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by Mary Shelley

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Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by Mary Shelley about a monster produced by an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published…  See more details below


Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel written by Mary Shelley about a monster produced by an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.

Shelley had travelled the region in which the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her future husband, Percy. The storyline emerged from a dream. Mary, Percy, Lord Byron, and John Polidori decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made. She then wrote Frankenstein.

Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story, because unlike in previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. The story is partially based on Giovanni Aldini's electrical experiments on dead and (sometimes) living animals and was also a warning against the expansion of modern humans in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in its subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. It has had a considerable influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films.

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Frankenstein 4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 1026 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very misunderstood story that sparked a concept that took on a life of it's own. There is no scary castle, no hunchback, or villigars with pitch forks! It is a story not about a monster but about what could happen when man kind tries to play creator. You end up feeling sorry for the creature.
jenmaynard More than 1 year ago
Often considered the first science fiction novel, Mary Shelley had the creative spark for Frankenstein at the age of 18 and first published it as a 22-year-old. A story inspired by other gothic writings, contemporary scientific theories, and by tragedies in her own life (the death of her young child, a father who had disowned her), not to mention her poet husband Percy Shelley (who would drown the following year) and the philosophies of other poets in her young and influential circle of friends, this novel is a thought-provoking and ground-breaking work that has inspired countless stories about our desire to overcome death and our search for what it means to be human. It's not your modern horror thriller or what is generally depicted in film (instead of grunts, Frankenstein's real monster is eloquently tragic), the plot is often plodding, and some current readers might not find this a good read. But for those who enjoy a more philosophically centered gothic tale, Frankenstein is immortal.
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
My first thought on completing Frankenstein was this: I love this book! I really didn't know what to expect when I began reading this. We've all seen Frankenstein and his "monster" portrayed through numerous media outlets and I wasn't sure how any of these compared to the original story created by Mary Shelley. From page one I was drawn in and riveted by the narrative. I was hooked on Victor Frankenstein with his ambition and his creation who showed such strong emotions. Frankenstein's creation is an infantile being born into the body of a monster. We watch as this "monster" teaches himself writing, language, geography, history. He reads from Milton's Paradise Lost and from Plutarch's Lives. Learning brought such joy to him. It was so sad to see the "monster's" attitude toward man (and especially Frankenstein in particular) go from such love and delight to dark feelings and hate. Frankenstein and his race pushed the "monster" away and shunned him because he didn't look like them. They never gave him a chance to prove his worth among them. I believe it was society that created the "monster", and not soley Victor, but it was Victor who reaped the punishment. Frankenstein, the novel, brings up some thought provoking questions dealing with science and life and what it means to be human. You'll have to read the book yourself and draw your own conclusions.

"So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein-more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This, in my opinion has to be the most thought provoking in all of literature. I can't think of a novel more worthy of dicussing in a book club or just in general. It's authenticity still rings true in the twenty first century. It is a scientific study of whether or not we should tamper with God's creation or life, itself. This is the story of man's creation resulting in monstrous consequenses. The topic of conversation is regarding whether or not the monster really is a monster. Meaning he is not born monstrous but becomes so because he is shunned and turned away because of his frightening physical appearance. Would the monster be able to live in society with man if man had just given him a fair opportunity? Perhaps, but should he be given that opportunity under unnatural circumstances? After all, he is not human and created by God but by man. The question of who is a worse monster, him or Victor? Victor by far, for allowing the catastrophes to worsen repeatedly without properly handling the situation. The monster was his ruination from the first which goes back to should it have been attempted in the first place? Was it successful?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this novel in my Science Fiction class in college. The novel was excellent with great written language, so beautiful. If you a big fan of Frankenstein movies, I would recommend that if you read this novel, don't expect the movies and the novel to be alike. The creature is so different than most of the Hollywood Frankensteins on film. The creature is somewhat a natural philosopher, but I won't give away too much! In other words, this novel is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Love this Edition!                                                                                        Note: This IS the 1831 edition. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was already one of my favourite novels of all time, however, I did not posses a quality edition of this classic. Walking in a Barnes & Noble one day, I stumbled across this lovely edition. It was cheap and looked durable so I purchased it. Taking it home I hoped it was the 1831 edition (my favourite of the two) and was pleased to see that it was. Overall the book has been wonderfully durable, holding up to numerous drops with only one hardly noticeable dent. I also regularly place the book in a backpack, and it holds up marvelously well. However, if you are going to bring it with you in a backpack, I suggest to first place it in a large Ziploc bag and then place it in your backpack. Before I learned this, I put it into a backpack and some of the paint from the title chipped off but after I started to use a plastic bag this no longer happens. If you want to get a very high quality/durable edition of one of the greatest novels ever written, get this one. It's cheap, yet EXTREMELY beautiful and surprisingly durable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book!!! I'm not a big fan of Science Fiction novels, but this one was great!!! When reading it, you don't feel like you are reading a Science fiction novel, you feel like you are reading a very sad, disturbing book about when humans should leave nature alone! You will never see Science and progress in it the same after you read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so well writen. Even though it starts slow, the middle to end parts are so well done it makes up for the sluggish start. Also, anyone who says the book isnt well writen probably doesnt have the attention span to finish the first coupple of chapters or was probably expecting frankenstein to fight dracula before the end of the book
The_Booker More than 1 year ago
Should I review a classic? Really, what's the point? This book is historic and mandatory reading for many high schools and a true insight into the European era it was written (1818). Language, thoughts, opinions, attitudes, social classes, locations - it's all there. It's like a time machine and that aspect of the book is fasinating. Then there's the classic elements... This is true gothic horror. It's not blood and guts and "shoot'em up" that is all too necessary to hold an audiences' attention in today's world. "Frankenstein" is psychological terror in the same vein as "what's hiding around the corner." We follow Victor's inner thoughts and paranoia as he sinks deeper and deeper into depression, fear and finally resolve that he must kill the monster he created or die trying. As someone who was an avid reader in high school - but not the mandatory assignments, (my personal classics are more modern works) - it is quite a few years after my graduation. I picked up "Frankenstein" because it is my son's mandatory summer reader. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. But again - reviewing a classic? Okay - some may find this a lame excuse, but I only rated it 4 out of 5 stars because of my upbringing in the modern "shoot'em up" world. The meanings were all there for me - man vs God, man vs woman, etc... But there were too many coincidences within the story that made me shake my head in disbelief. Europe is a continent and not someone's neighborhood where even then it would be difficult to find someone hiding from you. But if you can shut down your reasoning and throw disbelief to the howling wind, "Frankenstein" has the fear factor to keep you awake and wondering at night who or what could be lurking around your neighborhood. One final note: For any high schooler thinking about skipping this mandatory reading assignment and watching the movie instead, just plan on testing for a GED after you wise up. The Boris Karloff version sticks to the book about as closely as the Abbott and Costello film. In fact, check out Gene Wilder in "Young Frankenstein" and write your report on that one. At least your teacher will have a few laughs grading your paper!
Awesomeness1 More than 1 year ago
This book was deep and intellectually stimulated. While the writing was inconsistant, very descriptive in some parts and vague in others, you really had to pay attention or else miss something important. The plot and characters were intriguing, and I wish they were explored more. I never found it thrilling, but it was nice to read. I can see why its a classic and recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not your typical Frankenstein that you see from Hollywood. It is a great book that you can sit down and read. You read something new in it everytime you read it. Great for conversation in the classroom and book clubs. This book has you think about alot of things that relate to life. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for summer reading. It is a very good book, however my biggest complaint is that Shelly has little emotion when describing the monster. I understand leaving some things to the imagination, however the creation of the monster was way too quick and there was no real emotional tie from Victor to the monster. That was written too fast and did not allow any time for emotional growth. Other than that, it is a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frankenstein is the simple best book ever written (in my opinion). It relates to various sides of our lives, it is philosophical and exciting to read. It should be a must read for humanity because it teaches important lessons for life. It is very deep and emotional. Please do not think of any horror pictures that misinterpret the book, and thus mislead you.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Stop telling storirs!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Which books am I not locked out of here....
Anonymous 3 months ago
A black she cat with green eyes and long legs walks in and pads over to firesong looming over him
Anonymous 4 months ago
The she padded in, her fur was the color of a settinf sun. "Is this Emberclan?"
Anonymous 4 months ago
I had to read this book a couple years ago for summer reading, and I was sure I would hate it. Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved it! It has become one of my favorites. I The begining is a bit tough to get through, but once you get past that it picks up. I would suggest having some sort of dictionary nearby, though, due to the number of words that may be unfamiliar.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Hi guys. I think Rainfall should be leader because he's been here the longest out of all of us, and Steamfeather deputy because she is a pretty da<_>mn good deputy. I mean, if you guys think so, and if you don't agree we can ro-sham-bo.
Kylie-MyBookishThoughts 4 months ago
Frankenstein has some preconceived ideas about it that aren't true. If Mary Shelley were alive today, I am sure she would have some choice words about the green, square headed, scarred figure modern day society calls "Frankenstein". All the misconceptions! If people would read this timeless novel they would know about the real life of Dr. Frankenstein-which is a mixture of intelligence, agony and sorrow. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was assigned in my AP Literature class and I tore through it. I like all the books we read in that class, from Austen to Knowles, and Frankenstein is another classic piece of literature to rave about. I'm not exactly sure how to go about reviewing this book. I could just review plot and characters, or I could talk about misconceptions and whatnot. There were so many things in this book that I could talk about. I think the part I want to start with Victor Frankenstein himself. I was like many people today, expecting Frankenstein to be the monster that I'd grown up thinking he was. When I was researching the book beforehand, I obviously figured out that that fact is false. This is one of my favorite classics. It was jam packed with events in which there was never a boring moment. The language was easy to understand as opposed to some works, making it far more enjoyable. The themes include human nature and sorrow. They were interesting topics to read about. Many books don't focus on the pain and agony of living a terrible life. Frankenstein despises his own creation. And the monster hates him back. Frankenstein's monster is angry at the doctor. He kills all of Victor's family members because of his loneliness and sadness. I felt terrible for Victor. His miseries were just awful, but the monster kept claiming that he was in worse pain! I don't believe that. I think that Victor had the worse life in the novel. He dies from his agony. After most of the events are through, he only goal in life is to destroy the monster. When he realizes that he can't do that because of Walton's crew, he has no reason to live, and passes away quietly. The book does come full circle in the end, with the monster regretting all that he has done. It took the death of Frankenstein for the remorse to show up. When the monster declares to Walton that he planned on killing himself, I felt relieved. I truly thought that he would go on ravishing cities in his anger. Nobody knew the monster like Frankenstein, and without him, I doubt anyone would be able to destroy him. We see a lot of humanity in the monster while he is watching the villagers. After he is chased from town, that is lost. He turns into the true devil that most see him as. The monster finally regains some of that humanity with the death of his creator. This classic novel really made me think. It stays with me days after I finished. I hope that if you have not read this book, that you do. There are many free versions available, so there is no excuse. I am incredibly glad this book was assigned to my class. It really changed my view on fictional classics. It's not all Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters. There are many more fantastic works out in the world. you just have to find them. Also on a side note: Some of the text in this book is outstanding. I am not going to list all my favorite quotes because there is way too much underlining in my copy.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Read on it aint the movie
Anonymous 8 months ago
*walks into territory hoping no one notices she doesn't belong*
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
This is my favorite book of all time! Read it!
Anonymous 11 months ago