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Frankenstein

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  626,741 ratings  ·  12,132 reviews
Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 273 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1818)
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    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...more
    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...more
    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...more
    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...more
    Lou
    Photobucket
    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...more
    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 pr...more
    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...more
    Manny
    "Pray tell me your story," I said, "if it will not weary you overmuch."

    He fixed me with an eye still firm of purpose. "I had long been fascinated by the dark arts of Parody and Homage," he began. "I studied the works of the masters. Juvenal, Swift, Beerbohm, Douglas Adams... I curse the day when I discovered the Grimoire of John Sladek mouldering in an old bookshop. It was then my plan began to take shape..."

    He broke off, racked by a fit of coughing. "Sir, you should rest," I said. He snorted co...more
    Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    Spoilers!
    Frankenstein is the first book written by Mary Shelley (daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley, friend of Lord Byron), and her most famous. First published in 1818, she later revised it for its second printing in 1823, adding a preface that cleared up conjecture as to what she was writing about, changing the relationship of Elizabeth to the family (in the original, she is Victor Frankenstein's cousin, in the second she has no blood relation but...more
     Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
    Mary W. Shelley explored themes that still resonate today in her proto-science fiction work, Frankenstein. Themes of the relentless drive and search for ultimate (even forbidden) knowledge; intellectual arrogance; the desire to create something enduring; the need for love and recognition; and a study in how bitterness, hatred and rage can destroy a person. What separates men from God? What separates man from monster? Can a so-called monster have the heart (the humanity) and the accompanying need...more
    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...more
    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...more
    Brandon Pearce
    Mary Shelly wrote this book when she was only 18 years old. She was under the heavy influence of her politically radical, and powerful parents. And she was very much aware of the political movements that had shattered Europe in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The noble efforts of the French Revolution had recently ended with the reign of Terror and left Europe in a conservative backlash that included a crack down on civil liberties. Also keep in mind that the book's full title is "Frankenstein...more
    Jason Koivu
    Warning!: Buttload of sarcasm incoming!!!

    Oh yes, that's just brilliant...Let's tell the story in a second-hand past tense. That'll get us right into the action! And I love how this second-hand story-teller is able to relate in very fine detail dialogue exchanges between the monster and people he met years ago via a third person account from the dying Dr. Frankenstein. I mean honestly, what were you thinking Mary?! Why remove the reader so far from the story? This is potentially exciting subject...more
    Ellie
    First off, I just want to point out that many people make the mistake of thinking that the creature in the novel is named Frankenstein, but the truth is that Frankenstein is actually the name of the scientist who created the monster.

    Victor Frankenstein is an intelligent and promising young student at the University of Ingolstadt. Victor's obsession and passion for science leads to him creating a living creature. Horrified at himself, Victor shuns the creature and attempts to continue his life w...more
    Amanda
    Jul 19, 2013 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars
    Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the Frankenstein story
    Recommended to Amanda by: Ruth Provost
    While I did not enjoy this book, I am glad that I read it because it is interesting to see how different Frankenstein's monster has become after Hollywood and pop culture reinvented Shelley's creation. If you were to watch the film version of the movie and then read the book, you might be shocked to find that they're supposedly the same story. Despite this, I did not enjoy the book for the following reasons:

    A) Ugh, Romanticism. Yes, yes. The trees, the mountains, the flowers are beautiful, but I...more
    Jason Pettus
    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

    The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

    Essay #36: Frankenstein (1818), by Mary Shelley

    The story in a nutshell:
    To truly understand why Mary Shelley's 1818 Frankenstein first had the impact that it did, it'...more
    Conrad
    Easily one of my top five or ten of all time; as rich and ambiguous in its symbolism as anything Melville or James ever wrote.

    It's anti-Romantic, presenting Paracelsus and mysticism as destructive forces, but it's also skeptical of the Enlightenment values of Shelly's mother, Mary Wollstonecraft; it's not overfond of what society does to people but terrified that anyone should live without human company; it's both heartbreaking and heartless.

    When I finally got around to reading it, what surpris...more
    Michael
    Oct 25, 2012 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Everyone
    Recommended to Michael by: Mary
    This truly is a classic tale of social insight, a story of one seeking acceptance and desiring companionship but being rejected and branded a monster. The thing that I liked most about this book is the fact that it’s divided into two accounts, designed to view both sides of the story. The first part of the book ‘Frankenstein’ tells the story of the life of Victor Frankenstein, the creation of Monster Frankenstein and the death of his younger brother William. A servant ‘Justine’ has been put on t...more
    Christina
    first i'd like to say this book should (if it hasn't already) be recorded as an audio book with Jon Lovitz as the narrator using his Saturday Nite Live "thespian" voice. i think i read the entire book with that voice in my head which made me laugh out loud when i read "Begone, vile insect!" ha ha! i am still laughing!

    second, i wish i had a dollar for every time the word "wretch" was used.

    i'm sort of on the fence with this book. while the storyline kept my interest throughout, i feel i would hav...more
    Shovelmonkey1
    Nov 04, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 5 of 5 stars
    Recommends it for: anyone considering messing with the laws of nature in the comfort of their own home
    Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
    The Modern Prometheus. Prometheus stole fire from the Gods. Well presumably they weren't using it that much anyway and if you can generate lightening bolts on a whim surely it's greedy to hog it?

    Victor Frankenstein acquired/borrowed/stole the power to give life after substantial meddling... this book is a prime example of what happens when your parents are overly encouraging and want you to have a well rounded education and an enquiring mind. Enquiring minds are trouble!

    Lessons learned by enqu...more
    Emma
    Wonders are natural: miracles are supernatural. The whole creation is full of wonders; the Bible contains an account of the miracles that happened in those days......wonders are agreeable to the laws of nature....monsters are violations of the laws of nature

    Dracula, Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein....these books are important to me. Within their pages I discovered something; novels are not single entities. For the first time, I began to think seriously about what one novel shared with others, ho...more
    Alex
    This and Anna Karenina are as close as I know to perfect. The only thing that holds Frankenstein back is the writing style; at times you're reminded that Shelley was only 18 when she wrote it. The plot and pacing are perfect, and the scenes are terrific - particularly the exquisite first bit of the monster's story - but there are sometimes some minor rough patches in the sentences.

    It's a warning, of course, about creating things we don't understand. Everyone knows that. What I'm interested by, t...more
    Zach
    Apr 16, 2010 Zach rated it 3 of 5 stars
    Shelves: horror
    A pictorial review of things that are not in this book:





    [image error]
    (well not in the sense that one would expect, anyway)







    Because it isn't a page turner, get it?

    Instead, we get pages and pages of Frankenstein explaining why he's sad. And then the monster, in turn, explains to Frankenstein why HE'S sad. Also, sometimes other people (other Frankensteins, Captain Walton, that family that the monster lives next to... everyone in the book, basically) explain why they're sad.

    So here's my favorite googl...more
    Madeline
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Paul
    Whoh this is so lame I say : avoid. I thought Frankenstein would rock but it really doesn't. I seen a lot of Frankenstein movies and this is nothing like them. There are no vampires like in Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein, there are no lesbians like in Lust for Frankenstein, there are no SKs like in Frankenstein was Jack the Ripper, there is just jawbreaking philosophical like debate, well it would break your jaw in four places if you tried to read this stuff out aloud. I fell asleep five times dur...more
    Charity
    Oct 13, 2008 Charity rated it 4 of 5 stars
    Recommends it for: Classic Lit/Horror /Scifi Lovers
    Shelves: 1001books, brit-lit
    First of all, Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster.

    Second, with all due respect to Boris Karloff and Kenneth Branagh, no film version of Mary Shelley's novel has ever gotten the themes or the characters straight, so the book is by FAR superior to the adaptations.

    This is a novel that wonders how far science can go before it offends against the laws of god and nature and debates the responsibility of a creator for his creation. Packed with creepy scenes and challenging ideas, Frankenstein...more
    Jonfaith
    As an eight year old child, I found myself in love with horror films. It was a Scholastic Press survey of horror cinema for children which appeared to crystallize this fascination. It was terrible time for a kid. We had moved twice in four years and my mom had left. My dad was traveling for work and a series of housekeepers and sitters were keeping the home fires burning. It is no surprise that I was reading all the time and staying up too late watching inappropriate films on television. That sa...more
    Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
    A classic of classics, but more than that, this book gives a glimpse inside a tortured soul. This book is a perfect analogy and metaphor showing the true nature and pain of an addict or an alcoholic. A chained to a drug that is kiling them, and causing them to harm those they love until the individual is utterly alone, and then, if lucky, destroyed. I'm not sugguesting that Mary Shelley was ever an addcit or alcoholic. Alcoholics and Addicts didn't invent anguish and inner pain, they simply expe...more
    Jonathan
    Note: If anyone has a sad and lonely copy of Frankenstein floating around that looks like the picture above it's probably mine. I misplaced it and really would like to read it again...

    I devoted my heart and soul to this novel last year in much the same way that Victor Frankenstein devoted his life to creation and destruction. I now finally come back to writing a brilliant review and discussing the intricacies of this construct that is Frankenstein. My previous review of course lacking the necess...more
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    • Inferno (The Divine Comedy, #1)
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    11139
    Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft...more
    More about Mary Shelley...
    Frankenstein / Dracula / Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde (Signet Classics) The Last Man Frankenstein The Graphic Novel: Original Text Mathilda Transformation

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    “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” 2330 likes
    “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” 915 likes
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