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Frankenstein: The Deluxe eBook Edition

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This deluxe ebook package features Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel plus an extended excerpt of award winning author Kenneth Oppel’s thrilling prequel, This Dark Endeavor! What happens when an obsession defies your control? Victor Frankenstein has long sought the answer to creating new life. When he finally achieves his goal, he’s horrified by the results and abandons h This deluxe ebook package features Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel plus an extended excerpt of award winning author Kenneth Oppel’s thrilling prequel, This Dark Endeavor! What happens when an obsession defies your control? Victor Frankenstein has long sought the answer to creating new life. When he finally achieves his goal, he’s horrified by the results and abandons his creation, ready to forget what he’s done. But when tragedy befalls his family, Victor returns home to discover his creation is hiding nearby. To save his family from further despair, Frankenstein’s creature asks him to do the one thing he swore he never would do again. Mary Shelley’s novel explores with chilling dimensions the questions that reside at our core. What is the fabric of life and the soul? Where are the limits of our imagination? Can man’s reach shatter the boundaries between science, nature and God?


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This deluxe ebook package features Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel plus an extended excerpt of award winning author Kenneth Oppel’s thrilling prequel, This Dark Endeavor! What happens when an obsession defies your control? Victor Frankenstein has long sought the answer to creating new life. When he finally achieves his goal, he’s horrified by the results and abandons h This deluxe ebook package features Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel plus an extended excerpt of award winning author Kenneth Oppel’s thrilling prequel, This Dark Endeavor! What happens when an obsession defies your control? Victor Frankenstein has long sought the answer to creating new life. When he finally achieves his goal, he’s horrified by the results and abandons his creation, ready to forget what he’s done. But when tragedy befalls his family, Victor returns home to discover his creation is hiding nearby. To save his family from further despair, Frankenstein’s creature asks him to do the one thing he swore he never would do again. Mary Shelley’s novel explores with chilling dimensions the questions that reside at our core. What is the fabric of life and the soul? Where are the limits of our imagination? Can man’s reach shatter the boundaries between science, nature and God?

30 review for Frankenstein: The Deluxe eBook Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    My apologies, but this review is going to be a bit frantic due to my brain being so oxygen-starved by the novel’s breath-stealing gorgeousness that I'm feeling a bit light-headed. So please forgive the random thoughts. First: Mary Shelley…I love you!! Second: Dear Hollywood - you lying dung pile of literature-savaging, no talent hacks…you got this all wrong. Please learn to read and get yourself a copy of the source material before you FUBAR it again. Third: My heart shattered for the “monster” an My apologies, but this review is going to be a bit frantic due to my brain being so oxygen-starved by the novel’s breath-stealing gorgeousness that I'm feeling a bit light-headed. So please forgive the random thoughts. First: Mary Shelley…I love you!! Second: Dear Hollywood - you lying dung pile of literature-savaging, no talent hacks…you got this all wrong. Please learn to read and get yourself a copy of the source material before you FUBAR it again. Third: My heart shattered for the “monster” and I haven’t felt this strong a desire to “hug it out, bitch” since reading Grendel and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. The “wretch” is so well drawn and powerfully portrayed that he form the emotional ligament for the entire story. He is among the finest creations the written form has to offer. Fourth: As surprised as I am to be saying this, this novel has ousted Dracula as my all time favorite of the classic horror stories…sorry Bram, but the good/evil, sad, desperate loneliness of the orphaned monster trying to find a purpose and to define himself in the world trumps The Count. Five: No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me. No father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs. Pursuing these reflections, I thought that if I could bestow animation upon lifeless matter, I might in process of time (although I now found it impossible) renew life where death had apparently devoted the body to corruption. As gorgeous as the prose is, I thought it a crime not to include at least one quote. Six: The “non-explanation” for the process that Victor uses to create the monster is thing of genius. No other approach could have possibly conveyed the majesty and significance of the achievement, because we would have known it was bullshit. Shelley did it perfectly…which leads me nicely into… Seven: The corny, slapdash lightning scene is entirely a work of Hollywood? There’s …NO…lightning…scene? Are you kidding me? Even Kenneth Branagh’s supposedly “true” adaptation had electric eels providing power to the “it’s alive” process. All of it bunk. I’ll say it again, Hollywood is a bunch of useless tools. . LIARS!!! Eight: Speaking of tools, Victor Frankenstein is a giant one. As far as I am concerned, he is clearly the villain of the piece. However, what I found so squee-inducingly magical about Shelly’s writing was my degree of vacillation when it came to Victor’s character. I liked and even admired Victor in the beginning of the story and found his personal journey compelling. He was a genius driven by his desire to unlock the secrets of the universe and had that manic, “mad scientist” focus necessary to the accomplishment of such a lofty goal. However, once the “birth” of the monster came, I found myself waffling back and forth throughout the rest of the story. Ironically, his moment of success and his reaction to life he had conjured was when he began to lose his humanity in my eyes. His treatment of the monster was abhorrent. Despite this, Shelley was able to get me to see over my disgust and appreciate Frankenstein’s position and understand why he was so unwilling to continence the existence of “the wretch.” Not enough for me to forgive his lack of compassion, but enough for me to see him as a tragic figure. Huge propers for Shelley as that is excellent writing. Nine: I would place the monster among the finest literary creations of all time. This singular manifestation of humanity’s scientific brilliance and callous indifference to the consequences thereof is masterfully done. Frankenstein’s “wretch” became the prototype of the literary outcast and every “misunderstood” creature since has been offspring from his loins. His character profile is phenomenal, and just as Victor’s actions garner sporadic moments of understanding for his cruel treatment of the monster, so the monster’s wanton acts of vile cruelty severely test our compassion for him. Tested, bent and stretched, but, for me at least, never broken. I understood his pain…I understood his anger…I understood. Ten: No spoilers here, but the final resolution of the relationship between Victor and the child of his genius was…stellar. Everything was reconciled and nothing was resolved. The final reckoning occurs and it is both momentous and useless. Eleven: I expected the prose to be good but, having never read Shelley before, I was still surprised by how exceptional and ear-pleasing it was. Her writing really resonated with me and I loved her ability to weave emotion, plot momentum and a high literary quotient seamlessly together. Good, good stuff. Twelve: The novel is structured as an epistolary nesting doll using the frame story of Captain Walton corresponding with his sister about his expedition to the North Pole. While at the top of the world, Walton finds Victor Frankenstein stranded. This sets up the dovetail into Walton relaying Victor’s story which takes up the bulk of the novel and includes within it the incredibly poignant story of the “monster” in the creature’s own words. It is superbly executed and I thought the framing device was very effective. Thirteen: Despite my trashing of the movie versions earlier, there was one scene that I thought was handled far better on screen than in this story. Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of (view spoiler)[ the murder of Elizabeth by the monster (hide spoiler)] was far more chilling than Shelley’s more subdued recounting. I actually anticipated this segment being far more shocking and I was a tad let down as a result. This is probably my only gripe about the book. Fourteen: On my list of all time favorite novels. The writing, the story, the characters, the emotion, the imagery, the power…all off the charts. 6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION! P.S.(or Fifteen:) I listened to the audio version of this read by Simon Vance and his performance was extraordinary, especially his portrayal of the “monster.” Definitely check it out if you are a consumer of audio books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    No stars. That's right. Zero, zip. nada. It's been almost 30 years since I've detested a book this much. I didn't think anything could be worse then Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Seems I'm never too old to be wrong. This time, I don't have the excuse that I was forced to read this for high school lit. class. Oh no, this time I read this of my own volition and for fun. Yeah, fun. Kinda like sticking bamboo shoots between my fingernails type of fun. Watching paint dry fun. Going to an Air Supply conce No stars. That's right. Zero, zip. nada. It's been almost 30 years since I've detested a book this much. I didn't think anything could be worse then Kafka's The Metamorphosis. Seems I'm never too old to be wrong. This time, I don't have the excuse that I was forced to read this for high school lit. class. Oh no, this time I read this of my own volition and for fun. Yeah, fun. Kinda like sticking bamboo shoots between my fingernails type of fun. Watching paint dry fun. Going to an Air Supply concert fun. OK, to be fair, I need to tell you what I liked about this.... Well, Mary Shelley was a teen when she wrote this. Color me impressed. At 19 I was just looking for my next college boyfriend, not penning the great English classic. Kudos to Mary for that. Otherwise, I can't think of anything to admire in this book, apart from the fact that it's the only book in my reading history where I actually noted EVERY SINGLE PAGE NUMBER and mentally counted down the time I'd be finished. Why did I persist, you may ask? Well, at the point where the pain became mind numbing, I decided to channel my inner John McCain and just survive the torture. Figured it would make me a better, stronger reader. Might even make me enjoy a re-read of Breaking Dawn....(well, no it wouldn't, but you get the idea). Frankenstein is a classic alright. A classic melodrama. Complete with a wimpy, vaporish, trembling prima donna main character and a pseudo monster whose only sin is being uglier then Bernie Madoff in cell block D. After the upteenth tremble/jerk/gasp/faint/start from our mad scientist Victor Frankenstein, I could only sign in relief that he wasn't a Rabbi about to perform a bris circumcism - oy vey! Were we supposed to be outraged at the monster's killing spree? By the books end, I was merely miffed that the creature murdered the wrong Frankenstein sibling. He would have saved himself a good deal of traveling (and saved me a good deal of suffering) had he snuffed out his maker before he could high-tail it out of the birthing room. I'm sure that the fans of this book will say that I didn't understand the deeper, symbolic nuances of this book, and I'm sure that they are right. At this point in my life, all I know is what I like and don't like in a book, and as far as I'm concerned, this book is unadulterated, mind-numbing crap. But that's just me. Your mileage will vary (as I sincerely hope it does). As for my own mileage, it can best be compared to driving a Ford Pinto in the Indy 500... EDIT Due to the efforts of a few Kool-ade drinking trolls who have gotten their big girl/big boy panties in a wad over an almost 200 year old book and can't comment nicely on my review, I am suspending all future comments. Don't like it? Blame the navel grazing trolls for not accepting the concept of a PERSONAL OPINION.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    “I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.” I was walking along earlier today with Jacquie and discussing the important things like, you know... books. And the subject of our top favourite books of all time came up. Oddly enough, two of our top three were the same - Wuthering Heights and Crime and Punishment. Then Jacquie said her third was a book that I hadn't thought “I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.” I was walking along earlier today with Jacquie and discussing the important things like, you know... books. And the subject of our top favourite books of all time came up. Oddly enough, two of our top three were the same - Wuthering Heights and Crime and Punishment. Then Jacquie said her third was a book that I hadn't thought about in a very long time. That book was Frankenstein. It hit me like a shot of good literature: I had forgotten all about this classic that had so affected me, made me think and completely torn my heart out multiple times. Frankenstein? I said. I must go review that right now. You see, though, the best and worst thing about this novel is how distorted it has become by constant movie adaptations and misinformed ideas about the nature of Frankenstein and his "monster". For years I thought Frankenstein was the name of that slightly green dude with the bolts in his neck. Nuh-uh. Did Frankenstein scare me? Did it have me staying awake and sleeping with the light on, jumping at every slight creak in the house? Was I terrified of the monster and technology and the dangers of playing God? No. Because the beauty of this story is that it isn't the one so many people think it is. Which is almost my favourite thing about it. This book is not a Halloween kind of story with Halloween kind of monsters. This story is nothing short of heartbreakingly sad. “...once I falsely hoped to meet the beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding.” The book offers many interesting avenues of philosophical exploration if one is so inclined to ponder such things; for example, allusions to religion and Genesis, possible criticisms of using science to "play God", the relationship between creator and creation. All of these things interest me, yes, but it is the painfully human part of this book that has always so deeply affected me. Because the sad thing, the really sad thing, is that pretty much everyone has heard of Frankenstein's monster... but so many don't know how human the character is. Created as a scientific experiment by an overly ambitious man, he comes into a frightening and hostile world that immediately rejects him on sight. Even the man who made him cannot look upon his creation without feeling horror. It's that same thing that gets me in books every time: things could have been so different. If people had just been a little less judgmental, a little less scared, and a little more understanding. This being, created from different parts of corpses, seeks love and finds hatred, so he instead decides to embrace it. Fuelled by his own rage at the unfairness of the world, he gradually turns towards evil. Everyone knows him as "the monster" so it's hard for me to call him anything else, but I basically always saw him like this: He belongs in my own little mind category with the likes of Heathcliff and Erik (aka The Phantom of the Opera). Scared, angry villains who were made so by their own unfortunate circumstances that plunged them into worlds where they couldn't find a place. The kind of characters you simultaneously hate and love, but most of all hope they find some kind of peace. So call it science-fiction, if you will. Call it horror, if you must. But this story is brimming with some of the most realistic and almost unbearably moving human emotion that I have ever read. Blog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    So. I finished it. Warning: If you are a fan of classic literature and/or are utterly devoid of a sense of humor, stop reading this review right now. I've always wondered what the real Frankenstein story was like...and now I know. Sadly, sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality. And the reality is, this book is a big steaming pile of poo. It's an old-timey horror story, right? Not so much. I mean, I wasn't expecting it to actually be scary, but I thought it might be slightly creepy. Unfortunatel So. I finished it. Warning: If you are a fan of classic literature and/or are utterly devoid of a sense of humor, stop reading this review right now. I've always wondered what the real Frankenstein story was like...and now I know. Sadly, sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality. And the reality is, this book is a big steaming pile of poo. It's an old-timey horror story, right? Not so much. I mean, I wasn't expecting it to actually be scary, but I thought it might be slightly creepy. Unfortunately, the only horror in the story centered around me having to keep turning the pages. Unless... Beware mortal! You will DIE of boredom! Oooga-Booga-Booga! Yep. Truly frightening. It starts like this: An upper-crust guy sails off to the Arctic to make discoveries, and to pass the time he writes to his sister. Supposedly, he's been sailing around on whaling ships for several years. And he's been proven an invaluable resource by other captains. So I'm assuming he's a pretty crusty ol' sailor at this point. Pay attention, because this is where Shelly proves that she knows nothing about men... So this guy goes on and on in these letters to his sister about how he wishes on every star that he could find a BFF at sea. After a few (too many) letters, they pull a half-frozen Frankensicle out of the water. Aaaaand here's what our salty sea dog has to say about the waterlogged mad scientist... "Blah,blah, blah...his full-toned voice swells in my ears; his lustrous eyes dwell on me with all their melancholy sweetness...blah, blah, blah..." Lustrous eyes?! No (straight) sailor ever, in the history of the world, EVER referred to another dude's eyes as lustrous. Ever. And I know what you're thinking. Well, Anne, maybe this character was gay. Didn't think about that, didja?! Actually, yes. Yes, I did. The only problem with that theory is that NONE of the male characters in this book sounded remotely male. Ladies, do you remember that time in your life (probably around middle or high school), when you thought that guys actually had the same sort of thought waves running through their heads that we do? You know, before you realized that the really don't care about...well, all of the things that we do? You thought that while they were laughing at the booger their idiot friend just flicked across the room, something deeper was stirring in their mind. It just had to be! I'm not sure when it happens, but at some point, every woman finally realizes the (fairly obvious) truth. Men aren't women. That booger was the funniest thing ever, and nothing was stirring around in them other than maybe some gas. And that's ok. Fart-lighting and long distance loogie hawking contests aside, they can pretty darn cool. But this author was too young to realize that. My personal opinion is that Mary was probably fairly sheltered when it came to real men. She was a teenage girl apparently running around with a bunch of artsy-fartsy dudes. Much like today, I would imagine these junior emos were probably blowing poetic smoke up her young ass in the high hopes of getting into her pants. Although it's possible I'm totally misreading the situation. Anyway, Frank tells his story, and Sea Dog writes it all down for his sister. In excruciating detail. Rivers, flowers, rocks, mountain tops...agonizingly cataloged. And the weather? God forbid a breeze blows through the story without at least a paragraph devoted to the way it felt on his skin or affected his mood! And speaking of Frankenstein's mood. I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of reading about a character this spineless before. What a pussy! He didn't talk so much as he whined. And the swooning! He was like one of those freaking Fainting Goats! I can't even count how many times he blacked out and fell over. Of course, then he would get feverish and need "a period of convalescence" to recover. Again, every episode was recounted with incredible attention to detail. I'm thrilled that I never had to miss a moment of his sweaty brow getting daubed with water! Randomly Inserted Fun Fact: The monster quoted Milton in Paradise Lost. Shockingly, I only know this because it was in the appendix, and not because I have any real-life experience with reading that one. Was this the most painfully unnecessary book I've read this year? Yes. Is there a deeper moral to this story? Yes. Some would say, that the monster is a product of a society that refuses to accept someone who is different. Or maybe that Victor Frankenstein was the real monster for not realizing that he had a duty to parent and care for his creation? Perhaps it is meant to point out our obsession with perfection, and our willingness to disregard people who don't meet the standards of beauty as non-human? Some might say any of those things. I , however, learned a far different lesson from Frankenstein. And it's this... Trust no one. Not even someone who (just an example) has been your Best Friend for decades! Let's read a classic, Anne. It'll be fun, Anne. We can call each other with updates, Anne. It'll be just like a book club, Anne. Tee-hee! Liar, liar! Pants on fire! I read this whole God-awful book, and you quit after 10 pages! I'm telling your mom! Anyway. Here's the quote that sums up my experience with Frankenstein: "Blah, blah, blah...in all the misery I imagined and dreaded, I did not conceive the hundredth part of the anguish I was destined to endure."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    This was awesome. I listened to an audiobook on YouTube (as it is under the public domain). You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuyEa.... It was great. The narrator did a great job of building the atmosphere and excitement in the story. I always love reading the original stories behind some very iconic pop culture figures. Frankenstein is obviously incredibly popular. It was great to read and do a little bit of a personal independent study on (major nerd here). The perfect Hall This was awesome. I listened to an audiobook on YouTube (as it is under the public domain). You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuyEa.... It was great. The narrator did a great job of building the atmosphere and excitement in the story. I always love reading the original stories behind some very iconic pop culture figures. Frankenstein is obviously incredibly popular. It was great to read and do a little bit of a personal independent study on (major nerd here). The perfect Halloween read!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    It's been fifty years since I had read Frankenstein, and, now—after a recent second reading—I am pleased to know that the pleasures of that first reading have been revived. Once again--just as it was in my teens--I was thrilled by the first glimpse of the immense figure of the monster, driving his sled across the arctic ice, and marveled at the artful use of narrative frames within frame, each subsequent frame leading us closer to the heart of the novel, until we hear the alienated yet articulat It's been fifty years since I had read Frankenstein, and, now—after a recent second reading—I am pleased to know that the pleasures of that first reading have been revived. Once again--just as it was in my teens--I was thrilled by the first glimpse of the immense figure of the monster, driving his sled across the arctic ice, and marveled at the artful use of narrative frames within frame, each subsequent frame leading us closer to the heart of the novel, until we hear the alienated yet articulate voice of the creature himself. In addition, I admired the equally artful way the novel moves backward through the same frames until we again reach the arctic landscape which is the scene of the novel's beginning...and its end. This time through, I was particularly struck with how Mary must have been influenced by the novels of her father. The relentless hounding of one man by another who feels his life has been poisoned by that man's irresponsible curiosity is a theme taken straight out of Godwin's Caleb Williams, and the cautionary account of a monomaniac who gradually deprives himself of the satisfactions of family, friends and love in pursuit of an intellectual ideal is reminiscent of the alchemist of St. Leon. Her prose also is like her father's in her ability to make delicate philosophical distinctions and express abstract ideas, but she is a much better writer than he: her sentences are more elegant and disciplined, and her descriptive details more aptly chosen and her scenes more effectively realized. The conclusion of the novel seems hasty and incomplete, but perhaps that is because the concept of Frankenstein is so revolutionary that no conclusion could have seemed satisfactory. At any rate, this fine novel has given birth to a host of descendants, and—unlike Victor Frankenstein—is a worthy parent of its many diverse creations.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    "My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid, to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment. My companion will be of the same nature as myself, and will be content with the same fare. We shall make our bed of dried leaves; the sun will shine on us as on man, and will ripen our food. The picture I present to you is peaceful and human.” The Creature’s diet is unmistakably vegetarian. Vegetarianism becomes a way for the creature to renounce his crea "My food is not that of man; I do not destroy the lamb and the kid, to glut my appetite; acorns and berries afford me sufficient nourishment. My companion will be of the same nature as myself, and will be content with the same fare. We shall make our bed of dried leaves; the sun will shine on us as on man, and will ripen our food. The picture I present to you is peaceful and human.” The Creature’s diet is unmistakably vegetarian. Vegetarianism becomes a way for the creature to renounce his creator by demonstrating his more inclusive ethics. Indeed, he includes within his moral code animals as well as man, but learns through his experience with the world that both he and animals are excluded from the moral compass of humanity: they are not on the same level. I find this entire representation fascinating, that much so I wanted to add to my review here. I spent a very long time last year researching Percy Shelley’s poetry and how his politics are ultimately shaped by his diet choice. Some of that content is latent in Mary’s work; it does not take the forefront of the narrative, but it is certainly there for a reader who is willing to look for it. There’s much here to use for a proper developed argument, arguments I am eventually going to explore fully in my eventual PhD project. One of my chapters will be a critical address of Frankenstein and The Last Man in conjunction with politics and diet. Indeed, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein mirrors her husband’s discourse in A Vindication of a Natural Diet. In the essay Percy Shelley directly references the promethean myth; he states that it is a prime allegory for man’s lost nature (his fall from the golden age), as when Prometheus applied fire (for culinary purposes- Percy Shelley states) he created a disgusting horror. His liver was wrecked by the “vulture of disease” and all tyrannical vice, this unnaturalness, was born from the despoiling of innocence as it “consumed his being in every shape of its loathsome and infinite variety.” The Creature, after trying cooked offal left by a campfire in Frankenstein, decides to adhere to his own diet; he rejects the promethean fire that humanity has taken, and instead develops a mode of morality separate to the norms of humanity; he wishes for the opportunity to live this peaceful picture away from the corruptions of human company: he wishes to be better. Orginal Review from 2015 Let’s have a party Victor. Let’s get together and celebrate all things Gothic, and dark, and wonderful. Let’s have it in an attic in an old house in the middle of a thunderstorm, and then afterwards let’s go to the graveyard with our shovels and our body bags. Sounds good doesn’t it Victor? We could then create our own doppelgängers from the corpses of criminals and geniuses. Then we can abandon our marvellous creation to fend for itself with his childlike innocence, and then wonder why it goes so horribly wrong and blows up in our faces. Ahh..Victor you silly, brilliant, man. On second thought we probably shouldn’t have that party. Because if we did it would end in blood Yes, lots of blood: the blood of everyone you love, the blood of all your family Victor. You blame the monster, but you are his creator. You should have taught him the ways of the world and guided his first steps. The things you two could have accomplished together. So I ask you this Victor, who is the real monster? Is it the creature that has gone on a murderous rampage or it you? You are the man who played at god and was horrified at the consequence. You judged your creation by his physical appearance, which was more a reflection of your vain soul. Ahh..Victor you silly, brilliant, man. Surely you don’t wonder why the monster revenged himself upon you? “I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel...” Indeed, the real monster of this novel is Victor Frankenstein, and not his monstrous creation. The creature is a monster on the outside but Victor is on the inside, which is a form much worse. By abandoning the creature he has taught him to become what his appearance is. The first human experience he receives is rejection based upon his physicality. His own creator recoils in disgust from him. He cannot be blamed for his actions if all he has been taught is negative emotion, he will only respond in one way. He is innocent and childlike but also a savage brute. These are two things that should never be put together. Woe to Victor Frankenstein’s family. “There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge the other.” Mary Shelley raises questions of the danger of knowledge, and shows a probable consequence of trying to play god; the novel portrays nineteen century fears for the rising field of science and knowledge and questions how far it could go. Indeed, in this case Victor takes on the role of a God by creating new life. She also shows us what can happen to a man if he so driven by this thirst for knowledge and how it will ultimately lead to a fall. Victor reminds me somewhat of Doctor Faustus (The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus) in this regard. Faustus is a man who sold his soul to Lucifer for unlimited knowledge in the form of arcane magic. Victor, like Faustus, has stopped at nothing to gain his goal, but in the end is ultimately dissatisfied with the result. Suffice to say, I simply adore this book as you may have gathered from my ramblings. I think this, alongside Dracula, are amongst the strongest representations of Gothic literature. Furthermore, I have a real soft spot for epistolary means of storytelling. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s the stronger sense of intimacy you fell with the characters as you see their words on the page rather than an impartial narrators. You see inside their heads more and understand their motifs and feelings. My favourite quote: "This was then the reward of my benevolence! I had saved a human being from destruction, and as a recompense I now writhed under the miserable pain of a wound which shattered the flesh and bone. The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind. Listen to the passion, to the intellect and witness such a wasted opportunity. Victor, you’re a silly, silly, man.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    REREAD UPDATE - September 2018: One of my bookclubs (Click to check out Reading List Completists) is reading this for September 2018. I figure it was a good time for a reread since it was one of my favorites and it has been over 20 years since I read it. I did enjoy it again this time and it stands up to the 5 star review and designation of classic. There were a few slow parts - mainly when Dr. Frankenstein would stop the narrative to wax poetical about something - but, not enough t take a way fr REREAD UPDATE - September 2018: One of my bookclubs (Click to check out Reading List Completists) is reading this for September 2018. I figure it was a good time for a reread since it was one of my favorites and it has been over 20 years since I read it. I did enjoy it again this time and it stands up to the 5 star review and designation of classic. There were a few slow parts - mainly when Dr. Frankenstein would stop the narrative to wax poetical about something - but, not enough t take a way from my overall enjoyment. I still recommend this for everyone and be sure to check out my full original review below. ORIGINAL REVIEW: This is definitely one of my favorite books I was required to read in High School. Also, it is my favorite of the classic horror novels. It is perfectly written, suspenseful, and is a bit more thought provoking than scary. One of the best ways I can compare it to other classic horror novels is to Dracula - which I read recently. Dracula has so much repetitive filler that you do not find in Frankenstein, which is the main reason I find Frankenstein to be a more enjoyable book. Also, I would say that this is more a novel of the human condition than an actual horror novel. Some terrifying things happen, but it is the monster within all of us that may end up being more terrifying! Funny side story: when I read this in High School, it was around the same time that the Kenneth Branaugh adaptation came out at the theaters. We were all encouraged to go see it and found it pretty close to the source material. What was amusing was that Time Magazine had a review of the movie bashing it as untrue to the source material and how disappointed Shelley would be that the Boris Karlovian depiction of a lurching, flattop monster with bolts in its neck was ignored for a more serious drama movie. WHAT!? Time Magazine, for goodness sakes, published an article that claims to know the content of the book but is completely wrong and does it while bashing a movie that did a pretty good job with it!? I mean, it it is okay if you prefer the old time movie version of Frankenstein - and it is a classic - but to make definitive statements that are completely wrong in what is supposed to be a well thought of publication (not your typical tabloid supermarket checkout fodder), that is just too much! We need a copy editor over here!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    This was such a nice surprise! I've been meaning to read this book for AGES, and I've built it up in my head as this super dry, boring book, but boy was I ever wrong. This book is juuuust about 200 years old, yet it feels incredibly timeless, more than many other classics I've read. It was so interesting, and the character of Frankenstein's monster was so tragic (and he can speak! I didn't see that coming thanks to Hollywood ruining the image of "Frankenstein") that there just wasn't time to be This was such a nice surprise! I've been meaning to read this book for AGES, and I've built it up in my head as this super dry, boring book, but boy was I ever wrong. This book is juuuust about 200 years old, yet it feels incredibly timeless, more than many other classics I've read. It was so interesting, and the character of Frankenstein's monster was so tragic (and he can speak! I didn't see that coming thanks to Hollywood ruining the image of "Frankenstein") that there just wasn't time to be bored! I also listened to the audiobook narrated by Dan Stevens, and he did an amazing job. Highly recommend!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nayra.Hassan

    مولد "وحش" بدون ام .. بعد تجارب دامت 9 اشهر هذا هو ملخص..خيال فج ..جامح...يصيبني بالدهشة دائما . .كلما تأكدت انه صدر عن فتاة في سن 19 عاشت في مطلع القرن 19 ماري شيللي..فتاة ثرية مثقفة واجهت احساس الفقد مبكرا....نشات يتيمة الام منذ الولادة.. و فقدت ابنتها الرضيعة ..و هكذا ناقشت كل مشاكلها مع الموت من خلال دكتورفرانكشتاين.. طبيب شاب ناقص الإيمان..فيبدأ تجارب كهرباءية حمقاء لبعث الجثث؟💥 و سرعان ما حظى" بصنيعته" المفترض انه مثال الجمال و الخلود..مسخ بشع...ذو سحنة ملفقة ليطرده بقسوة.. و💫 تبدأ بعدها المشاكل ال مولد "وحش" بدون ام .. بعد تجارب دامت 9 اشهر هذا هو ملخص..خيال فج ..جامح...يصيبني بالدهشة دائما . .كلما تأكدت انه صدر عن فتاة في سن 19 عاشت في مطلع القرن 19 ماري شيللي..فتاة ثرية مثقفة واجهت احساس الفقد مبكرا....نشات يتيمة الام منذ الولادة.. و فقدت ابنتها الرضيعة ..و هكذا ناقشت كل مشاكلها مع الموت من خلال دكتورفرانكشتاين.. طبيب شاب ناقص الإيمان..فيبدأ تجارب كهرباءية حمقاء لبعث الجثث؟💥 و سرعان ما حظى" بصنيعته" المفترض انه مثال الجمال و الخلود..مسخ بشع...ذو سحنة ملفقة ليطرده بقسوة.. و💫 تبدأ بعدها المشاكل الحقيقية لفرانكشتاين.. .و يبدا في تصحيح الخطا بخطأ من الطراز ذاته.. مشاعر المسخ المجروحة و ذكاؤه اللافت كانت المفاجأة الحقيقية في الرواية.. وبسببها صارت علامة هامة على طريق أدب الرعب رواية متعددة الطبقات ..بسيطة اللغة ..مليئةبالعواطف المتناقضة.. و من افضل الروايات التي تعرضت لمشاعر الفقد..و الندم و من المؤكد ان الرواية كانت تطهير لمشاعر ماري شيللي و تصالحت من خلالها مع اهم حقائق الحياة:و هي الموت

  11. 5 out of 5

    Warwick

    I have a favourite Kate Beaton strip framed up in our book room: (Full-size image here.) Mary was – what? – eighteen years old when she went on this famous holiday to Lake Geneva with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Byron and Byron's physician. She was calling herself ‘Mrs Shelley’, though they had not yet married – Percy was still married to someone else. The surroundings were familiar. The last time Mary and Percy had come to Switzerland had been during their elopement a couple of years earlier, accompa I have a favourite Kate Beaton strip framed up in our book room: (Full-size image here.) Mary was – what? – eighteen years old when she went on this famous holiday to Lake Geneva with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Byron and Byron's physician. She was calling herself ‘Mrs Shelley’, though they had not yet married – Percy was still married to someone else. The surroundings were familiar. The last time Mary and Percy had come to Switzerland had been during their elopement a couple of years earlier, accompanied by her sister, who was also in love with him; Mary had got pregnant, but the baby girl was born prematurely and died in February 1815. Now they were back, trying to put the past behind them and enjoy a holiday with Byron, who at the time was sleeping with Mary's stepsister. Percy's first wife would soon be out of the picture, found drowned in the Serpentine in an ‘advanced state of pregnancy’ before the year was out. Mary's other sister Fanny also drowned herself that year, 1816, also pining for Percy. So it was in the midst of this complex love-dodecahedron that the holidaymakers, their festive plans foiled by constant rain, held their famous competition to write a ghost story. The result is something very different from its image in popular culture. Instead of the smoke of Victorian London, we have the Swiss Alps and the Orkney Islands; instead of Igor and bolts through the neck, we have meditations on personal autonomy, scientific responsibility and eugenics. Frankenstein is overwritten and the narrative structure is a bit odd – she was still a teenager when she wrote it, let's not forget – but thematically, it's fascinating. I'm surprised by how few reviews I've read touch on what seems to me to be the intensely female experiences that it obliquely comments on. The confusion of bringing a creature into the world only to feel horror and revulsion towards it. The stress of releasing it into a hostile and uncaring world. And perhaps most of all, the deep sympathy shown with someone who feels that their body is not their own, that it is somehow owned and regulated by others. A body that one is taught by society to hate. The monster's feelings are unimportant, because he was created by a man for the man's own gratification. Mary quotes her beloved Percy Bysshe Shelley, unattributively, when Dr Frankenstein first spots his creature up on the Mer de Glace. She uses the final two stanzas from ‘Mutability’. For me though it's the beautiful first stanza that better expresses the ferocious intensity of Mary and her circle of friends and lovers, surrounded as they all seemed to be by imminent, premature death: We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;     How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver, Streaking the darkness radiantly!—yet soon     Night closes round, and they are lost forever… As they all were. But the writing they left behind will last as long as English literature is read, and for all of its problems Frankenstein is among that select group.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Franco Santos

    Mucho se ha hablado de Frankenstein. Se interpreta como una crítica al desarrollo científico, cuando este sobrepasa el curso natural de las cosas; se interpreta como una crítica a la religión y nuestra relación con Dios; hasta se ha dicho que es una alegoría a los miedos que surgen durante un embarazo. Todas estas lecturas probablemente sean correctas, pero omiten lo más básico. Lo que hace a Frankenstein una obra atiborrada de humanidad, con interpolaciones que abordan la desventura a través de Mucho se ha hablado de Frankenstein. Se interpreta como una crítica al desarrollo científico, cuando este sobrepasa el curso natural de las cosas; se interpreta como una crítica a la religión y nuestra relación con Dios; hasta se ha dicho que es una alegoría a los miedos que surgen durante un embarazo. Todas estas lecturas probablemente sean correctas, pero omiten lo más básico. Lo que hace a Frankenstein una obra atiborrada de humanidad, con interpolaciones que abordan la desventura a través de la complejidad de tres voces que derraman soledad y melancolía. Si intentara tratar a Frankenstein desde lo más superficial, acabaría hablando sobre la profundidad del espíritu humano y los peligros que conlleva un uso desmedido de sus facultades cognitivas o la influencia del sentimiento en sus actos. No se puede discutir este título sin penetrar en lo más reflexivo de nuestra naturaleza. Frankenstein, en su perfil más somero, abarca temas que atraviesan la columna vertebral de lo que nos hace seres en constante conflicto de moralidades y en una interminable búsqueda por pertenecer y ser reconocidos, como asimismo incluye el derecho a ser amados por al menos alguien en la vida. A partir de un análisis ligero, Frankenstein trata la venganza y el abandono. Son las dos cuestiones principales que hacen esta historia una historia con movimiento. La venganza desde el arrebato y la venganza desde el rechazo. También cabe destacar que es admirable la caracterización del Creador y su Criatura, y sus interminables pugnas por quién posee la más dañina amenaza; ya que, si lo vemos de esa forma, y teniendo en cuenta la completa implicación de las circunstancias en la novela, ¿qué es más nocivo, el rechazo injustificado o el asesinato como consecuencia de una iniquidad anterior? La denominada Criatura, Demonio, Engendro o Monstruo es de los personajes más humanos con los que me he topado. Es suntuosa la carga emotiva, el abigarramiento en el interior de un ser que fue engendrado por ciencia mal utilizada. Un vínculo irónico entre un hombre que quería ser dios y un ser que siempre quiso ser hombre. Para mí esta es la crítica más punzante de Mary Shelley. Repudia que nos dejemos llevar por las apariencias en vez de detenernos a pensar en lo que estamos haciendo. La egolatría, la soberbia y el prejuicio son lo más lamentable de nuestra conducta como humanidad, y esas condiciones danzaron alrededor del llamado Monstruo y acabaron destruyendo la bondad más pura, que, prácticamente, ni había llegado a florecer. No voy a omitir la prosa, que acompaña a la perfección la calidad de este libro. No hay mejor pluma que la que te abraza y te lleva consigo en un viaje por el tiempo y el espacio hacia su historia. Mientras leía Frankenstein, me sentía allí, junto a Víctor y a su Criatura, percibía la realidad que me rodeaba como falsa, como un pobre bosquejo de lo que estaba leyendo, y creía que mi pertenencia radicaba en el siglo XVII. La ambientación de Shelley es tan estupenda que fue capaz de sobrepasar los límites de la narrativa e invadir el mundo real. Excelente trabajo de la autora. Su estilo de escritura es de los puntos más fuertes del texto. Frankenstein se ha transformado en una de mis obras favoritas. Su retrato de la soledad, el aislamiento forzado, la pérdida y la derrota es sublime. Un relato que se construye sobre lo emocional y que tiene sus raíces en lo más hondo del alma humana.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. A sorrowful tale of lost love and self-loathing conveyed with divine prose.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Huda Yahya

    في بدايات القرن التاسع عشر كانت الكهرباء وقتها اختراعا طازجا وحدثا يلقي الرهبة في القلوب لقد كان معظم الناس يتصور أنها تحمل قدرات خارقة ولذلك لم يكن من الصعب تخيل أنها يمكنها إعادة الحياة إلى الموتى فقد كانوا يرونها اختراعا شيطانيا يثير غضب الرب وأثناء جلسة جمعت بين بعض الشعراء والكتاب في قصر الشاعر لورد بايرن اقترح المضيف أن يؤلف كل واحد منهم قصة رعب مختلفة لتزجية الوقت ومن هنا جاءت إحدى أشهر قصص الرعب الكلاسيكية على مر العصور ::::::::::: الحكاية عن شاب مخترع يدعى فيكتور فرانكنشتاين قام بتجميع أجزاء من جثث في بدايات القرن التاسع عشر ‏كانت الكهرباء وقتها اختراعا طازجا وحدثا يلقي الرهبة في القلوب لقد كان معظم الناس يتصور أنها تحمل قدرات خارقة‏ ولذلك لم يكن من الصعب تخيل أنها يمكنها إعادة الحياة إلى ‏الموتى فقد كانوا يرونها اختراعا شيطانيا يثير غضب الرب وأثناء جلسة جمعت بين بعض الشعراء والكتاب في قصر الشاعر لورد بايرن اقترح المضيف أن يؤلف كل واحد منهم قصة رعب ‏مختلفة لتزجية الوقت ومن هنا جاءت إحدى أشهر قصص الرعب الكلاسيكية على مر ‏العصور ::::::::::: الحكاية عن شاب مخترع يدعى فيكتور فرانكنشتاين‏ قام بتجميع أجزاء من جثث الموتى ‏ وباستخدام الصواعق الكهربية سواها كائنا حيا‏ يتنفس ويعيش ويحزن ويفرح ويحلم ولما انتهى منه خالقه لم ير فيه سوى مسخا بشعا ‏ فتركه وحيدا وهجره مسخ ضخم ملامحه جامدة تملأ القطب وجهه وجسده ‏ وكأنه دمية كل جزء فيها مخيط إلى الآخر يملؤه الخجل لهيئته الغريبة المنفرة‏ يحمل عذاباته ويمضي يتوارى في أي مكان مهجور لا يعرف طريقه النور ‏ بعيدا عن أعين البشر الفضولية والقاسية [image error] ‏ كائن مسكين لا يعلم السبب الذي جاء به إلى هذه الدنيا التي لا تتقبله ولما لا يعطف عليه أحد حتى وإن كان خالقه نفسه وصار المسخ منبوذا دون ان يفهم لهذه القسوة سببا ومع الوقت تعتمل بداخله مشاعر الغضب لتحل محل أي تساؤل حزين عبر أسلاك عقله ويبدأ بعدها في الانتقام أبدا لم يتخيل فرانكنشتاين‏ أن ذلك المسخ الذي خلقه بيديه سيحيل حياته جحيما ‏ وبأنه سيكون السبب في موت أعز الناس على قلبه ‏ فعندما يستهوي الانسان مناطحة الآلهة هذا هو ما يحصل عليه خراب وحياة مشوهة وعذاب لم نكن لنتخيله نحن أكثر ضعفا من تحمل مسئولية بهذه الجسامة‏ ولذلك فإننا ببساطة ..ننهار ::::::::::: هناك فارق عظيم بين فرانكنشتاين السينما وفرانكنشتاين الرواية‏ ففي السينما أضفت هوليود عليها سذاجة منقطعة النظير وجعلتها مادة لأفلام لا نراها الآن سوى كوميديا فارس سخيفة ‏أحيانا ومضحكة أحيانا أخرى خصوصا مع عروس فرانكنشتاين الطريفة للغاية [image error] كما أن فرانكنشتاين هو الاسم الذي أطلقته السينما على المسخ في حين أنه يعود في الرواية إلى المخترع ::::::::::: من هو فرانكنشتاين الحقيقي؟ وكيف نبتت فكرته في عقل ماري الصغيرة؟ ‏1-في الأصل كان لقبا لعائلة ألمانية نبيلة اشتهرت بقلعتها القديمة ‏بالقرب من بلدة دارمشتات في ألمانيا ‏ ولكن الأمر لا يتوقف عند هذا الحد ففي هذه القلعة ولد وعاش "عالم" غريب الأطوار يدعى يوهان ‏كونراد ديبيل ‏ ولكن إمضاءه كان يوهان كونراد دي فرانكنشتاين ‏ المهم أنه اشتهر بجنونه وغرابة أطواره حتى أنه ادعى النبوة في وقت ما ‏ وادعى اختراعه لإكسير الحياة الذي أنه يطيل العمر ويجدد الشباب‏ حسنا لم يكن الوحيد ولكن المختلف مع هذا اليوهان هو أنه كانت له تجارب‏ يحاول فيها إعادة الحياة لجثث الموتى عن طريق الكهرباء ‏ وقد سبب رعبا وذعرا لا حد له لأهل بلدته ويقال إنه نجح في صناعة كف بشرية بإمكانها التحرك من تلقاء ‏نفسها ‏:‏D ‏2-في عام 1780 قام العالم جالفاني بتجارب مرر خلالها تيارات ‏كهربية في أجساد ضفادع ميتة ‏ فلاحظ ارتجافا في أطرافها عند صعقها بالكهرباء بعدها بسنوات قام عالم آخر يدعي جيوفاني إلديني ‏ بتجربة مرعبة في إحدى ساحات لندن العامة ‏ قام بتوثيق جثة مجرم أعدم شنقا بالأسلاك الكهربية ‏-يعني باعتباره يصلح كفأر تجارب في نظرهم بعدا قام بتمرير تيارا كهربيا قويا ووسط صرخات الرعب وشهقات الدهشة تغيرت ملامح الجثة وكأنها تتألم حتى يقال بأنها فتحت عينيها ‏ ومع ارتعاشات الجثة أغشى على بعض الحضور ظنا منهم بأنها ‏ستعود فعلا إلى الحياة‏ وذلك كله عائد إلى الجهل وقتها بسلوك المواد والأجسام التي يمر خلالها ‏التيار الكهربي ‏ هكذا تبلورت الفكرة لدى ماري شيللي زوجة الشاعر الأشهر وهكذا ولدت رواية خالدة في الأدب

  15. 5 out of 5

    F

    I read this years ago and Loved it! Great story and will need to read again soon. 2016 - Listened to the audiobook version and loved it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    ...and so I was born! A man, and not a man; a life, and an un-life. Hair and lips of lustrous black, skin of parchment yellow, watery eyes of dun-colored white. The stature of a giant. A horror among men! And so my creator fled me, horrified of his creation. And so I fled my place of birth, to seek lessons amongst the human kind. My lonesome lessons learnt: man is a loving and noble creature; learning is pathway to beauty, to kindness, to fellowship. And this I also learnt: to witness what diffe ...and so I was born! A man, and not a man; a life, and an un-life. Hair and lips of lustrous black, skin of parchment yellow, watery eyes of dun-colored white. The stature of a giant. A horror among men! And so my creator fled me, horrified of his creation. And so I fled my place of birth, to seek lessons amongst the human kind. My lonesome lessons learnt: man is a loving and noble creature; learning is pathway to beauty, to kindness, to fellowship. And this I also learnt: to witness what differs, to meet what may be noble under the skin but ugly above it... is to then reject that other, to cast him out! Man is a brutal and heartless creature. And as I was rejected, I do so reject: turn from me and you shall find my cold hands, seeking some bitter warmth... O wretched creature am I! My tale is told by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, in the loveliest and most vivid of flowing prose. A wise writer is this Mary Shelley - and at such a young age! The narrative is as three nesting Russian dolls, a thin one to contain them all, a second of weightier proportions, and a third one within - its gentle and broken heart. That inner story, the smallest, is of my youth - a life of fear, but also of learning, of growing into myself, of witnessing the beauty around me. Of spying upon the family De Lacey - their unknown son. Their own tale is one of bravery and gentleness, of humanity at its weakest and strongest, of survival. But mine is of friendship spurned, kindness returned with terror, a stark rejection, and then a house in flames. And with that burning house burned all the love within this scarcely beating un-heart... all that love, burnt clean away, never to return! The middle story is of my creator, Victor Frankenstein: spoiled child, spoiled man, dreamer, visionary, coward; the foolish instrument of his own despair. A curse upon him, and a blessing, and a curse again! The outer layer is a story of wintry landscapes, an exploration of the icy reaches and the final doom of my creator. It is as well a tale of longing: for justice and for revenge, of course... but also for a companion, for a brother who can never be found. Alas, Captain Walton, a sensitive and lonely soul... I could have been your own brother, such was the depth of our shared yearnings... O wretched are those who walk the earth alone! My father and mother both: Victor Frankenstein. Curse the man who rejects his offspring! Curse the man who seeks to forget his own creation! I was the fruit of his mind and of his labors, born rotten, and thus cast away. The tale of my maker is the tale of a parent suddenly fearful of his young, terrified of what he has wrought. It is a tale of responsibility rejected. The record of his actions are of criminal neglect, of shameful weakness, of a man who lives so much in his thoughts that the world around him crumbles, and the people in that world become abused. My wretched self most of all! And yet I am more than his cast-out son. I am the Frankenstein's shadow self: capable of the sublime, yet enacting the abominable. What is dear to him shall be mine to destroy. His precious ideals shall be the instrument of his destruction. As he would embrace his youngest brother, his dearest friend, his beloved wife... so shall I! And as his shadow self, I will follow him as he will follow me, I will lead him to his destiny, on a terrible trail he has forged himself. I shall spare him, and all others, only the faintest pity... O wretched are those who cross my path! My story is not simply one of thoughtless cruelty or hideous revenge. It is also one of beauty, and of ugliness. Behold the many descriptions of the natural world, the myriad and vivid wonders of nature, of mountain and forest and lake and ocean. There is true beauty. It is a fact upon which we three - Victor Frankenstein and Captain Walton and I - are truly of one mind. In nature there is true transcendence! But alas, it is not simply nature that is judged as beauty, or as ugliness. Inspect the story closely. Note the good fortune of the child Elizabeth, raised in squalor and then lifted into comfort. Why was she so chosen? Because of her fortunate beauty, her golden hair... so different from the children around her, who remained in poverty. A typical act for the human species: forever embracing the fair and turning away from what their eyes call foul. Terrible human nature, that judges the surface alone. Study Victor's reactions to his professors, both steeped in wisdom: one kindly and elegant in appearance, the other misshapen and coarse... his fondness for the former and his displeasure with the latter. See Victor's uncaring and hysterical flight from his own child - myself! Watch his descent into illness at the mere idea of such ugliness. Witness the family De Lacey, and their rejection of one who sought only to ease their burdens, to bring their kindness back upon them - a being who only craved love! Myself! Again and again, the pleasant surface is favored over the ill-formed; the unknown depths to remain unknowable. Foolish humans - victims of their conceits, forever enchanted by what they call beauty. Foul and petty humans - they are villains of their own making. A curse upon them! And so rejected and abandoned, I shall bring ugliness back to their doorstep. I become nemesis; and shall live forever as your deadly child, a perilous inheritance, a nightmare of your own creation... O wretched are you all!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. Well, finally I read the original novel after watching infinite film adaptations, variations of the theme and even odd approaches to the topic. I was sure that I would enjoy a lot the novel but sadly, compelled to write an honest review, I have to say that barely I was able to give it a 3-star rating, that I think it's the fairest rating that I can give to the book. The original premise is astonishing, the following impact in popular culture is p Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful. Well, finally I read the original novel after watching infinite film adaptations, variations of the theme and even odd approaches to the topic. I was sure that I would enjoy a lot the novel but sadly, compelled to write an honest review, I have to say that barely I was able to give it a 3-star rating, that I think it's the fairest rating that I can give to the book. The original premise is astonishing, the following impact in popular culture is priceless and certainly the story "behind-of-the-scenes" of the creation of the novel is fascinating. However, the actual writing of the book is tedious, the narration style is odd and the rhythm of the story is too slow. THE GOOD The creation of life has been a subject that captured the imagination of man, along with the chance of beating death and/or getting back from the dead. Mary Shelley, the writer, was able to show an impressive premise that not only is one of the early instances of horror novels but also easily one of the first examples in science-fiction/steampunk works since the process to give "life" to The Creature is through science instead of recurring to magic or some kind or paranormal force. The socio-cultural impact of this novel has been monumental in all kind of media. Some remarkable examples are the 1931's film adaptation with Boris Karloff; the filmed sequel Bride of the Frankenstein of 1935, the 1974's fantastic parody Young Frankenstein with Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks and Peter Boyle; the 1985's twist movie The Bride with Sting and Jennifer Beals; the 1994's film adaptation with Robert De Niro; the two adaptations of Frankenweenie by Tim Burton in 1984 & 2012; and even the outstanding current TV series (2014- ) Penny Dreadful which includes this theme on its merged story. How the novel was created could be covered as a "reality TV show" nowadays: "So You Think You Write Horror: Pros versus Rookies"...watch it only here on GRTV!!! Since all began with a friendly contest, of who can write the best ghost story, between four friends: Percy Shelly (Mary's husband, a famous poet & novelist), Lord Byron (another famous poet), John Polidori and of course, Mary. And the winners are... The rookies!!! Since while Percy Shelley and Lord Byron were acomplished writers, they weren't able to come up with something to compete against Polidori's The Vampyre and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Also, there is the tale of how Mary Shelley came up with the basic idea of the book. She claimed that she had a dream showing the lab with the mad scientist giving life to a hideous creature through the power of a lightning. I won't question her version. I only want to point out the existence of an actual Frankenstein's Castle, located in a town of Germany where, besides several paranormal stories about it, there is a local rumour, that a fellow with the name of Johann Conrad Dippel was a supposed alchemist that created a monster using a bolf of lightning (Where did I heard something just like this? Where?!), even a related rumour tells that this legend was told to Mary's step-mother by none other that the very Grimm Brothers!!! (Ah? Ah?! Try to came up with a cooler legend!). However, Mary always declared that she wasn't aware of that castle and the legends tied to it. Let's take out the part of the step-mother and the Grimm Brothers. It's virtually impossible to believe that Mary Shelley never heard, in some way, about the existence of Frankenstein's Castle and the particular tale of Dippel. Without irrespecting the memory of Mary Shelley, this is just like the story of Diablo Cody, winner of an Oscar for Best "Original" Screenplay for the film Juno of 2007. The main theme of this film is about a teen pregancy. However, in 2005, there was a South Korean film titled Jenny, Juno that it was a romantic dramedy movie about teen pregnancy too. Diablo Cody declared that she never heard before of that South Korean film. Sure, because Juno is such a common name in America that it was an innocent coincidence. (By the way, Juno is the name's boyfriend in the South Korean's movie, instead of the female Juno performed by Ellen Page). American Juno and South Korean Jenny, Juno have totally different stories, different approaches to the subject and even different reactions to the event along with different endings. The only dang similarity is that both are about teen pregnancies. I am not accusing Diablo Cody of plagiarism. That's not the point. I only say that was so hard for her to admit that she watched or heard about the South Korean film and that gave her an inspiration for her own screenplay? In the same way, was so hard for Mary Shelley to admit that she got in contact in some way with the legend of Dippel and the Frankenstein's Castle and she used it as inspiration for her own original book? TIP: If you are using legends, books and/or movies as your own inspiration for your work... change the dang names!!! At least that will make harder to make the connections and even making a more plausible deniability!!! I could not understand why men who knew all about good and evil could hate and kill each other. THE BAD The writing of the book is tedious, or to be more accurate is a too slow burner that it took too much to get into the real story and even worse, once the "action" started, you have again intervals of tedium. It's indeed a roller coaster but in a bad sense, since you took too much time in the tedious way up and the moments of intensity are like split-seconds on the way down. The narration style is odd since the book begins with some letters written by a ship's captain, and the first four letters are boring filler stuff non-relevant to the actual story, and until the fifth letter the story really started. However, later of that, the narration changed to the "voice" of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, but again, our good mad scientist takes too much time to get to the point telling a lot of non-relevant boring details, even worse, it's told in the most tedious "tone of voice" that you can imagine. Without emotion or trying to entertain to the reader. The chapters of the Creature are more entertained but also, sometimes you wonder how possible is that this monster so submitted to rage and murder is able to articule so well his part of the story. So, between that the novel is slow burner, and the moments of real horror with awful deaths are so scarce and presented so quick that you can't even develop the proper emotion on that moments, I wasn't able to enjoy this book as I expected that I would. However, I can't deny the relevant place that this novel has in the history of literature and its impact in multiple ways of the spectrum. Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    I don’t really know what I was expecting – though ‘more’ comes to mind. Let’s start with what I liked about this book. I liked the idea that the monster is ‘made’ a monster by the treatment he receives from humanity. He is ugly and humanity does like to punish the ugly - this is a universal truth about us that in itself is also fairly ugly. The other thing I liked was that standard ploy of gothic novels – the multiple Chinese whisper narration. In this the story is all written in a series of lett I don’t really know what I was expecting – though ‘more’ comes to mind. Let’s start with what I liked about this book. I liked the idea that the monster is ‘made’ a monster by the treatment he receives from humanity. He is ugly and humanity does like to punish the ugly - this is a universal truth about us that in itself is also fairly ugly. The other thing I liked was that standard ploy of gothic novels – the multiple Chinese whisper narration. In this the story is all written in a series of letters and then continuous prose to the sister of a sea captain who hears the story on a journey to the North Pole from Frankenstein himself, even though much of the story is also told to Frankenstein by his monster. I do like stories like this -that are like Russian Dolls – where it is hard to tell who is telling the story and just how reliable they could be as a narrator. I'm not sure I would trust anything an adventurer sea captain told me about anything - and in the end he is the only source. Unfortunately, that is about all that I did like. I would have said I know this story well before I read the book. There have been endless films made of this story – so there are elements to the story that are etched into our collective memories. It comes then as a bit of a shock that many (most) of these elements are not in the story at all. No bolts in the neck, no Igor, no organ playing – isn’t it funny how all of these are so strongly associated with the monster and the story, when none of them are in the story at all? I guess that is yet another example of the power of images. The other difference is that in films the monster is a slow moving automaton, whereas in the book he is much swifter, stronger and agile than people. Frankenstein may not have made a very good looking monster, but in every other respect he did a much better job than God did. Frankenstein is a very fast learner - he learns to speak in less than a year. And given the poverty of instruction Chomsky would really be proud! Coincidences rarely work in fiction – and while they bring delight when they happen in life, in fiction they tend to stop us in our wilful suspension of disbelief. As Frank Smith points out somewhere – we don’t find it hard to suspend disbelief, it is something we quite like to do. The problem is that this story seems to go out of its way to make us do tutting noises at the improbabilities and constantly strained plotting twists. My problem was that many of these weren’t really necessary to the story itself. You know, hint - if telling me something silly isn't going to improve the story, don't tell me something silly. I thought there were some interesting comments about the obligations Gods have to their creations. In this case the ‘god’ is the scientist. He spends most of his time swooning – it seemed the slightest problem has him rushing to his bed for months on end. A friend dies and he is almost at death's door himself. About the only things he never did was tear at either his hair or his clothes – but that is hardly high praise. I guess I’m supposed to say that in these days of genetic engineering and such this is a tale more cautionary now than when it was originally written – but I won’t say that because it is too boring and too obvious. If it is horror you want, Stephen King is much more frightening, never tells you how scared you are supposed to feel at any given moment in the story and is basically a better writer. But this is a seminal horror story, so I guess for that reason alone…

  19. 4 out of 5

    Praveen

    Goodreads, Oct 20, 20__ TO Mr. Frankenstein, "Oh, Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me." Dear Frankenstein !  When your monster said these lines in the last, I asked myself also why did you behold the accomplishment of your toil on that dreary night of November ! Yes ! He repented ! ..But your creation did not remorse before he had urged his diabolical vengeance to such an extremity. What a wonderful man you were, Frankenstein !  So ambitio Goodreads, Oct 20, 20__ TO Mr. Frankenstein, "Oh, Frankenstein! Generous and self-devoted being! What does it avail that I now ask thee to pardon me." Dear Frankenstein !  When your monster said these lines in the last, I asked myself also why did you behold the accomplishment of your toil on that dreary night of November ! Yes ! He repented ! ..But your creation did not remorse before he had urged his diabolical vengeance to such an extremity. What a wonderful man you were, Frankenstein !  So ambitious, sharp and determined. How wonderfully you created, one day, such an animated creature from lifeless matter. you became the creator that day ! What had been the study and desire of the wisest men since the creation of the world was now within your grasp. You perfectly knew then that the real elixir of life was chimera ! You felt exquisite pleasure dwelling on the recollection of your childhood, of your knowledge and invention, of your adventure, of your grief, of your fear and of your remorse.  When I was listening to you, I thought of you as the most sagacious researcher of your time. But when I started  listening to the evolutionary saga from the mouth of your own creation, I doubted your being the best mind of your time. The powers of learning and more explicitly of deceiving, of your creation,were far ahead of you. When a strong multiplicity of sensation seized your monster and he saw, felt,smelled and heard at the same time, I was also pressed upon by a strong light on my imaginative nerves at that very same moment. When your monster unsuccessfully tried to imitate the pleasant songs of birds, the uncouth and inarticulate sounds which broke from him frightened me as well. From his hovel, where he lived secretly for a long time,watching cottagers, learning human emotions,name of cottagers,the language and then about slothful Asiatics, wars of Romans and stupendous genius of Grecians, I tried to recollect the beginning of my existence as if I too had learned such things in similar fashion. Your monster made me curious about the Werter's imaginations of despondency and about the high thoughts of Plutarch from whom he learned such traits ! Finally, I too felt my flesh tingled with excess of sensitiveness and my pulse beat rapidly, though not as rapidly as yours, every time, when your monster came out of his hide to present himself. Though you had benevolent intentions towards humankind, but how terrible it turned out to be ! “Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on the rock. I wished sometimes to shake off all thought and feeling, but I learned that there was but one means to overcome the sensation of pain, and that was death—a state which I feared yet did not understand" Your affectionate reader, ------------------------------------------- I loved beautiful writing of Shelley in this book. You may be aware about the story, but I think she deserves the reading of this wonderful piece of fantasy and science fiction work and when you know that she wrote this novel in her early twenties, your admiration for her writing will enhance for sure. It is written in a very unique style and I liked the way, first few letters started the story and then it was ended in a similar fashion.  Multi layered narration, all perfectly synchronized with one another, makes it a nice reading experience. The natural imagery in the exploration in the North Sea region, Arctic ice and narrator's delightful and full of warmth relations with his family and friends will touch you. The portrayal of devil is extraordinarily plotted in two entirely opposite ways. Some time he will frighten you through his corpse like hideous horror and at some places you will be filled with compassion towards this wretch monster. “I endeavored to crush these fears and to fortify myself for the trial which in a few months I resolved to undergo; and sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abandoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him"  So a very nice piece of work !

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    “Die ich rief, die Geister, Werd ich nun nicht los!” Goethe’s Zauberlehrling (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) experiences a deluge of misery when he tries to imitate the magic of his master, and to set the world in motion himself. Starting out with childish and irresponsible experimental joy, he is lost until the sorcerer comes home and uses his superior magic to restore order. Frankenstein, unfortunately, does not have a superior power to rely on when he sets free a creature of his own immature image “Die ich rief, die Geister, Werd ich nun nicht los!” Goethe’s Zauberlehrling (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) experiences a deluge of misery when he tries to imitate the magic of his master, and to set the world in motion himself. Starting out with childish and irresponsible experimental joy, he is lost until the sorcerer comes home and uses his superior magic to restore order. Frankenstein, unfortunately, does not have a superior power to rely on when he sets free a creature of his own immature image, and he fails miserably in the second stage of scientific innovation: responsible, reflective and mature behaviour towards the creation. What could be more urgently contemporary than Mary Shelley’s short ghost story, created in an environment of intellectual and literary stimulation of giant proportions, 200 years ago, and so important still? Frankenstein represents a new kind of human creator, acting alone, and driven solely by ambition to surpass other human beings in inventiveness and power, but without the love and affection that is still expressed in the Pygmalion myth that was popular in the 18th century. Pointing towards the bleak science fiction of Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, it tells the story of human hubris and carelessness and its bitter consequences. When did Frankenstein fail as an inventor and human being? When he gave his creature giant proportions? When he failed to educate and nurture it? When he ran away and abandoned it? When he refused to support its need for a companion? Or when he failed to own up to his own part in the erupting violence, and did not act to stop it instead of fainting and hiding in passive, delirious illness? When he egotistically misinterpreted the creature’s vengeance to be focused only on his person alone, and not on what he had denied it: the beloved companion? When he let an innocent girl be executed for a murder he knew to have been committed by his creature? The long list of Frankenstein’s failures as a human being can be continued, and the only question that remains is how he could possibly have expected his creature to be more mature than himself? In a way, the creature actually surpassed its creator, for its first steps in the world were filled with optimistic curiosity and love. It eagerly learned the rules of the world, observed the mechanisms of language and schooled itself with admirable perseverance, to the point of being able to ask the question of the meaning of life, reflecting on the different layers of the human condition through the lens of excellent writers such as Plutarch, Goethe and Milton. Rejection and isolation were the triggers of its violence, and scarily reminiscent of the despair that drives people to revolution, according to Camus’ history of L'homme révolté. In Frankenstein’s monster, we find rebellion against a creator, and against a prejudiced and unjust society, as well as artistic rebellion against the traditional rules of creation. Out of control, miserable, lost in eternal ice, the show-down between creator and creation leaves no room for hope, except in the balanced character of the witness Walton, who sets a humane example by sacrificing his scientific ambition and dream of glory for the safety of the sailors that are dependent on him, and whose lives he cannot risk and keep a calm conscience. Absolutely glorious story! Must-read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    If you have not read the book, then you do not know Frankenstein or his monster. Certainly, there is a creature in our modern mythology which bears that name, but he bears strikingly little resemblance to the original. It is the opposite with Dracula, where, if you have seen the films, you know the story. Indeed, there is a striking similarity between nearly all the Dracula films, the same story being told over and over again: Harker, bug-eating Renfield, doting Mina, the seduction of Lucy, Dr. V If you have not read the book, then you do not know Frankenstein or his monster. Certainly, there is a creature in our modern mythology which bears that name, but he bears strikingly little resemblance to the original. It is the opposite with Dracula, where, if you have seen the films, you know the story. Indeed, there is a striking similarity between nearly all the Dracula films, the same story being told over and over again: Harker, bug-eating Renfield, doting Mina, the seduction of Lucy, Dr. Van Helsing, the sea voyage from Varna, the great decaying estate--it's all there, in both book and cultural myth. Even the lines tend to recur, as almost every retelling has some version of the famed "I never drink--wine." But think of Frankenstein's story, the moments that define it: the mountain castle, the corpse-thieving, the hunch-backed assistant, the silently shambling monster, the pitchfork-wielding mob, the burning windmill--none of these things appear in the original story. The first puzzlement comes when the story begins on a swift ship in the arctic, told in letters between the captain and his beloved sister. The structure of the story as it follows is, in many ways, not ideal. It is not streamlined, focused, or particularly believable. It seems that every picturesque cabin in the woods is inhabited by fallen nobility, that every criminal trial is undertaken on false pretenses to destroy some innocent person, that an eight-foot-tall monstrosity can live in your woodshed for a year without being noticed, and that that same monstrosity can learn to be fluent and even eloquent in both speaking and reading an unknown language merely by watching its use. The style itself is ponderous and florid, as Shelley ever is, which is fine when she has some interesting idea to communicate, but bothersome when she finds herself vacillating--which is often, since our hero, the good doctor, is constantly sitting about, thinking about what he might do next, and usually, avoiding actually doing anything. I understand the deep conflict within him, but it might have been more effective to actually see him act on some of his momentary urges before switching instead of letting it all play out in his head. But then, it's hard to think of him as the hero, anyways, since his activities tend to be so destructive to everyone around him. Sure, he is aware of this tendency--hyper-aware, really--and constantly blames himself, but he doesn't come across as especially sympathetic. The monster, on the other hand, is truly naive and hopeless, unable to change his fate though he often tries to do so, while the doctor tends to avoid doing anything that might improve the situation. There is a very Greek sense of tragedy at hand, in that we have a man who, though combined action and inaction, drives himself inevitably to utter ruin. As Edith Hamilton defines it, tragedy is a terrible event befalling someone who has such deep capacity for emotion that they are able to recognize and feel every awful moment, and Dr. Frankenstein certainly has this capacity. In fact, he seems to have an overabundance of such feeling, to the point that he spends most of his time wallowing and declaring his woe--which is not always endearing. But the tragedy remains the most interesting and engaging part of the book, overcoming the sometimes repetitive details of the story. It is an entwined tragedy, a double tragedy between the man and his creation, and it's never quite clear who is at fault, who is the villain, and who is the wretch. The roles are often traded from moment to moment, and there is no simple answer to wrap up the conflict. Of course, the classic reading of this is an exploration of the relationship between man and his universe (often personified by 'god'). As human beings, we see our lives as a narrative, ourselves as the hero, and we look for villains to blame for our short-comings. the way Shelley lets this story play out between these two entangled lives, each justifying himself and blaming the other for every hardship forces the reader to look at how he does the same thing in every day of his own life. Looking at the tale as it is presented, it is easy to read Dr. Frankenstein as the figure of 'god', the creator and authority, the author of life. We see the monster's pain and suffering and on one hand, it is all the result of his being created in the first place, and of his creator not planning well enough. But beyond that, there are also the actions and choices the monster makes that make him a monster--his own will. But I began to look at it in the opposite way: the doctor creates a monster for which he can blame all of his problems, a force which dictates every moment of his life, which causes all of his pains, which haunts him, powerful and unseen, at every moment. Frankenstein has created a god. He has made a force which can lord over him, a god which resembles man, only more powerful, indestructible, inescapable, terrible. In the end, who is the real 'modern Prometheus'? For almost the entire book, the only person who ever sees the monster is the doctor himself, and since the doctor is present for all of the killings, it isn't hard to interpret this story as the self-justification of a madman: the doctor, himself, could be doing all of the killings, causing all of the malice, and then explaining it away as the acts of a horrific creature that only he can see, that only he can speak to. However, I am not willing to carry this 'unreliable narrator' reading to its bitter end, since the story itself does not quite support it--but the fact that the monster can almost be read this way intensifies to the degree to which it is a story of two intertwined egos, each one blaming the other, like so many toxic relationships between people, or even between one half of a troubled mind and the other. But for all that the core idea of the story is strong and thought-provoking, it is still long-winded, unfocused, and repetitive. It is certainly impressive for the first novel of a nineteen-year-old, and demonstrates splendid imagination, but it does not benefit from her literary affectations. However, her style is still thoughtful and refined, unlike the halting half-measures of Stoker's small-minded Dracula , there is a great expanse here, a wide vista which well-reflects the Victorian artist's obsession with the horror of 'the sublime'.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Thank you to my friend Matthew for this wonderful book & my Deadpool for our partner gift giving! A great book and wonderful cover! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Published first in 1818, and again in an altered form in 1831, Frankenstein at its core is a story about the breakdown of sympathy: both versions of the gothic thriller associate the source of oppressive bonds and human misery with the inability to take pity upon another body's suffering. The novel's lush descriptions, ornate sentences, and sensational plot obscure the fact that it consists of three interwoven main narratives that all end in isolation, namely Walton's letters to his sister and t Published first in 1818, and again in an altered form in 1831, Frankenstein at its core is a story about the breakdown of sympathy: both versions of the gothic thriller associate the source of oppressive bonds and human misery with the inability to take pity upon another body's suffering. The novel's lush descriptions, ornate sentences, and sensational plot obscure the fact that it consists of three interwoven main narratives that all end in isolation, namely Walton's letters to his sister and the stories of Frankenstein and the monster. After listening to Frankenstein's self-centered tale, the friendless Walton loses hope in his expedition, decides to return home, and ceases to write to his sister; Frankenstein stops talking and dies, as the culmination of a life spent pursuing only his self-interest; the monster is rejected by all and left on his own. Walton and the monster fail to receive the sympathy they long for, whereas Frankenstein is incapable of thinking of anyone but himself. In each case, though, the failure to maintain a sympathetic bond with another being—intimately tied to an adverse reaction to the abnormal or marked body—leads to the character's physical or emotional death. The novel seems less about the so-called dangers of science, then, and more about the perils of social callousness, as personified in the character of Frankenstein himself.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    WOW. One of the most powerful books I have ever read that speaks so much about compassion and humanity. I feel on the verge of tears, it was so moving. This is like Phantom of the Opera times a thousand. And I love POTO.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    An annual re-read worth reviewing once again. Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein poses less the spooky and bone-chilling tale that it has received in subsequent permutations, but rather serves more as a warning in regards to scientific exploration. The novel opens with a set of letters by Captain Robert Walton to his sister back in England. Captain Walton is travelling through the Arctic to further his scientific appetite. The captain and crew notice a large creature travelling over the ice and An annual re-read worth reviewing once again. Mary Shelley’s story of Frankenstein poses less the spooky and bone-chilling tale that it has received in subsequent permutations, but rather serves more as a warning in regards to scientific exploration. The novel opens with a set of letters by Captain Robert Walton to his sister back in England. Captain Walton is travelling through the Arctic to further his scientific appetite. The captain and crew notice a large creature travelling over the ice and eventually stumble upon a nearly frozen Victor Frankenstein, who tells the story of his scientific struggles and tries to dissuade Walton from any such pursuits. From there, the narrative shifts to Frankenstein’s story, who was encouraged by his parents to explore the world of science and nature. Armed with the knowledge of the ancient natural philosophers, he takes this passion with him to university in Germany, where he is introduced to more modern ways of thinking. Grief befalls Frankenstein after his mother’s death and he turns to science to assuage him, discovering how to bring the electricity of life to that lacking its spark. Creating a being in secret, Frankenstein soon sees that it has gone horribly wrong, both the physical appearance of this eight-foot behemoth (tempered with translucent skin and pulsing veins) and the decision to play God. Frankenstein rages against his creation and flees for the city, only to return and see that the being has fled the confines of his flat. Frankenstein becomes ill and recuperates over a four-month period before returning to his native Geneva. Upon his arrival, he discovers that his younger brother has been killed. Frankenstein sees the tell-tale signs of his creation having strangled the young boy, though the crime is saddled upon a nanny and she is executed by hanging. Full of guilt, Frankenstein chases his creature and learns of the personal journey ‘he’ had over their time apart. The creature tells of how he learned the nuances of language and speech, the complexities of emotion as well as discovering of his hideous appearance. The creature vows to ruin the life of his creator unless he is gifted with a female companion. Frankenstein ponders this and promises to make one, having been threatened with more personal anguish if he fails. Frankenstein travels to the far reaches of Scotland to begin his work, eyed by the creature from afar. When Frankenstein has a final epiphany that his hands can create nothing but increased terror, he disposes with his experiment, knowing the consequences. More agony befalls Frankenstein, who seeks to destroy his creation once and for all. By the end, the story returns to Captain Walton’s ship and a dramatic set of events which solidifies the story’s underlying thread once and for all. A brilliant piece that is full of social commentary and much foreboding as it relates to science. Shelley’s original is less spooky than it is chilling for her thematic messaging. A wonderful read for those who like a good challenge. Deemed the first ever piece of science fiction, Shelley’s story tell of the downsides of playing God with human life and creation. The themes that emanate from the story at hand are numerous and thought provoking. The reader can easily get lost in the narrative and its linguistic nuances, but it is the characters and their messages that permeate the text. Victor Frankenstein and his creature prove to be two very interesting and yet contrasting characters, developed primarily through their individual narratives. Frankenstein is the bright-eyed scientific mind who seeks to alter the path of events by imbuing something of his own making with life, only to discover that thought and reality do not mesh. On the other hand, the creature tells of a struggle to find ‘himself’ and suffers through the reality beset upon him, forced to learn to adapt under the most problematic circumstances. The plethora of other characters develop and support these two, with Captain Walton playing an interesting, yet seemingly background, role in the entire narrative. The attentive reader will see that this original piece lacks the ‘Hollywood’ flavour that has been placed upon it, where crowds with torches chase the protagonists and lightning is used to jolt the creature to life from his metal bolts in the neck. Instead, it is a piece of social commentary that prefers to scare in its foreboding and provides a much more academic approach than might be suspected by the unknowing reader. I was pleased with the novel and all it had to offer. I am sure it will provide a wonderful soapbox for those who wish to open a discussion on the matter. I would welcome it. Kudos, Madam Shelley, for this wonderful piece. That you started it at the ripe age of eighteen baffles and impresses me. I will be adding this to my annual late October reading list! Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Victor Frankenstein, the discouraged scientist reveals his horrific secrets on board a ship exploring the Arctic Ocean (The old dream of a northwest passage), being rescued from an ice flow, he fears that no one will believe his story of creating a "monster", that viciously kills in the late 1700's ...who would ? At first the leader of the rugged crew the skeptical Captain Robert Walton, thinks Frankenstein is insane, after all, Victor was found with a dog sled in the middle of the rough, angry Victor Frankenstein, the discouraged scientist reveals his horrific secrets on board a ship exploring the Arctic Ocean (The old dream of a northwest passage), being rescued from an ice flow, he fears that no one will believe his story of creating a "monster", that viciously kills in the late 1700's ...who would ? At first the leader of the rugged crew the skeptical Captain Robert Walton, thinks Frankenstein is insane, after all, Victor was found with a dog sled in the middle of the rough, angry sea, what was he doing there ? However the sailor has a kind heart and softens, he listens politely...Born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland to a good family, he Victor Frankenstein attends the University in Ingolstadt, Bavaria (Germany). Studying chemistry , the gifted young man soon becomes the top student in school, even more amazingly surpassing the professors, who are surprised to say the least by his great ability. Frankenstein gets the bright idea, it will cause unforeseen difficulties in the future, to bring to life a new man, out of different body parts (The first mad scientist in history). Still getting cold feet when the dead creature unbelievably comes alive, the petrified Victor runs away like a coward, not caring of the consequences to others, their safety is not important ...just his . When Frankenstein nerves calm down, he finally returns and the monster is gone...Months...slowly pass ...but when a member of his family is brutally murdered, Frankenstein knows who is responsible. The conscience - stricken gentleman has no choice , meeting the frightening, ugly, hideous looking abomination on top of a cold glacier, Victor's creation demands that he make a female for the lonely "man", he seems to agree, if he wants to live. Later traveling with his good friend Henry Clerval on a leisurely trip through Europe not for pleasure , but in order to forget , they finally stop on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. Sending the very reluctant Henry away and getting back to business, he has a lot of hard work to do . A new atrocity , to create, a female, nevertheless Frankenstein has many second thoughts...Does he really want a new tribe of monstrous people, all butchers, capable of taking over the entire world. Yet the problem is that Frankenstein's fiend has threatened to destroy his whole family, if he doesn't comply with his request, make that demand. What would you do ? The first modern science-fiction book written in the early 19th century , 1818, still entertains, Mary Shelley was 21 and began the story as a teenager, a talented woman shows the boys how it's done and the rest is history...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    LA MELODIA DEL DOLORE Sono passati duecento anni, due secoli tra questo 2018 e quella notte del 1818. Sono la tua creatura, ricordalo: avrei dovuto essere il tuo Adamo, e sono invece l’angelo caduto che tu hai allontanato dalla gioia senza colpa alcuna da parte sua. Ecco il primo Frankenstein della storia del cinema: 1910, è un cortometraggio muto, americano, regia di James Searley Dawley. Non si può dire che Mary Shelley sia nata sotto i migliori auspici. Figlia dei due più grandi uomini del loro te LA MELODIA DEL DOLORE Sono passati duecento anni, due secoli tra questo 2018 e quella notte del 1818. Sono la tua creatura, ricordalo: avrei dovuto essere il tuo Adamo, e sono invece l’angelo caduto che tu hai allontanato dalla gioia senza colpa alcuna da parte sua. Ecco il primo Frankenstein della storia del cinema: 1910, è un cortometraggio muto, americano, regia di James Searley Dawley. Non si può dire che Mary Shelley sia nata sotto i migliori auspici. Figlia dei due più grandi uomini del loro tempo (definizione che credo sia di Mario Praz), la madre Mary Wollstonecraft, probabilmente la prima femminista della storia, e il padre William Godwin, intellettuale e filosofo radicale, la futura signora Shelley nacque il 30 agosto al posto del figlio maschio che era atteso e per il quale era già pronto il nome di William junior. Il 30 agosto venne alla luce Mary, la madre si ammalò, dieci giorni di febbre, e, il 10 settembre morì. Segno indelebile sulla piccola Mary che probabilmente da questo momento acquistò la predisposizione al dolore e la sensibilità esasperata. Una storia più romantica d’ogni possibile romanzo, come Mary stessa definì la sua vita. Sembra che ogni giorno si recasse sulla tomba della madre: a piangere, ma a sedici anni anche a promettere amore eterno al suo principe, o meglio, al suo poeta azzurro, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Dieci anni dopo, 1920, sempre epoca di cinema muto, il primo Frankenstein italiano: la regia è di Eugenio Testa, Umberto Guarracino interpreta il Mostro (questo è l’unico fotogramma sopravvissuto del film). Per continuare sul terreno fecondo alla sua narrativa impregnata di sorrowful mood, Mary a 19 anni ha già perso la prima figlia, dopo solo un mese dalla nascita; partorisce un maschio, che muore a tre anni; ha un’altra femmina, che muore a un anno. Più o meno nello stesso periodo, la sorella maggiore Fanny, figlia di padre diverso, si suicida con il laudano. Nel giro di poco si suicida anche la prima moglie di Shelley, preparando così la strada al matrimonio tra la scrittrice e il poeta. Mary riuscì a seppellire anche il suo amato Percy, che morì annegato. Il Frankenstein che ha cambiato la storia: 1931, regia di James Whale, così appare Boris Karloff nei panni della creatura dopo quattro ore quotidiane di trucco. Da qui in avanti l’aspetto fisico del mostro si rifarà a questo modello. È proprio in questo arco di tempo, segnato da morte e suicidio (tutte morti premature, se esiste un tipo di morte che non lo sia), che Mary Shelley partorisce il suo romanzo più famoso, Frankenstein, or, the modern Prometheus, tra il 1816 e il 1817, tra i diciannove e i venti anni (fu pubblicato nel 1818). La genesi è aneddoto piuttosto noto: Mary è convinta da sua sorella Claire (Clairmont: stessa madre ma padre differente), che all’epoca era l’amate di Lord Byron, a seguirla a Ginevra dove affittano Villa Diodati. La comitiva è composta da Mary e Shelley, Claire e Byron, il medico e scrittore John Polidori. Tempo piovoso, fu l’anno definito “senza estate”, gli amici leggono molto, soprattutto storie tedesche di fantasmi e il Paradiso Perduto di John Milton. Alla fine (solo tre giorni), Mary produce il Frankenstein, Byron frammenti di un romanzo, e Polidori Il Vampiro, il primo vampiro moderno. Il romanzo di Polidori fu scritto contemporaneamente a quello della Shelley. Si direbbe che Mary tolga la vita a chi la genera (la morte di parto di sua madre) e generi chi in vita non sa restare (i tre figli): nascere è direttamente collegato al morire, che col Frankenstein diventa assassinio. E Mary si sente contemporaneamente sia il creatore Frankenstein che la mostruosa creatura: Victor Frankenstein, lo scienziato e costruttore impegnato a riprodurre la vita (dalla morte, servendosi di parti di persone già morte) rifiuta la creatura che ha messo al mondo, e la creatura rifiutata si trasforma in agente di distruzione e morte, con metodo, ostinazione, e si direbbe quasi passione, si impegna a distruggere la famiglia del suo autore. Nel senso che, se la famiglia non lo vuole, il neonato (di dimensioni e proporzioni mostruose) eliminerà la famiglia. La versione cinematografica che trovo più prossima al romanzo della Shelley è questa, del 1994: regia di Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro interpreta la mostruosa creatura. Viene da rintracciare una genesi del pensiero materno in materia di femminilità nel rifiuto della creatura al momento del concepimento: invece di provare affetto in qualche modo ‘paterno’, Frankenstein classifica la sua creazione come mostruosa sulla base del solo aspetto fisico e la respinge immediatamente (rifiuta, rinnega…). Eppure il ‘neonato’ non può essere malvagio fin dal primo momento, non può essere nato cattivo. Kenneth Branagh, regista e interprete, nei panni (pantaloni) del dottor Victor Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein, medico e scienziato, è il moderno Prometeo: che ruba il fuoco della vita, ruba la vita alla stessa morte: la materia morta si trasforma in energia viva. Orrenda metamorfosi! Ma se è Frankenstein a sfidare dio, è sulla creatura che si scatena la punizione divina! È la stessa Shelley a essere, per così dire, schizofrenica con i suoi due personaggi: per quanto il lettore dovrebbe tifare in automatico per la creatura che è innocente, è una tabula rasa, dato che è appena nata, e certo non responsabile della sua nascita (come non lo è nessun figlio), la Shelley ci spinge (forse perfino di più) a prendere le parti del dottor Frankenstein, ci vuol convincere che la creatura è un mostro prima di tutto per il suo aspetto fisico (brutta, antiestetica). Jekyll e Hyde con settanta anni d’anticipo. Ed ecco qui a confronto la creatura e il suo creatore, Frankenstein/Branagh e Mostro/De Niro. Ma è un mostro umano, probabilmente il primo, e sin dalla sua prima apparizione il terrore si mescola alla compassione, perché la Creatura, che ruba il nome al suo creatore diventando Frankenstein tout court, è da subito un infelice, una vittima, un diverso, qualcuno con cui possiamo identificarci. Talmente umano da diventare sovrumano: la sua dimensione sessuale è elemento di curiosità e attrazione, almeno sullo schermo. Si pensi a Udo Kier che si accoppia con Dalila Di Lazzaro in Il mostro è in tavola, barone Frankenstein prodotto da Andy Warhol, oppure ad Aldo Maccione macho trash in Frankenstein all’italiana, al Frank’n’Further in guêpière e paillettes in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, o al tenerissimo mostro creatura di Mel Brooks dotato di grosso schwanzstuck. Tutti gli uomini odiano gli sciagurati. Quanto allora devo essere odiato io, di gran lunga il più miserabile tra gli esseri viventi. Pure tu, mio creatore, detesti e disprezzi me, tua creatura, a cui sei legato da vincoli che solo l’annientamento di uno di noi può sciogliere. Non poteva mancare il capolavoro, “Frankenstein jr” di Mel Brooks (1974). Qui, Aigor “appena morto”. PS I film dove compare Frankenstein, o meglio, la sua creatura, il Mostro, sono decine, io ne ho contati oltre settanta, incluse le parodie (su tutte, Frankenstein Jr), i cross-over (Frankenstein contro l’Uomo Lupo) , le parodie cross-over (Fracchia contro Dracula). Creatore e creatura, padre e figlio, Gene Wilder e Peter Boyle.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    It is almost a pity that the story of Frankenstein is so well known because far too many people neglect to bother reading Mary Shelley’s novel under the assumption that they already know the story. This is a shame because Frankenstein is beautifully written, very dark and scary but also quite poignant. Most people have an image of Frankenstein’s Monster as a shambling massive thing with bolts on its neck, going around mumbling GAAHHH GAAAAAH!!! and snapping people’s necks because that is how he It is almost a pity that the story of Frankenstein is so well known because far too many people neglect to bother reading Mary Shelley’s novel under the assumption that they already know the story. This is a shame because Frankenstein is beautifully written, very dark and scary but also quite poignant. Most people have an image of Frankenstein’s Monster as a shambling massive thing with bolts on its neck, going around mumbling GAAHHH GAAAAAH!!! and snapping people’s necks because that is how he rolls. Some people even call the Monster “Frankenstein” which is really a faux pas as that is the name of Victor Frankenstein who created him (though if things had turned out differently and Victor had adopted The Monster as a family member then he would have been rightly called Mr. Frankenstein!). What happens to Victor’s nearest and dearest is quite horrifying even though all the violence happen “off screen” in that the Monster’s murderous rampage is not described in the narrative, the reader is only shown the final result. Somehow this makes the story even more believable and creepy. Classic illustration by Theodor von Holst, pilfered from Wikipedia The way I see it the real monster of the story is Victor, not The Monster. Imagine how things would have worked out if, instead of making a run for it when the Monster wakes up, he welcomes The Monster into the world, make him a nice cuppa tea, and help him to find a place in society. If he is really so ugly just buy him a mask and a hat or something. His reaction also seems to be illogical, while he was stitching the Monster together he must have noticed how fugly the poor thing looks, how is it that he only realizes it as the thing was waking up? How the Monster learns to speak, read and write entirely from observing some neighbors is also not quite believable, it reminds me of Tarzan figuring out how to read all by himself in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes; rather preposterous. That said Mary Shelly’s prose is so beautifully written I was quite willing to suspend disbelief. Victor is an obsessed mad scientist who runs away from his responsibility and in spite of advance warnings still endangered his family and friends. The Monster is surprisingly eloquent in his speech and comes across as very pitiful and poorly treated by everyone he come across; by his “father” most of all. One point he often comes back to is that he never asked to be born and that if he can not get the love he yearns for he will take revenge as a substitute: "Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live? Why, in that instant, did I not extinguish the spark of existence which you had so wantonly bestowed.” “There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge the other.” Poor bastard. There are myriad themes in this book, but the most salient one for me is prejudice based on physical appearances. The Monster wants to be loved and accepted can only take so many rejections and abuse before he goes berserk. Victor gave him life but denies him everything else, he is the real villain of the piece. Mary’s Shelly’s prose is lyrical to the point of being flowery at times. Besides being a morality tale Frankenstein is also a prototype science fiction book, it is amazing that it is written by the wife of a famous poet. It is a terrible shame that she did not write more novels of this kind. Children may find the language a little too flowery and the narrative does go to some very dark places. However, I would recommend this book to just about everybody else. Certainly I would like to read it again one day. Notes: • This book was “listened to” in audiobook format, nicely and graciously read by Caden Vaughn Clegg for Librivox.org (free public domain audiobooks). Thank you sir! (Download link) • Paul McGuigan, the director of Victor Frankenstein (2015), said that Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is "as dull as dishwater", what this indicates to me is that McGuigan has no understanding of subtlety or nuances. The simple fact that he made a movie based on a book he neither fully understand or respects is enough for me to avoid it like the plague. • On a similar note. The Sun (UK tabloid) accuses snowflakes of misunderstanding Frankenstein – while misunderstanding it itself. Graphic novel cover

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    A great read! highly recommended! Stephen King in his Danse Macabre novel mentions this as one of three essential horror classics, he says they are ' The Vampire (Dracula), the Werewolf (Jekyl and Hyde) and the thing with no name (Frankenstein).' The book is so much better than what the movie has tried to communicate. Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who is a brilliant scientist with an obsession tries to play God, by creating a living human being all by himself. But all does not go to plan when the crea A great read! highly recommended! Stephen King in his Danse Macabre novel mentions this as one of three essential horror classics, he says they are ' The Vampire (Dracula), the Werewolf (Jekyl and Hyde) and the thing with no name (Frankenstein).' The book is so much better than what the movie has tried to communicate. Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who is a brilliant scientist with an obsession tries to play God, by creating a living human being all by himself. But all does not go to plan when the creation turns out to be not quite what he wanted. Frankenstein is terrified and rejects his creation, here's where the Gothic tale becomes a true literary work of art. What follows is the tragedy of a creature created by the arrogance and ambition of one man, an ugly yet fully human being. The monster is not good nor bad he's just plain human. What he needs is affection, love and understanding. His ugliness and clumsiness presents a problem as none is willing to approach him, he scares the hell out of everybody. First, he is sad, then, he is enraged. Here's where the real monster is created by the hatred and frivolity of other humans. A true Gothic masterpiece, this novel is unforgettable for its message, its depth, and especially for its environment and mood. It is all dark, all cold, all terrifying and all moving. The true monsters are the others, not Frankenstein's creature. His wanderings around the world is a wonderful work of horror literature. Don't miss this great book written in one night by Mary Wollstonecraft, the young wife of poet Percy Shelley. Also @ webpage here An Image of the Author.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a grotesque, sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edi Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley (1797–1851) that tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a grotesque, sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in France in 1823. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هشتم دسامبر سال 1995 میلادی؛ تاریخ خوانش دوم: نوزدهم نوامیر سال 2011 میلادی عنوان: فرانکشتاین؛ مری شلی؛ مترجم: جعفر مدرس صادقی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1374؛ متن کوتاه شده در 224 ص؛ شابک: 9643051064؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی سده 19 م مترجم: محسن سلیمانی؛ تهران؛ قدیانی، چاپ چهارم 1392؛ در 326 ص؛ شابک: 9789645366184 عنوان: فرانکنشتاین یا پرومته نوین؛ نویسنده: مری شلی؛ مترجم: کاظم فیروزمند؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، چاپ دوم 1389؛ در 262 ص؛ شابک: 9789642131037؛ فرانکنشتاین دانشمند جوانی ست جاه‌ طلب و جویای نام، که جانوری زنده به شکل انسان و با ابعاد کمی بزرگ‌تر از یک آدم معمولی و با ریخت و قیافه‌ ای زشت و مخوف می‌سازد؛ که همه، از جمله سازنده‌ اش، از دست او و شرارت‌هایش می‌گریزند. اما به تدریج خود آن هیولا به فرانکشتاین معروف شده، و این نام، اسم عامی شده، برای مخلوقات ویرانگری که از اختیار آفریننده‌ ی خویش نیز، خارج میشوند، و حتی خالقشان نیز توان مهار نیروی مخرب آنها را ندارد. مری شلی، نویسنده‌ ی این اثر، همسر شلی، شاعر بزرگ رمانتیک انگلیسی بودند، و رمان‌های دیگری نیز بنوشتند، اما تنها همین اثر ایشان بود که شهرت ماندگار و جهانگیر یافت. امید که فرصتی دست دهد تا مشخصات ترجمه ها و ناشران دیگر این کتاب را نیز گرد آورم. ا. شربیانی

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