Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
  • Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
  • Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
  • Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
  • Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
  • Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)
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Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

4.0 1027
by Mary Shelley

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Stepping far afield from his medical studies, Victor Frankenstein brings to life a human form he has fashioned from scavenged organs and body parts. Horrified by his achievement, he turns his back on his creation, only to learn the danger of such neglect. As the creature educates itself and learns how cruel mankind can be to something that they deem monstrous, he…  See more details below


Stepping far afield from his medical studies, Victor Frankenstein brings to life a human form he has fashioned from scavenged organs and body parts. Horrified by his achievement, he turns his back on his creation, only to learn the danger of such neglect. As the creature educates itself and learns how cruel mankind can be to something that they deem monstrous, he demands that Victor make him a companion, an Eve to his Adam. When Victor refuses, his creation vows to make his creator's life miserable from that point on by destroying everything that he loves.

Written in 1818 when its author was only twenty years old, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has been hailed as both a landmark of Gothic horror fiction and the first modern science fiction story. This edition is one of Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world's greatest authors in an exquisitely designed bonded-leather binding, with distinctive stained edging, and an attract silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectible, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensible cornerstone for any home library.

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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
Leigh Weaver
Great read

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Barnes & Noble
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Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions Series
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5.86(w) x 9.86(h) x 1.06(d)

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Chapter 1

I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one of the most distinguished of that republic. My ancestors had been for many years counsellors and syndics, and my father had filled several public situations with honour and reputation. He was respected by all who knew him for his integrity and indefatigable attention to public business. He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of circumstances had prevented his marrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.

As the circumstances of his marriage illustrate his character, I cannot refrain from relating them. One of his most intimate friends was a merchant who, from a flourishing state, fell, through numerous mischances, into poverty. This man, whose name was Beaufort, was of a proud and unbending disposition and could not bear to live in poverty and oblivion in the same country where he had formerly been distinguished for his rank and magnificence. Having paid his debts, therefore, in the most honourable manner, he retreated with his daughter to the town of Lucerne, where he lived unknown and in wretchedness. My father loved Beaufort with the truest friendship and was deeply grieved by his retreat in these unfortunate circumstances. He bitterly deplored the false pride which led his friend to a conduct so little worthy of the affection that united them. He lost no time in endeavouring to seek him out, with the hope of persuading him to begin the world again through his credit and assistance.

Beaufort had taken effectual measures to conceal himself, and it was ten months before my father discovered his abode. Overjoyed at this discovery, he hastened to the house, which was situated in a mean street near the Reuss. But when he entered, misery and despair alone welcomed him. Beaufort had saved but a very small sum of money from the wreck of his fortunes, but it was sufficient to provide him with sustenance for some months, and in the meantime he hoped to procure some respectable employment in a merchant's house. The interval was, consequently, spent in inaction; his grief only became more deep and rankling when he had leisure for reflection, and at length it took so fast hold of his mind that at the end of three months he lay on a bed of sickness, incapable of any exertions.

His daughter attended him with the geatest tenderness, but she saw with despair that their little fund was rapidly decreasing and that there was no other prospect of support. But Caroline Beaufort possessed a mind of an uncommon mould, and her courage rose to support her in her adversity. She procured plain work; she plaited straw and by various means contrived to earn a pittance scarcely sufficient to support life.

Several months passed in this manner. Her father grew worse; her time was more entirely occupied in attending him; her means of subsistence decreased; and in the tenth month her father died in her arms, leaving her an orphan and a beggar. This last blow overcame her, and she knelt by Beaufort's coffin weeping bitterly, when my father entered the chamber. He came like a protecting spirit to the poor girl, who committed herself to his care; and after the interment of his friend he conducted her to Geneva and placed her under the protection of a relation. Two years after this event Caroline became his wife.

There was a considerable difference between the ages of my parents, but this circumstance seemed to unite them only closer in bonds of devoted affection. There was a sense of justice in my father's upright mind which rendered it necessary that he should approve highly to love strongly. Perhaps during former years he had suffered from the late-discovered unworthiness of one beloved and so was disposed to set a greater value on tried worth. There was a show of gratitude and worship in his attachment to my mother, differing wholly from the doting fondness of age, for it was inspired by reverence for her virtues and a desire to be the means of, in some degree, recompensing her for the sorrows she had endured, but which gave inexpressible grace to his behaviour to her. Everything was made to yield to her wishes and her convenience. He strove to shelter her, as a fair exotic is sheltered by the gardener, from every rougher wind and to surround her with all that could tend to excite pleasurable emotion in her soft and benevolent mind. Her health, and even the tranquillity of her hitherto constant spirit, had been shaken by what she had gone through. During the two years that had elapsed previous to their marriage my father had gradually relinquished all his public functions; and immediately after their union they sought the pleasant climate of Italy, and the change of scene and interest attendant on a tour through that land of wonders, as a restorative for her weakened frame.

From Italy they visited Germany and France. I, their eldest child, was born at Naples, and as an infant accompanied them in their rambles. I remained for several years their only child. Much as they were attached to each other, they seemed to draw inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow them upon me. My mother's tender caresses and my father's smile of benevolent pleasure while regarding me are my first recollections. I was their plaything and their idol, and something better—their child, the innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilled their duties towards me. With this deep consciousness of what they owed towards the being to which they had given life, added to the active spirit of tenderness that animated both, it may be imagined that while during every hour of my infant life I received a lesson of patience, of charity, and of self-control, I was so guided by a silken cord that all seemed but one train of enjoyment to me.

For a long time I was their only care. My mother had much desired to have a daughter, but I continued their single offspring. When I was about five years old, while making an excursion beyond the frontiers of Italy, they passed a week on the shores of the Lake of Como. Their benevolent disposition often made them enter the cottages of the poor. This, to my mother, was more than a duty; it was a necessity, a passion—remembering what she had suffered, and how she had been relieved—for her to act in her turn the guardian angel to the afflicted. During one of their walks a poor cot in the foldings of a vale attracted their notice as being singularly disconsolate while the number of half-clothed children gathered about it spoke of penury in its worst shape. One day, when my father had gone by himself to Milan, my mother, accompanied by me, visited this abode. She found a peasant and his wife, hard working, bent down by care and labour, distributing a scanty meal to five hungry babes. Among these there was one which attracted my mother far above all the rest. She appeared of a different stock. The four others were dark-eyed, hardy little vagrants; this child was thin and very fair. Her hair was the brightest living gold, and despite the poverty of her clothing, seemed to set a crown of distinction on her head. Her brow was clear and ample, her blue eyes cloudless, and her lips and the moulding of her face so expressive of sensibility and sweetness that none could behold her without looking on her as of a distinct species, a being heaven-sent, and bearing a celestial stamp in all her features.

The peasant woman, perceiving that my mother fixed eyes of wonder and admiration on this lovely girl, eagerly communicated her history. She was not her child, but the daughter of a Milanese nobleman. Her mother was a German and had died on giving her birth. The infant had been placed with these good people to nurse: they were better off then. They had not been long married, and their eldest child was but just born. The father of their charge was one of those Italians nursed in the memory of the antique glory of Italy—one among the schiavi ognor frementi, who exerted himself to obtain the liberty of his country. He became the victim of its weakness. Whether he had died or still lingered in the dungeons of Austria was not known. His property was confiscated; his child became an orphan and a beggar. She continued with her foster parents and bloomed in their rude abode, fairer than a garden rose among dark-leaved brambles.

When my father returned from Milan, he found playing with me in the hall of our villa a child fairer than pictured cherub—a creature who Seemed to shed radiance from her looks and whose form and motions were lighter than the chamois of the hills. The apparition was soon explained. With his permission my mother prevailed on her rustic guardians to yield their charge to her. They were fond of the sweet orphan. Her presence had seemed a blessing to them, but it would be unfair to her to keep her in poverty and want when Providence afforded her such powerful protection. They consulted their village priest, and the result was that Elizabeth Lavenza became the inmate of my parents' house—my more than sister—the beautiful and adored companion of all my occupations and my pleasures.

Everyone loved Elizabeth. The passionate and almost reverential attachment with which all regarded her became, while I shared it, my pride and my delight. On the evening previous to her being brought to my home, my mother had said playfully, "I have a pretty present for my Victor—tomorrow he shall have it." And when, on the morrow, she presented Elizabeth to me as her promised gift, I, with childish seriousness, interpreted her words literally and looked upon Elizabeth as mine—mine to protect, love, and cherish. All praises bestowed on her I received as made to a possession of my own. We called each other familiarly by the name of cousin. No word, no expression could body forth the kind of relation in which she stood to me—my more than sister, since till death she was to be mine only.

All new material in this edition copyright © 1988 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

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What People are saying about this

Muriel Spark
Out of that vampire-laden fug of gruesomeness known as the English Gothic Romance, only the forbidding acrid name of Frankenstein remains in general usage... Mary Shelley had courage, she was inspired. Frankenstein has entertained, delighted and harrowed generations of readers to this day.

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Frankenstein 4 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 1027 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 &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.
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 &quot;shoot'em up&quot; that is all too necessary to hold an audiences' attention in today's world. &quot;Frankenstein&quot; is psychological terror in the same vein as &quot;what's hiding around the corner.&quot; 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 &quot;Frankenstein&quot; 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 &quot;shoot'em up&quot; 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, &quot;Frankenstein&quot; 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 &quot;Young Frankenstein&quot; 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 4 days ago
"Alas! Victor, when falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness?" "In a fit of enthusiastic madness I created a rational creature and was bound towards him to assure, as far as was in my power, his happiness and well-being." It has been over 40 years since I made my first foray into Shelley's masterwork. In those days, High School expectations colored by Boris Karloff and Hollywood made this task abhorant. This was one of the few movies to actually scare my father. And even to this budding feminist who embraced the author's history and familial connections, the idea of reading this horror afforded me no joy. Recently, after reading Antonia May's The Determined Heart, recently released historical fiction on the life of Mary Wollstone Godwin, and seeing a "docudrama" on the "birth" of science fiction, I decided to take on the task of clearing this TBR off my list, and I really am glad I did. The book is the story of Victor Frankenstein as he grows from young adult to maturity. A man of science and peculier understanding, his self studies, often scoffed at by family and teachers alike makes him always want to prove something. And he suceeds, even exceeds himself in the daemon who also becomes a cerebral mature offspring as we are told in the story ( of the monster)within the story ( of Victor Frankenstein) with the story of Walton's letters/journal to his sister. This is a fantastic study of its time and the fascination of natural philosophy for its creators. How it morphed into the bolt necked monster who comes to mind is itself another topic of exploration. Perhaps the daemon, as he is described in the book, actually is Victor Frankenstein himself rather than his creation. Both sides of the same coin perhaps? The monster is as brilliant as his creator, and as manipulative in its bargining not only with Frankenstein but itself. So, how can we translate the understanding of this to the groaning high school student harnessed with yet another old book to plow through? That I cannot answer. However I do highly recommend at least rediscovering this "not so horror" story as an adult as I shelve it my favorites group along with Homer, who also was rediscovered as an adult.
Anonymous 23 days ago
Stop telling storirs!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Which books am I not locked out of here....
Anonymous 4 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 5 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 5 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 5 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 10 months ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
This is my favorite book of all time! Read it!