Frankenstein
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Frankenstein

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  599,743 ratings  ·  11,535 reviews
In Mary Shelley's gothic tale of terror, here read by Kenneth Branagh, a man's desire to know the unknowable sweeps him into a living nightmare. Victor Frankenstein's experiments with life give birth to an extraordinary force with the potential for either good or evil.
Audio, Large Print
Published August 1st 2006 by Hodder Audio (first published 1818)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Amanda
Jul 19, 2013 Amanda rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 04, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Zach
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.
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost ("As the Pirate Aarhgs")
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
Cam
Victor Frankenstein deserves to be dragged into the street and thrashed in front of every other character in this book.

There, I said it.

I'm sorry. This book aggravates me on a level that makes an accurate review very difficult, but it's not Mary Shelley's fault. It's the fault of the main character, who she draws remarkably well- as an absolute moral infant who avoids his own responsibility for everything that his creation does at positively every turn. When the monster makes his first kill, Fra...more
Lit Bug
Nov 01, 2013 Lit Bug rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids - might be a good initiation into Gothic and the muddy nature of ethics
I was sorely disappointed with this one – with all the brouhaha around it, I thought I was missing out on another great classic. Now, there are some bright, unconventional women of that era I absolutely adore – Emily Bronte for Wuthering Heights and Emily Dickinson for her lacerating poetry. Mary Shelley too had that aura around me with Frankenstein - a woman, in that era writing about a scientist who accidently reanimated a dead being, raising a monster who eventually caused his ruin.

Now, I’m a...more
Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Just Literature: Frankesnstein 3 13 Jul 05, 2014 02:41PM  
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Frankestein's character 12 51 Jul 02, 2014 12:35PM  
Purpose of the Book 23 269 Jun 28, 2014 02:00PM  
Frankenstein (Review) 1 26 Jun 06, 2014 11:54PM  
Frankenstein and Dracula comparison 7 122 May 31, 2014 10:06AM  
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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
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“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” 2233 likes
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