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Comment: pages clean, binding good, dj has scuff marks, corners and edges have light wear, corners a little dented, remainder mark
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Frankenstein (Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism) Hardcover – May 19, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0312227623 ISBN-10: 0312227620 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism
  • Hardcover: 470 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 2nd edition (May 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312227620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312227623
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,745,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Johanna M. Smith is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Arlington. Johanna M., ed. Smith

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Strombeck on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
To start, let me say that I'm an admirer of this series, and have found other books in the series extremely useful (Turn of the Screw, House of Mirth). Having taught the Frankenstein edition this quarter, though, I find myself disappointed in the selection of essays, most of which seem to date from an unfortunate moment in the history of critical theory, a time when critics tended to ape the style of their masters (Lacan and Derrida in particular), letting short bursts of dense ideas substitute for sustained explication. I say "unfortunate" because while such density has its place (more, to my mind, in Lacan or Derrida themselves, who have a linguistic and theoretical purpose for their density), it is off-putting in a volume that purports to be an introduction to critical theory implicitly for undergraduates. Ironically or not, Smith's own contribution is by far the clearest of the bunch, with the psychoanalytic contribution appearing nearly unreadable to most undergraduates and many graduate students (thanks to an intense, and to my eyes rare, focus on Lacan's Imaginary Order). I will not teach this volume again.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
After seeing at least five versions of this tale in film - one of my great childhood monster loves - I was happy to finally read the novel. As so often occurs with classics, I was as surprised as I was fascinated.
For starters, the characters are far more subtle than any of the film versions: Victor F appears as a brooding and obsessed genius, but also as a great lover of life and nature. The monster, who is an articulate and literate creature who read Goethe, is even more interesting, from his hopeful beginning to his bitter reaction at rejection and his thirst for vengence. His eloquence was vivid and his pain horribly realistic.
But the work is also fascinating as a window into the mind of the Romantics, who at once strove to reject the rationalism of the Enlightenment yet reflected it. The creature starts off empty and what it becomes is due entirely to his experience. Knowledge is not always good, etc.
Finally, the themes are timeless and full of conflict: creativity giving birth to unimaginable destruction, tampering with nature as its necessities overwhelm even genius, and the like. THe book is a kaleidescope of philosophical reflection. The pain of the creator and the monster alike are inescapably linked like father and son.
I did find the style of the book a bit difficult. It is full of florid rhetoric and lengthy circumlocutions, as the doctor and then the monster tell their stories in almost identical prose.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Liberati on February 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
You don't know Frankenstein until you've read the novel. Forget everything you remember about the classic horror movie of Frankenstein, sure it's great cinema, but the movie just doesn't do it justice like the novel does. The novel has every quality of a perfect story, and Mary Shelley paints a picture with her writing that's far more disturbing and exciting than the movie ever was. What's really great about the book is that the creature speaks and is literate. Throughout the novel, the creature does speaks about the cruelty of man and I actually had sympathy for him as he told his accounts of misfortune. One thing I particularly liked is the way the creature was almost invincible, it really added to the horror that his creator feels as he's chasing him through the bitter cold. The novel is not difficult reading at all and has a decent steady pace to it. There is more than meets the eye to the novel as well. One could look at Shelly's work through a psychoanalytical standpoint and see the novel on an entirely different level than just what's on the surface. Psychoanalyzing the novel brings with it some interesting discussions; for instance, is the creature really just a duplicate of its creator? Read the book and form your own analysis, you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matt Larkin on February 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading Frankenstein, but it wasn't at all what I expected. I had all these horrific images in my head about some terrible, ugly monster. Mary Shelley does not provide her readers with a descriptive image of what the monster truly looks like. As I read this novel, my imagination ran free. As different stories were told, and different emotions were expressed, the images and thoughts in my head of the monster changed. The general theme conveyed is that Victor Frankenstein has to deal with the consequences of his creation. He was so eager to creat life and a god-like figure, but once it was complete, he was disgusted. He did not want to deal with his creation, nor have any relation to it. Ultimately, Victor became his creature's slave. Victor Frankenstein had to deal with many losses and hardships, but he stayed strong till the end. At the end, the monster narrates his side of the story and after completing his "job" he disappears and goes back to being on his own. Although the book started off a bit slow, it picked up and kept my interest until the end. I would recommend reading this book, especially to those who have seen the movie because the book leaves more to the imagination and can be interpreted in many different ways.
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