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Frankenstein

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Overview

The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of FRANKENSTEIN. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship …and horror.

A monster assembled by a scientist...

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Overview

The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of FRANKENSTEIN. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship …and horror.

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

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Editorial Reviews

Library Bookwatch
Frankenstein's new look tailors a play for performance and provides a strong plot suitable for contemporary drama.
James Hynes
. . .[T]he novel Frankenstein is quite a read. . . .It's highly Romantic, in the literary sense. . .[there is] a good deal of attractive torment and self-doubt, from both Victor Frankenstein and his creation. . . .If ever a book needed to be placed in context, it's Frankenstein. —The New York Times Book Review
Children's Literature
Children may know of the monster Frankenstein, the giant creature made from the body parts of dead people and brought to life by a mad scientist. But they may not know that this horrible monster wanted more than anything to find his family and friends and receive their love. In this "Stepping Stone Classic," Mary Shelly's well-loved horror story has been adapted into modern language for beginning readers. The short, illustrated chapters will enchant young people with the tale of Victor Frankenstein, his quest for the secret of life, and the terrible monster that haunted him until his death. Readers will sympathize with and understand Frankenstein's remorse for bringing life from the dead when they learn of the pain and sadness he feels upon discovering that it is his own face that frightens innocent people. As always, this great story is filled with excitement. 2000, Random House, $3.99. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Jessica Becker
From the Publisher
   • "Frankenstein launched an entire genre of dystopian fiction, and a legacy of horror at the consequences of unbridled experimentation." --Daily Telegraph
Library Journal
This classic tale of horror and obsession features an appropriately overwrought reading by three talented British actors. Dr. Victor Frankenstein becomes enslaved to the idea of reanimating the dead, spending years in a manic frenzy of scientific study and creation. But once his monster lives, Frankenstein is so horrified by the ugliness of "the demoniacal corpse" that he abandons it, never imagining that they will meet again in murderous circumstances. Daniel Philpott does most of the narration, employing a Germanic accent when he voices the good doctor's dialog. Roger May does a superb job as Capt. Robert Walton. The best performance, though, is by Jonathan Oliver as the Daemon. He makes listeners feel pity and compassion for this creature who longs only for love and intellectual stimulation; instead, he cannot help but be the personification of evil in his own mania for vengeance. VERDICT The reading is well paced, and the narrators are not afraid to sound overwrought when appropriate.—B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara P.L., Goleta Branch, CA
Publisher's Weekly
"This is the definitive collectors edition and is a stunning and impressive uanabridged representation of a classic literary work."

- Publisher's Weekly
From Barnes & Noble
Shelley's classic hints in part at the possible dangers inherent in the pursuit of pure science; it also portrays the injustice of a society which persecutes outcasts such as the "Monster." Disturbing and profoundly moving, Frankenstein has become part of our own mythology.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426450471
  • Publisher: BiblioBazaar
  • Publication date: 10/11/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Shelley (née Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 - 1 February 1851) was an English novelist.
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Read an Excerpt

VOLUME I

LETTER 1

To Mrs. Saville, England St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17—

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday; and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare, and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking.

I am already far north of London; and as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There—for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators—there snow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle; and may regulate a thousand celestial observations, that require onlythis voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent for ever. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death, and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river. But, supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years. I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole. You may remember that a history of all the voyages made for purposes of discovery composed the whole of our good uncle Thomas's library. My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading. These volumes were my study day and night, and my familiarity with them increased that regret which I had felt, as a child, on learning that my father's dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark in a seafaring life.

These visions faded when I perused, for the first time, those poets whose effusions, entranced my soul, and lifted it to heaven. I also became a poet, and for one year lived in a Paradise of my own creation; I imagined that I also might obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated. You are well acquainted with my failure, and how heavily I bore the disappointment. But just at that time I inherited the fortune of my cousin, and my thoughts were turned into the channel of their earlier bent.

Six years have passed since I resolved on my present undertaking. I can, even now, remember the hour from which I dedicated myself to this great enterprise. I commenced by inuring my body to hardship. I accompanied the whale-fishers on several expeditions to the North Sea; I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep; I often worked harder than the common sailors during the day, and devoted my nights to the study of mathematics, the theory of medicine, and those branches of physical science from which a naval adventure might derive the greatest practical advantage. Twice I actually hired myself as an under-mate in a Greenland whaler, and acquitted myself to admiration. I must own I felt a little proud, when my captain offered me the second dignity in the vessel and intreated me to remain with the greatest earnestness so valuable did he consider my services.

And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path. Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! My courage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate, and my spirits are often depressed. I am about to proceed on a long and difficult voyage, the emergencies of which will demand all my fortitude: I am required not only to raise the spirits of others, but sometimes to sustain my own, when theirs are failing.

This is the most favourable period for travelling in Russia. They fly quickly over the snow in their sledges; the motion is pleasant, and, in my opinion, far more agreeable than that of an English stage-coach. The cold is not excessive, if you are wrapped in furs—a dress which I have already adopted; for there is a great difference between walking the deck and remaining seated motionless for hours, when no exercise prevents the blood from actually freezing in your veins. I have no ambition to lose my life on the post-road between St Petersburgh and Archangel.

I shall depart for the latter town in a fortnight or three weeks; and my intention is to hire a ship there, which can easily be done by paying the insurance for the owner, and to engage as many sailors as I think necessary among those who are accustomed to the whale-fishing. I do not intend to sail until the month of June; and when shall I return? Ah, dear sister, how can I answer this question? If I succeed, many, many months, perhaps years, will pass before you and I may meet. If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never.

Farewell, my dear, excellent Margaret. Heaven shower down blessings on you, and save me, that I may again and again testify my gratitude for all your love and kindness.

Your affectionate brother, R. Walton


From the Paperback edition.

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Table of Contents

Preface.

Monsters, Visionaries, and Mary Shelley.
Aesthetic Adventures.
Edmund Burke, “On the Sublime and the Beautiful,” from A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful.
Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Men.
William Gilpin, from Picturesque Travel.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, 1798.
Mary Wollstonecraft, Jemima's Story from Maria, or The Wrongs of Woman.
Mary Godwin (Shelley), journal entries.
Percy Shelley, from Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude.
Mary Shelley, from History of a Six Weeks' Tour.
Percy Shelley, Mont Blanc.
George Gordon, Lord Byron, Canto 3 from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage III.
George Gordon, George Gordon, Lord Byron, A Fragment.
Richard Brinsley Peake, from Frankenstein, A Romantic Drama.
Mary Shelley, from a letter to E. J. Trelawny.
Dr. Benjamin Spock, “Enjoy Your Baby,” from Baby and Child Care.

Milton's Satan and Romantic Imaginations.
The King James Bible, Genesis, Chapters 2 and 3.
John Milton, from Paradise Lost.
William Godwin, from “An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice.
George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Prometheus.”
John Keats, To One Who Has Been Long in City Pent.
John Keats, Marginalia to Paradise Lost.
William Hazlitt, “On Shakespeare and Milton,” from Lectures on the English Poets.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Preface Prometheus Unbound.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, from A Defence of Poetry.
Thomas De Quincey, “What Do We Mean by Literature?”

What the Reviews Said.
John Wilson Croker, Quarterly Review, January 1818.
Walter Scott, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, March 1818.
Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany, March 1818.
Belle Assemblàe, March 1818.
The British Critic, April 1818.
Gentleman's Magazine, April 1818.
Monthly Review, April 1818.
The Literary Panorama and National Register, June 1818.
Knight's Quarterly Magazine, August 1824.
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, March 1823.
London Morning Post, July 1823.
George Canning, remarks in the House of Commons, March 1824.
Knight's Quarterly Magazine, August 1824.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Anthenfum, November 1832.

Further Reading and Viewing.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2229 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1298)

4 Star

(395)

3 Star

(161)

2 Star

(178)

1 Star

(197)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2230 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    I saw the dull, yellow eye of the creature open...

    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.

    23 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    The movies have it all wrong!

    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.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I was hooked...

    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.<BR/><BR/>"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."

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The book itself is a "Miserable Wretch!"

    My Honors English class had to read this for school. While VERY easy to understand, admittedly, at least to me, this book was a pure travesty. I expected it to be MUCH better than it was, and just expected a whole different kind of reading experience in general. While a great concept for a story, I felt that Mary Shelley did not handle it all that well....in fact, instead of a horror story, it was more of a drama or a tragedy. Anyhow, the reasons that I hated this book are as follows: Mary Shelley repeated herself a lot, and kept using the same words, instead of using variety. The book itself was just plain boring, and no real excitement caught on until maybe, at BEST, the last few chapters. At times, the book lost direction, and once again, it was a chore to read. All in all, I found myself wanting to SLAP Frankenstein and The Creature as well, and just all in all, it made for a waste of a unit in school. I could go on in-DEPTH about why I hated this book, but then I would run out of room, and possibly be typing for years. Anyway, this may sound harsh, but to all those like me who were forced to read it: I sympathize with you. To those who bought it, excited: I pity you. And anyway, I am glad that I did not buy this book, and did not have to; I was excited to return the school's copy once we were finally done with it! Anyway, all in all, I STRONGLY disliked this book, and I am a big reader, so make of that what you will. My advice? DO NOT BUY this book BEFORE READING; either borrow it from the library or a friend and such, and THEN ONCE YOU ARE SURE of your opinion of it, THEN buy it if you love it........this book is definitely worthy of a test-read; THAT'S for sure! (Also, I do think that Mary Shelley IS worthy of fame and praise and all, but I just did not like her book/or her work....)I mean NO disrespect to her, though; that's also for sure!


    Here though, are TWO books that we read for school for the SAME class that I absolutely LOVED (Night and Les Miserables, the abridged version), along with a few extra favorites of mine. ;P

    9 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Frankenstein

    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?

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2009

    One of the Best Novels Written

    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!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    LISTEN!!

    STOP USING THIS AS A CHATTING POST!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Too much self-involved pathos

    Let's be honest. This is a novella, not a novel. And if we removed some of the pages and pages of self-involved, over-dramatic, REPETITIVE personal introspection and emotional suffering (not to mention the pages and pages and pages of uninteresting scenery description), it would be a short story. Find an abridged version and read it. Or an audio version to be enjoyed in your car when you are trapped in traffic; this full-length novella would be better than listening to the other cars honking at each other...Maybe.

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    One of the few....

    This is one of the few books I have read where the movie is 10 times better than the book. This book is so predictable and tame, as far as 'Classics' go, that you are left shaking your head saying, 'Now this is what they mean by hyperbole'.

    3 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    ATTENTION!!!

    Please. Just listen to me. I don't want you guys to continue this conversation on a reviewing post. I want people to comment on the book. I want you guys to continue your conversation somewhere else. Please. I am trying to be nice.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    A great book!!! I'm not a big fan of Science Fiction novels, but

    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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Not your typical Horror Book

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    We Are Unfashioned Creatures, But Half Made Up

    I was excited to read this book, I literally was jumping up and down when I bought it, but the excitement ends there. I understood that it being a classic that it would take me a few chapters to get into the older style of writing like with Earnest Hemmingway and Oscar Wilde, at least for me anyways. But it was like I could never get into Shelly¿s head nor did I want to. The book though short seemed to last forever, like a bad taste in your mouth that never goes away no matter how many times you brush your teeth. You don¿t get attached to any character for they all appear dry a one sided, and though the story is defiantly original you can¿t enjoy it for it¿s presented to you in such a lifeless manner. I had to force myself to finish this book just so I could say I¿ve read it. If you plan to read this book I recommend checking it out at the library and save your money. This is the one case where the movies are much better then the book.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    Ugh....

    Started out dull.... ended worse. I do not recommend this book, to anyone. I had heard alot of good about this book to. In the end it was a complete dissapointment. Emotionless and lacking much needed drama, this book fell short of my not so high expectations.

    2 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2001

    what a chore to read!

    If you could imagine bad Poe and bad Dostoevsky glued together, with a little bad Hesse thrown in for good measure, you'd get Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein.' The storyline is as plodding and slow as the Swiss glaciers mentioned 9000 times in the overwritten prose. Character emotions are ridiculously strained and stretched. If you'd like some self-torture, 'Frankenstein' is just what the Doctor ordered.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    TO DEATHSOUL

    Read the first review at "the hot zone" res one. My basic opinion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I Love this Edition!                                            

    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 &amp; 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Horrible

    This has to be the worst book i have ever read. Terribly written. Just a waste of my life to read.

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    This book

    Is ugly like yo mama

    1 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2230 Customer Reviews

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