Frankenstein

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Frankenstein

by Mary Shelley

Random House Publishing Group | May 1, 1984 | Mass Market Paperbound

Frankenstein is rated 4.4286 out of 5 by 14.
"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening''s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine''s room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley''s novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 256 pages, 6.88 × 4.17 × 0.55 in

Published: May 1, 1984

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553212478

ISBN - 13: 9780553212471

Found in: Literary

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books I've ever read A dark well written novel that makes you wonder who the real monster is
Date published: 2014-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Literary Gold. . . Alas, I have not had the delightful pleasure to read this novel since my tender youthful days. The sheer beauty for which this novel was written was wasted on my naïve youthfulness. The plot of this novel is forever iconic and will forever remain in our collective culture. The novel is a tale of a man whose life ambition is to abolish dead from society and preserve life. Instead he creates a being which after completion he rejects, only to have terrible and unfortunate events to follow. I’m forever grateful that I’ve reread Frankenstein, for now I consider it one of my favourite books. I implore anyone who hasn’t read this novel, to go and grab a copy. This is literature at its finest, and from such a young author that such a feat is unfathomable. This is truly a treasure to the world and should be cherished for all eternity.
Date published: 2012-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Groundbreaking This truly was one of it's own when it was published in 1818, nothing was even close to this stature. Mary Shelley, much like Victor Frankenstein, created this new horrifying species of books that instead of dying out created many interpretations and inspired upcoming writers. Even almost 200 years later here we are with Frankenstein represented as a children's Halloween character. This just shows how spectacular this book was and still is. I really quite enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who's looking for a well-written suspenseful thriller.
Date published: 2012-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Frankentein is a great read. Frankenstein is written by Mary Shelley. Frankenstein is written in the form of a frame story that starts with Captain Robert Walton writing letters to his sister. In his letters, he tells Victor Frankenstein's story, which includes the monster's story. By doing so, Shelley creates a nesting doll effect that allows the readers to see the three characters' perspective of the one larger story. Frankenstein explores themes such as; Dangerous Knowledge, Sublime Nature and Monstrosity. I would reccomend this book for anyone who would like to know the real story of Frankenstein, and not the Hollywood adaptation.
Date published: 2012-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from On "Frankenstein" When was the last time you solved an emotional problem using a geographic solution? What happens at our destination? Our demons pursue us. And in turn the demon is pursued by it's mad scientist. Thus the story of Frankenstein. What specific trouble in particular drove our deluded captain to obsession and determination to reach the extreme northernmost point away from his origins is unimportant because the reasons behind self-loathing are beside the point. Whether endeavouring to escape, or to protect those he loved, from his own perceived evil, in isolation he reconciled the madness that motivated him in his past life and the resulting so-called monster in the form of his imaginary travelling companion, Dr. Frankenstein, and his abomination, united on his stranded boat lodged in an iceberg. Sometimes that's what it takes. Reliving his own experience through the lense of Dr. Frankenstein's account afforded our captain a necessary perspective. As he travelled from Germany to Switzerland to Holland to England to Scotland, crossing rivers and mountains, the monster materialized wherever he happened to be; and no one ever saw the fiend other than he. Was the doctor himself the serial killer? Did he blame himself / his inability to cure his brother and friend and wife? Or did he hurt these loved ones in some way that he internalized as murder? It doesn't matter, because the story is about you and me. What cringeworthy thoughts of our own forge themselves into symbols and as such haunt with a vengence? Perhaps we ought to do what Mary Shelley did: invent a genre of literature, so we can turn the ship around and go home rather than freeze to death. http://jimmyflanger.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/on-frankenstein/
Date published: 2011-10-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Wasn't bad. I really enjoyed the story but not so much the writting because it is old-fashioned and I couldn't understand most of it. If I didn't have to read it for school I definitely wouldn't have read it. The story line is good but hard to read. The book was different than the story I thought I knew. I was rooting for the monsters the entire time !
Date published: 2011-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome Book Frankenstein was a great book. It was interesting because hollywood portrays the creature as a horrible being that just wanted destruction. The beast just wanted to be loved and accepted. When the creature was rejected it got mad and took vengence on the people. This book was very interesting to read as well as entertaining. The book shows how cruel some people might be and really got me to think of how I treat others. Over all I think this was a great and interesting book and I might reread this book to get the full understanding of this book.
Date published: 2011-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic for Horror Lovers It's an old-time story but that's what makes it such a classic. It sends a good message through the story you'll probably have to think about by the time you're done reading this book. It is a difficult read for some but if you're a horror fan, this is a must read! I loved it.
Date published: 2011-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A moving, disturbing, depressing, but also touching tale Much like Bram Stoker's "Dracula", Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is a story we all think we know, but really don't. Very few films have consciously attempted to follow the novel too closely (which shouldn't detract from the excellent James Whale/Boris Karloff film, or its masterpiece-sequel, "The Bride of Frankenstein). Thus, everything popular culture "knows" about "Frankenstein" does not originate from literature, but from films. This is a shame, in a way, because the novel itself is, if not the progenitor, an early vessel of so many archetypes found science fiction and horror. The basic plot remained intact when transferred to other media. Swiss medical student Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of life (which he never reveals, lest someone repeat the mistake). He then puts together a body, essentially a man, from various corpses. He then becomes horrified by the creature he has built, and abandons. The creature, suffering a great deal of neglect and abuse, still manages to get a thorough education, and learns of his lineage. After murdering Victor's younger brother, and framing the family maid, the creature tells his (admittedly) sad tale to his "father", and then demands a mate. Victor, in a panic, agrees, then thinks better of it at the last moment, destroying the new bride. In retaliation, the creature murders all of Victor's loved ones (including his wife), and leads Victor on a merry chase across the world. Most probably know that Mary Shelley wrote this book in response to a challenge issued by Lord Byron, during a vacation at Lake Geneva. (Along with this story came John Polidori's "The Vampyre", the first English vampire novel.) Most probably also know that Shelley went on to write other works of imaginative gothic fiction. Still, her modern reputation rests with this book, understandably. As stated, numerous archetypes (themes, plot lines, characters) are present here. The basic fear of what evil technology may bring along with the good is a central theme, as is the warning against playing God. So is the implicit admonition to be responsible in all things, be it during innovation or being a parent. The creature is, for all intents and purposes, an android-everyone from Gort to C-3PO owe their existence to the Frankenstein monster. And the monster that slays all but one protagonist is a staple of horror, be it traditional monster movies, like "Alien", or more realistic slasher movies like "Halloween". But, as I noted at the beginning of this review, certain of these elements have been lost in most interpretations. The creature is actually intelligent, and well-spoken, quite different from the inarticulate grunts or slow, half-sentences of the movies (again, no disrespect to Karloff). Further, while the films have made lightening a staple of the creatures creation, Shelley never really explains the process (probably knowing that she might interfere with the plausibility of her work). Finally, one of the staples of the films is the explanation for the creatures "evil" nature. Often, the problem lies with the brain used, which almost invariably is a criminal brain, or is damaged before implantation. In the book, the creature is really a child that's horribly neglected, but with the strength and intelligence to strike back: id without superego, and without restraints. Thus, "Frankenstein" will be a new experience for readers who have never experienced it. Unlike "Dracula", there aren't any moments where a reader might look up and suddenly realize how quiet it is in the house, or how dark it's gotten outside. In that regard, "Frankenstein" has not aged particularly well. Throughout, however, it is a moving, disturbing, depressing, but also a touching and beautiful tale. Those qualities have withstood the test of time. While it is not always a rollicking adventure, it is a rewarding read.
Date published: 2009-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Classic while I really enjoyed reading this book from a classical lit perspective, people should be ready that it really isn't anything like how the movies portay Frankenstein's monster. It can be a bit wordy at times and a little drawn out at places. Loved it all the same. ^_^
Date published: 2008-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Frankenstein "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley is a fascinating book. I was prejudiced by the film adaptations of this novel. To start with I had no idea that Frankenstein is actually Victor Frankenstein, the creator of a monster. The monster that was created is not called Frankenstein; it is his creator's name. The monster is the creation of Victor Frankenstein and the monster is lithe, strong, fast and intelligent; this again differs greatly from any film version of the book. In reading the book I sympathized with the monster that is spurned by his master and by all who gaze upon his repugnant form. The monster flees from society and lives in a hovel, while secretly observing a family which consists of a blind father, a daughter and a son. In observing the family the monster learns their language and learns about love and acceptance and thus learns about the wretchedness of his own existence; how he longs to be part of the family. He attempts to join the family, but one glance at his hideous frame and the family rejects him with great horror. The monster then seeks out his maker and is rejected once again and this turns his soul to malevolence and revenge. Victor Frankenstein loses his brother, friend and wife to the monsters murdering hands and indirectly the monster is responsible for the death of Victor's father and a friend of Victor’s family. Victor pursues his creation to the ends of earth to rid mankind of the fiend. The story ends up in the North Pole and the ending is tragic. Victor loses his life in his journey and once his creator is dead the monster decides there is no reason for his own existence. "Frankenstein" is a fabulous read, a read that has you sympathizing with the monster. His creator rejected him when all he wanted was acceptance. Mankind rejected him due to his hideous appearance. He was kind and giving, but turned to hatred and evil due to society's rejection of his physical being. "Frankenstein" is a thought provoking read.
Date published: 2008-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Frankenstein has all the best. The romance, the action and the inner depth of morality. The story is that of passion and the sorrow the "monster" feels throughout his short life and the power of the human soul. At the worst time the beast wanted nothing more than that of comfort and a companion, to which he was denied. A tale of promise and literature and the power and consequence of knowledge. A must for all who read...
Date published: 2006-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Age does nothing to dull this book I wasn't expecting the story I got when I read this for the first time. Everyone knows about the monster...or do they? The questions about our own mortality and mankind's desire to live are brilliantly woven into a plot that so many people assume is little more than a B-movie. Some haunting images still visit my imagination when I think of this book. WOW!!!
Date published: 2006-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I did this for grade 11 eng independent study... ...and it was great. The book was recommended to me by by teacher. I thought, since it was of literary value, that it must be boring. But it is very interesting, and you can actually understand it and relate to it. Before buying the book, I read online reviews and was disappointed because lots os people urged others not to read it. I would recommend this books to others, though. My personal background: I like to read a variety of materials, do well in english, and never read classic novels outside of study purposes.
Date published: 2004-10-23

– More About This Product –

Frankenstein

by Mary Shelley

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 256 pages, 6.88 × 4.17 × 0.55 in

Published: May 1, 1984

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0553212478

ISBN - 13: 9780553212471

About the Book

"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, "Frankenstein."
Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, "Frankenstein" remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

Read from the Book

VOLUME I LETTER 1 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. I arrived here yesterday; and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare, and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking. I am already far north of London; and as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There--for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators--there snow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What may not be exp
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From the Publisher

"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening''s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine''s room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley''s novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

From the Jacket

"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening''s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine''s room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, "Frankenstein. Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley''s novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, "Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

About the Author

The daughter of Mary Wollestonecraft, the ardent feminist and author of A Vindication on the Right of Women, and William Goodwin, the Radical-anarchist philosopher and author of Lives of the Necromancers, Mary Goodwin was born into a freethinking, revolutionary household in London on August 30,1797. Educated mainly by her intellectual surroundings, she had little formal schooling and at sixteen eloped with the young poet Percy Bysshe Shelly; they eventually married in 1816. Mary Shelly’s life had many tragic elements. Her mother died giving birth to Mary; her half-sister committed suicide; Harriet Shelly–Percy’s wife dr5owned heself and her unborn child after he ran off with Mary’ William Goodwin disowned Mary and Shelly after the elopement, but–heavily in debt–recanted and came to them for money; Mary’s first child died soon after its birth; and in 1822 Percy Shelly drowned in the Gulf of La Spezia–when Mary was not quite twenty-five. Mary Shelly recalled that her husband was “forever inciting” her to “obtain literary reputation.” But she did not begin to write seriously until the summer of 1816, when she and Shelly we in Switzerland, neighbor to Lord Byron. One night following a contest to compose ghost stories, Mary conceived her masterpeicve. Frankenstein. After Shelly’s death she continued to write Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), Ladore (1835), and Faulkner (1837), in addition to editing
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From Our Editors

Mary Shelley began work on this renowned story in 1916 at age 19, oblivious to the fact that it would evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the rage of London. In the generations since, the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created has been read by millions all over the world. Maybe it's the madness, maybe it's the darkness or maybe it's the imagination, but surely above all it's the masterful horror that falls from these three elements. It has inspired hundreds of imitations, but it has never been equalled for its masterful manipulation of the elements of horror and suspense.

Editorial Reviews

Mary Shelley''s Frankenstein is one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century Gothicism. While stay-ing in the Swiss Alps in 1816 with her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and others, Mary, then eighteen, began to concoct the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the monster he brings to life by electricity. Written in a time of great personal tragedy, it is a subversive and morbid story warning against the dehumanization of art and the corrupting influence of science. Packed with allusions and literary references, it is also one of the best thrillers ever written. Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus was an instant bestseller on publication in 1818. The prototype of the science fiction novel, it has spawned countless imitations and adaptations but retains its original power.
This Modern Library edition includes a new Introduction by Wendy Steiner, the chair of the English department at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Scandal of Pleasure.
Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in 1797 in London. She eloped to France with Shelley, whom she married in 1816. After Frankenstein, she wrote several novels, including Valperga and Falkner, and edited editions of the poetry of Shelley, who had died in 1822. Mary Shelley died in London in 1851.

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