I am a literature major and I have read, analyzed and studied this book and also taught it! I love it. This book is packed full of themes and ideas and a very insightful look at human nature. This is not an easy read but instead one meant to be studied, savored and enjoyed. Highly Recommended!!!!
I am saddened that the movies missed much of the story of Frankenstein. Turning this classic into a generic mindless monster. The horror is in the anatomy project that creates life and in the thoughts that surround who is responsible for a being when it is created or born.
This classic surprised me with depth of character, even in Frankensteins unnamed monster. The actual detail of the life-giving act to Frankensteins creation is kept vague and happens without great fanfare. The suspense is built up to the first nefarious deeds of the creature created by Dr. Frankenstein and then held at the high level to very end. Damn good writing. I felt greatly for this mish-mashed animated man; shortly after showing signs of life, he was abandoned by his creator to fend for himself, then humans fear him because of his size and his looks so he has zero friends, and finally he is the only one of his kind. This was an excellent Gothic novel and I am very glad I took the time to explore it. This tale explores the idea of inherent goodness vs. inherent evil and raises the important question of responsibility of life brought into this work (whether a child or mish-mash zombie).
It is a shame that "Frankenstein" was ever taken to the big screen. When you mention Frankenstein images of a green nonspeaking creature, lighting storms, a crazed scientist screaming "It's Alive!".
Instead this is a very nuanced horror story. Even the point of bringing the creature to life was in retrospect with very little detail and absolutely no lightning.
The horror in this book explored the modern conception that all scientific progress is good, what is a creator's responsibility for his/her invention, and the human reaction to rejection... particularly by one's creator. Further it questions how quickly we can consider someone a "monster" all too quickly without waiting to find out what's beyond the outer appearance and vice-versa. In the end you question who was the monster: Dr. Frankenstein or his creation. His creation was articulate, intelligent, gentle, and desiring love and to love. The doctor was obsessive, impulsive, and could never get past "the monster" he created even when he articulated so clearly to him how much it wanted his acceptance. Eventually, the creation turned into the creator and himself then became a monster.
I started the book expecting something closer to the movie versions and was quickly engrossed by the narcissistic doctor and all the underlying problems that arose because of his carelessness. Shelley has the writing punch of a Tolstoy or Steinbeck, etc, but this book is well worth the read.
I read this for a class a few years back. I gotta admit it was super slow to get into it in the beginning. The first few chapters dragged on for me. But once it got good, it became a faster read. The change in perspective can through you off at first but once you get used to it it's pretty interesting. Overall I feel that if you have patience and time this is worth a read.
Now Age illustrated paperback, about 60 pages black and white comic-type presentation. Last page has several vocabulary words to know and several study questions to check comprehension. Great book for reluctant middle school reader
"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." This book just increases my love for science fiction.
One of the best classics, this novel by Mary Shelley is very different from the cheesy horror movie you're familiar with. Recommended for anyone interested in issues of ethics and morality, or any lover of the classics.
Around Halloween I try to read classic horror novels. This year I decided to finally read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Wow, it is amazing how different this story is than the widely thought of Universal Monsters version of Frankenstein's monster. Most of the book is told in flashback by Victor Frankenstein. It's a bit slow going in the beginning, but it picks up about half way through and the last 80 pages or so really shine. Victor Frankenstein is picked up nearly frozen to death by a sailing vessel in the far North. He's obviously been chasing after something. The captain of the sailing vessel befriends Victor who eventually tells the Capt how he came to be in the far North. And the story begins.
Throw out what you think you know about this story, it will surprise you on many different levels. Another surprise is the language. It's not a flowery, stilted writing style seen in many classics. This is easier to understand. Still flowery and a little ornate, but it's easy to read.
I recommend this book to any horror fan. It is a classic and, now that I read it, I can see why.
A classic that deserves to be a classic. Excellent explanatory notes from the author, her husband, and other notables that added to my understanding of the novel. So glad I finally read this - I missed it while in high school. (Minor underlining in the text.)
I guess I based my presumption of this book on all the movies. Frankenstein is not the creature who I thought he was. I found myself feeling sorry for him. Wishing that someone would reach out to him. Mary Shelley left it to your imagination on really what he looked like. I enjoyed this portion to. The book was exquisitely written. I felt I was actually transported to this era. Enjoyed it very much.
There are parts of the book that are very strong, vivid, and exciting, no doubt, but there were also parts that fell a bit flat for me. Don't get me wrong, it is a classic and I'm very glad that I read it. I just do not consider it a favorite. Yet, the descriptive passages about Frankenstein's monster are truly brilliant writing, as is the way that Mary Shelley manages to convince the reader to feel sympathy for the monster by the end, while also having readers be well aware of just how true the story is to the nature of mankind itself. Therein lies the true strength of the tale, and establishes why it is as famous as it is, even as some other elements were not as strong as it seemed they could be. It's definitely one that everyone should check out, even if they don't love it.
This book in some ways is more of a tragedy than a horror story. As you read it, you have to contemplate who is the monster; Frankenstein or his creation. Yes, the creation was murderous and revengeful but he was never given any of the love and companionship that he so greatly desired. He was misunderstood from the beginning because of his hideous form. Even his creator hated him the minute that he was formed. So sad.
Shelley's writing is definetely stodgy. But not in a bad way. Most of the 'Sci-Fi' back when was filled with stodgy writing, probably to sound a whole lot smarter than I am. However, the book was definetly slower than I thought it would be and a lot different from the Frankenstein I grew up watching. This monster would beat the bee-jebus out of the one in Monster Squad. All in all, I think its an OK read; GREAT if you are really into Frankie.
I almost think the author's story is more interesting then the horror story she wrote. I didn't realize Mary Shelley was the daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft who died 11 days after giving birth. With her marriage to poet Percy Shelley, she had pressure from 3 sides to produce a wonderful work. Not only was Mary only 18 when she wrote Frankenstein (June 1816), but it was also after giving birth to her own child who died after 2 weeks (March, 1815). Another interesting fact was that her husband and her, along with 2 friends spent the summer together at Lake Geneva and challenged each other to write the most frightening story ... from which Mary won with Frankenstein.
It is interesting how the creature was giving and caring ... providing wood for the family in the cottage and saving the little girl after she drowned ... even providing food for Victor while being chased by him. Whereas Victor Frankenstein was portrayed as seeking ambition and fame in his creation and selfish in his desires. Who was the real monster here? Perhaps another example of how humans won't accept anything different from themselves and therefore consider it evil. Victor was wrong in creating the creature, but also in not caring for it (abandoning it) after its creation.
Mary Shelley's classic novel with 8 pages of photographs in the center of the book from the Kenneth Branagh film in which he starred along with Helena Bonham Carter, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, Tom Hulce, John Cleese and Robert De Niro.
The Classic tale of Man as God. Shelley wrote it on a dare from Percy and George, and she wrote a great, readable, exciting story which addresses issues of fact and artifice, science and religion, free will and predestination. Got to be one of the 101 Books to read in anybody's lifetime.
I had never read this before and I really enjoyed the original story of Frankenstein and discovering who the true "monster" is in Shelley's telling, as opposed to the Hollywood and monster movie interpretations.
I am not sure why there is such a "hype" about "classic lit". I was sorely disappointed in the pace and narrative of this tale. I guess I expected it to be somewhat like the movie version and it was not.
I rushed towards her, and embraced her with ardour; but the deadly langour and coldness of the limbs told me, that what I now held in my arms had ceased to be the Elizabeth whom I loved and cherished. The murderous mark of the fiend's grasp was on her neck, and the breath had ceased to issue from her lips.
I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this novel. It's so well written. Perhaps it's because horror is not a preferred genre for me. At any rate I became quite involved in this tale.
The book focuses on the life of Victor Frankenstein. Early chapters are devoted to his personal life - friends, family and his sweetheart. The family was wealthy enough to send Victor for advanced study where he fell in love with science. As he experimented in the laboratories he began to wonder if he could create a living being. And, as we all know he does just that. The creature he creates is indeed alive but so frightening that he runs from his laboratory. The creature escapes and the story begins.
A couple of things bothered me about the entity. How did he know so much about Frankenstein that he would pursue and kill those that Victor loved? The second is the incident in the forest where the creature finds a cloak to protect him from the cold yet he is comfortable on the frigid mountain tops. However, the tale is so well done that I could overlook these issues. Victor pursues the creature, determined to destroy him. His horror is so great that he cannot share with others that he created this monster. The story unfolds as the two travel about with one trying to find the other. When Victor loses the creature, the creature finds him.
The author is often thought to have written only this novel but a biographer documents the extent of her work. She was indeed an accomplished writer who wrote a good deal and was noted for what she did during her lifetime.
Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (the original 1818 version) by Mary Shelley is not easy to read. The story of Victor Frankenstein and his Monster is dark and dense and takes time to get through. For me, the biggest surprise in the book is the "human" nature of the Monster. For all its surprises, for its very human story, and for its intriguing history, the book is a memorable read and the Monster a memorable character.
Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/11/frankenstein-or-modern-prometheus.html
Scientist Victor Frankenstein is obsessed with finding a way to reanimate human life after death. After he successfully fulfills his desire he immediately regrets it, condemning the new horrific life form to live in hiding. As Frankenstein's new monster learns to understand those around him and his own existence he begins to hate his creator. The monster enacts revenge on Victor by taking away those he loves, only stopping if the doctor does what the monster asks for.
The very start of the book reminded me of Moby Dick, at least the little I read of it. Victor Frankenstein obsession with creating life is very much like Ahab's obsession with finding the whale. Then the middle of the book was like The Picture Of Dorian Grey which a book I really liked and very much about doing good or evil and how it affects those around yourself. It ends again like Moby Dick as Victor new obsession directs him. The middle of the book had me interested because it is really a discussion on what being human is or could be, and regret. Actually, it is about even more than that so much you could a book about and people probably have.
I for one not a fan of the scenes where Dr. Frankenstein was channeling Ahab from Moby Dick. His obsession is part of the reason I couldn't finish Moby Dick. Luckily Frankenstein is much shorter than Moby Dick.
I am glad I took the time to read this. It is a book that is so much different than what the movies and tv have done. In fact, there is so much difference in the movies I am really curious why or how they came up with things...like the character Igor...no where in the book. The monster having a square head and bolts on the neck...nope not in the book. I am not a big fan of most classics but this one that I did enjoy.
Frankenstein, loved by many decades of readers and praised by such eminent literary critics as Harold Bloom, seems hardly to need a recommendation. If you haven't read it recently, though, you may not remember the sweeping force of the prose, the grotesque, surreal imagery, and the multilayered doppelgänger themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece. As fantasy writer Jane Yolen writes of this (the reviewer's favorite) edition, "The strong black and whites of the main text [illustrations] are dark and brooding, with unremitting shadows and stark contrasts. But the central conversation with the monster--who owes nothing to the overused movie image but is rather the novel's charnel-house composite--is where [Barry] Moser's illustrations show their greatest power ... The viewer can all but smell the powerful stench of the monster's breath as its words spill out across the page. Strong book-making for one of the world's strongest and most remarkable books."