monster becomes a disfigured mirror of the natural cycle of life.
The monster, therefore, embodies Dr.Frankenstein’s corruption of nature in the quest for glory.
The protagonist's hamartia (fatal-flaw) - the god complex - is most clear in the line:
“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.”

This, for some, maybe an allegory of Gnosticism whereby God is a tyrant who creates evil in the world through repression.
What is the final verdict in terms of the Creature's good or evil identity?
Also are we, as human beings, formed by "nature" or "nurture" or both?
It is really hard to say who is the monster/evil, Creator =!= Createe.
But then again, how would we measure humanity in either of them?

The Daemon* was innocent, sweet, and caring, but also abused, abandoned, and unloved. The fact that society fails in its ability to sympathize with the creature is evidence enough of the absence of morality and common decency. As a result, the creature is a prime example of isolation. Essentially, the Creature does not begin as the cruel and monstrous murderer, but rather is a product of the lack of sympathy from society, and more importantly from his creator, Victor. Even being the source of the Creature's misery, a dying Victor earns his "child's" loyalty as the Creature drapes himself over his dying "father" and exclaims, "Oh, Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! I...destroyed thee by destroying all thou lovedst". As if facing the reality he has painfully known all along, the Creature beholds his dead father and states, "Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me".

Maybe the monster is more human than the human.

( )
  iSatyajeet | Nov 21, 2018 |
I haven't read this since high school so it felt like I was reading it for the first time. There was so much more here than I remembered, both in plot and in ideas. Well worth a re-read. ( )
  gbelik | Oct 30, 2018 |
I can understand all the love I hear for this book. It is writing is eloquent and you can fell the time period the author is from. Sadly, this extreme difference is noticed because of how many (terrible) writing styles there are in this day. I cant say much that is not already said about this book. If you are someone who enjoys very well written art, this is for you. Writing style is not what I judge highly, as long as I can feel what the characters are feeling and see what they have seen, I enjoy a book. As for the person who wrote that Hollywood got it terribly wrong, they did. I listened to this on audio book (amazing reader btw, George Guidall is brilliant -I loved his audio reading of The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm By: Nancy Farmer. ( )
  Starla_Aurora | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 500 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (258 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
Lehtonen, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, Walter JamesForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munch, PhilippeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pechmann, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polakovics, FriedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rennerfelt, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruiz, AristedesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seymour, MirandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wrightson, BernieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

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Has the (non-series) prequel

Has the adaptation

Frankenstein [Great Illustrated Classics] (Adapted by Malvina G. Vogel) by Malvina G. Vogel

Frankenstein [Step-Up Classic Chillers] by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein [adapted - Treasury of Illustrated Classics] by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Is abridged in

Is parodied in

Inspired

Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a study

Has as a student's study guide

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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.

Victor Frankenstein is just a college student who wants to figure out the technical details of how life works. Obsessed with chasing this discovery, he creates something unthinkable. And then things all go wrong. Read a Gothic horror classic easily with this modern English translation. But don't worry about missing anything, because the original unedited 1831 version is here too, along with a scholarly essay.
Haiku summary
The creature awakes,
Horrible yet innocent,
Abandonment scars.
(hillaryrose7)
It is dangerous,
To play God with life and death,
Horror the result.
(hillaryrose7)

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 10 descriptions)

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

» see all 109 descriptions

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