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Frankenstein (Dover Thrift Editions) [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Mary Shelley
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (737 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 21, 1994 0486282112 978-0486282114 1
Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's monstrous creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Includes the author's own 1831 introduction.

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Editorial Reviews Review

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." Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce Carol Oates. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-Full-color drawings, photographs, and reproductions with extended captions have been added to the unedited text of Shelley's novel, thus placing the work in the context of the era in which it was written. The artwork faithfully represents the text and makes this edition appealing to reluctant readers. Unfortunately, many of the captions provide tangential information that, although interesting, interrupts the flow of the story. However, readers will quickly learn that it is not necessary to read every caption and appreciate this volume for its many quality illustrations.
Michele Snyder, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (October 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486282112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486282114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (737 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
159 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, disturbing, depressing, but also touching tale December 31, 2004
Much like Bram Stoker's "Dracula", Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is a story we all think we know, but really don't. Very few films have consciously attempted to follow the novel too closely (which shouldn't detract from the excellent James Whale/Boris Karloff film, or its masterpiece-sequel, "The Bride of Frankenstein). Thus, everything popular culture "knows" about "Frankenstein" does not originate from literature, but from films. This is a shame, in a way, because the novel itself is, if not the progenitor, an early vessel of so many archetypes found science fiction and horror.

The basic plot remained intact when transferred to other media. Swiss medical student Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of life (which he never reveals, lest someone repeat the mistake). He then puts together a body, essentially a man, from various corpses. He then becomes horrified by the creature he has built, and abandons. The creature, suffering a great deal of neglect and abuse, still manages to get a thorough education, and learns of his lineage. After murdering Victor's younger brother, and framing the family maid, the creature tells his (admittedly) sad tale to his "father", and then demands a mate. Victor, in a panic, agrees, then thinks better of it at the last moment, destroying the new bride. In retaliation, the creature murders all of Victor's loved ones (including his wife), and leads Victor on a merry chase across the world.

Most probably know that Mary Shelley wrote this book in response to a challenge issued by Lord Byron, during a vacation at Lake Geneva. (Along with this story came John Polidori's "The Vampyre", the first English vampire novel.) Most probably also know that Shelley went on to write other works of imaginative gothic fiction.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition is the 1831 edition, not 1818 February 21, 2011
By MsE0
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got the free Kindle edition from the link on the page for the Norton Critical Edition of the 1818 text. Mary Shelley made many significant edits to the book for the 1831 edition. I assumed it was the same edition because the link was from the same page. I didn't realize it was different until I went to write my assigned essay and went online to search for page numbers for the passages I wanted to quote. Many of the quotes I wanted to use don't even appear in the original version. This is a very important distinction, and I wish it had been labeled correctly so I would not have had to waste so much time looking for online versions of the correct text in order to replace the quotes I could not use from the later version. This edition is fine if you just want to read the book, but if you're reading it for school, you have more than likely been assigned the 1818 version, which is very different. The Kindle edition is also lacking in any kind of Kindle formatting, making it a hassle to find locations in the book.
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89 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Relevant Today Than When First Written November 18, 2003
Modern readers must jump through a number of hoops to enjoy this legendary novel. Written between 1816 and 1818, this is very much a novel of its era, and both language and ideas about plot are quite different from those of today. That aside, and unlike such contemporaries as Jane Austen, author Mary Shelly has never been greatly admired for her literary style, which is often awkward. But perhaps the biggest hurdle is that of our own expectations: while it certainly sent icy chills down the spines of 19th Century readers, FRANKENSTEIN is not a horror novel per se.

While Mary Shelly might have been stylistically weak, her story was not. Nothing like it had been written before, and the concept of a student endowing life upon a humanoid creature cobbled together from charnel house parts was unexpectedly shocking to the reading public. But even more shocking were the ideas that Shelly brought to the story. Having created this thing in his own image, what--if anything--does the creator owe it? And in posing this question, Shelly very deliberately raises her novel to an even more complex level: this is not merely the conflict of man and his creation, but also a questioning of God and his responsibility toward his creation.

In some respects, the book is written like the famous philosophical "dialogues" of the ancient world: a counterpoint of questions and arguments that do battle for the reader's acceptance.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a GREAT edition of Frankenstein June 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am thoroughly impressed with this edition of Frankenstein. Not only does it include the 1818 edition of Frankenstein, it contains the original 1818 introduction by Percy Bysshe Shelley and the 1831 introduction by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. This edition contains a very nice collection of critical essays. Many of the critical essays focus on feminist readings of Frankenstein, but other readings are represented as well (New Historicism, Intertextual Criticism, Media & Cultural Studies, etc.). This is a fine volume for students looking to delve a little deeper into Frankenstein and the imaginative forces behind it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 hours ago by F. B.
4.0 out of 5 stars So much more about life and love, and how hate is a destroyer
There was so much more to this story than I had ever seen in movies. So much more about life and love, and how hate is a destroyer.
Published 1 day ago by LindaBrink
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you!
Published 4 days ago by Denise Lareau
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Quality of the ebook format falls far short of a regular book.
Published 6 days ago by rjon
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Classic. Just READ IT & forget the movies!
Published 7 days ago by John Chester
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Book, pages and print were too small.
Published 9 days ago by Aaron B. Mayeski
1.0 out of 5 stars Sure cure for insomnia
I started reading this book because my son had it in his senior English class. I found that it was a sure cure for insomnia.
Published 9 days ago by John Ermer
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted, cleverly written
Beautifully crafted, cleverly written, a lot of suspense. The style of course is definitely that used 200 years ago ... Read more
Published 9 days ago by kathleen bijleveld
2.0 out of 5 stars At least it's over
I don't care if it's a classic or not, I don't need an entire chapter describing the Alps with all the synonyms in the dictionary for beautiful.
Published 11 days ago by Joshua Hall
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved the Monster
I loved the monster and his humanity, in some ways he seemed more human than the other characters. The characters were all distinct, and I loved seeing the different views they... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Ryanne
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truth to story that frankenstein and dracula result of bet?
Just a fun fact, the legendary night as mentioned by silt is depicted in the bizzarre, 1980 B- Movie, "Gothic". To add to the lore of that infamous gathering, John Polidori, Lord Byron's physician, was supposedly present and conceived his story, "The Vampyr" on that same... Read More
Jun 16, 2011 by J. M. Binion |  See all 6 posts
Was Frankenstein the first science fiction book ever written?
I'm taking a historical science fiction course right now, and I don't claim to be an expert but The Republic and Gilgamesh are often mentioned as the first of what became SF. However, from that time on there was a distinct lack of SF. Frakenstein is, in my course material, shown to be the first... Read More
Jan 22, 2011 by JCols |  See all 7 posts
Please help me!! Mystery search!! Be the first to reply
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