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Frankenstein (1818)

by Mary Shelley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
33,99362850 (3.81)1 / 1660
A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.
  1. 364
    The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (SanctiSpiritus, ghr4)
  2. 253
    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. 232
    Dracula by Bram Stoker (MarcusBrutus, Cecilturtle, LitPeejster)
  4. 113
    The Golem by Gustav Meyrink (Kolbkarlsson)
  5. 92
    The Journals of Mary Shelley by Professor Paula R. Feldman (JessamyJane)
  6. 61
    Grendel by John Gardner (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both books attempt to get into the mind of a monster.
  7. 41
    Monster: A Novel of Frankenstein by Dave Zeltserman (Crypto-Willobie)
    Crypto-Willobie: A decadent noirish retelling of the Frankenstein story from the monster's point of view.
  8. 74
    Dracula [Norton Critical Edition] by Bram Stoker (Nubiannut)
  9. 20
    The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (DeusXMachina)
    DeusXMachina: Science and the responsibility for its results.
  10. 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.
  11. 42
    Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hitchcock (FFortuna)
  12. 21
    The Hidden by Richard Sala (Michael.Rimmer)
  13. 21
    Sielun pimeä puoli : Mary Shelley ja Frankenstein by Merete Mazzarella (GoST)
  14. 32
    Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (thecoroner)
  15. 11
    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)
  16. 22
    Mary Shelley's Frankenstein [1994 film] by Kenneth Branagh (Waldstein)
    Waldstein: Nowhere near as bad as many silly reviews would have you believe. Countless changes of the novel, but the spirit, the basic story and the essence of the characters are retained. Actually improved. The movie's more Gothic and more horror, for one (or two) thing(s). More dramatic and more tightly plotted, too. Excellent cast and production design.… (more)
  17. 00
    Paradise Regained by John Milton (ricalyr)
  18. 11
    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.
  19. 44
    The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (Morteana)
  20. 33
    The Diamond Lens by Fitz James O'Brien (Anonymous user)

(see all 27 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 584 (next | show all)
3,5 ( )
  Krinsekatze | May 5, 2021 |
I decided each year in the month of October I would read a classic horror book. Last year I read Dracula, this year I decided to read Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. I never saw the Kevin Branagh version so I don't know how accurate those are. I can tell you that the ones made in the 1930's are definitely not accurate. Although I did recognize so parts in the book. There is a monster made by Frankenstein, however the monster is neither slow and plodding or unintelligent. In fact in the book he is faster and bigger then most humans. He is also is intelligent, which up to a point makes him rather sympathetic . The other thing that surprised me about the book was how short it was only about 286 pages. The book is told at first by a young explorer trying to reach across the north pole in a ship in letters to his sister, who rescues Frankenstein and then by Frankenstein who tells his story to the young explorer. In fact when I first downloaded the book and started to read the book I thought I was reading the wrong book. If you haven't read the books and like classic horror I would recommend it. ( )
  klrabbit58 | May 3, 2021 |
Another of the most formative books I have read. I viewed the world and those in it very differently after finishing it. Who is the monster, really? ( )
  Aetherson | Apr 26, 2021 |
Victor Frankenstein has always been interested in the natural sciences, although it all started with alchemy for him. After his mother’s death, he buries himself in his work as a student of chemistry. He experiments with reanimation and actually manages to bring a creature to life. But the creature is scary and ugly and Victor abandons him. The creature has to find his own way in the world.

Frankenstein is a beautiful, albeit lengthy novel that is definitely a classic for a very good reason. Still, I have to admit that what I loved most about it is, weirdly enough, the author’s introduction.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2019/02/18/frankenstein-mary-shelley/ ( )
  kalafudra | Mar 22, 2021 |
This is a great book. If you haven't read it already put it on top of your list of books you've got to read.

I read this book after watching The National Theatre's incredible play with Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster and Jonny Lee Miller as Dr. Frankenstein. Both the play and the book are worth watching and reading.

The book is short and very difficult to put down, in the positive sense. It is infinitely more engaging than any of the Hollywood adaptations. The prose is lyrical and defies speed reading. Sentences go one way and then another and end up someplace totally different. They have an arc but it's more a spiral. Here's one from page 153 in The Signet Classic edition from 1963 -

….During my youthful days discontent never visited my mind, and if I was ever overcome by ennui, the sight of what is beautiful in nature or the study of what is excellent and sublime in the productions of man could always interest my heart and communicate elasticity to my spirits.

Yes it's a run-on sentence but that's not really the issue.

Like any piece of great fiction this requires much suspension of disbelief. Of course he can't create life - but here's something that says what if he could. And just how does the monster learn everything so quickly. Smart guy but defied belief, somewhat. What I had difficulty with is why Dr. Frankenstein constantly tried to keep it a secret until it was too late. All he had to do was let people in on his secret and they might have helped him undo the deed in some way. But no, in for a penny, in for a….. Some secrets just plain make things worse as this obviously did. And then there's the time frame. Yes life was slower then but it seemed like every time one was ill it was at least two weeks while they were down for the count. And everything seemed to be the height or the bottom, little in-between or ordinary. Even nature was, extraordinary.

The monster (he is actually nameless) eventually confronts Dr. Frankenstein and describes his journey to what he has become. One piece of the puzzle is he did some reading. Shelley has the monster discover a bag with three books, Milton's Paradise Lost, Plutarch's Lives and Goethe's The Sorrow of Young Werther. While all are classics, compared to the others Goethe's is relatively hot off the press when this was published in 1818. Interestingly it is from Werther that the monster seems to begun to understand the role of emotions.

The monster has been rejected by all the humans, even those he's tried to help. He's lonely and he asks, demands, that Dr. Frankenstein create another creature, a mate for him. Dr. Frankenstein eventually rejects the demand and that's when all hell breaks loose. It a duel to the end from that point on. Yes murders happen but the question is who should we hold accountable.

Read it. It's worth the time. ( )
1 vote Ed_Schneider | Mar 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 584 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (171 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Shelleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bloom, HaroldAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brockway, HarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Casaletto, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Couturiau, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deaver, JefferyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hagemann, MichaelCover designersecondary 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
Samuel, CoriNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seymour, MirandaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shelley, Percy ByssheCollaboratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, DanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wrightson, BernieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.
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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A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.

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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.

Three narratives in one, all of them exploring the unknown. The ship captain is pushing dangerously into the Arctic. Dr. Frankenstein makes a notable breakthrough, creating human life anew, but runs from the consequences. The creature, who creates his own education, and determines that he needs a mate.

This volume distinguishes the three narrative levels: the sea captain, Dr. Frankenstein, and the Creature. Backmatter material adds some information about the book and its author.
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.
It is dangerous,
To play God with life and death,
Horror the result.

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