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Frankenstein (Longman Cultural Editions)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2013
I was first introduced to Longman Cultural editions in college, and now, as a postgrad, I can only read classics in good conscious, if I am reading a Longman. The content is so rich and depending on your energy-level, provides a "manageable" or "extensive" context to frame the work. How can one really "read" a piece of the canon, without knowledge of the historical and cultural climate of the author's environment? Oh right! He or she really can't. What I really like about these editions is that very little previous knowledge is assumed; instead, you are guided by a Virgil, in this case, Susan Wolfson, through a story that, at first, might seem too dense or too dated to be interesting: ie. "hell." But, Frankenstein with a Longman guide is far from a trip through the underworld--although the creature's descriptions of loneliness would make for a fitting version of hell on earth. Overall, I found this to be my favorite version of Frankenstein by a mile. It was my third time through the book (two previous reads, both with Norton editions). The added bonus of footnotes that are interesting rather than irritating, along with essays that cast a light on the creation and time of the writing, made the story come to life with the brilliance of a bolt of lightening. 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2013
What is there really to say in review to a classic? It's a shame that more people haven't read the real story of Frankenstein and instead believe that what they see on television is the real thing. If you haven't read it, you should. It's pretty much that simple.

I really enjoyed going through the Longman Cultural Edition of this book. Yes, I'd read the book before in literature class at university (or at the very least, I read some of it and listened to the discussion) but I never delved into the sources that this edition offers. It's great to get a view of the story telling pact and what came out of that as well as how things were perceived when they first came out.

It gives a lot of context to the story itself as well as helping the reader understand the story better as well as the culture that this tale came out o
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Victor grew up reading the works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Albertus Magnus, the alchemists of the time. Toss in a little natural philosophy (sciences) and you have the making of a monster. Or at least a being that after being spurned for looking ugly becomes ugly. So for revenge the creature decides unless Victor makes another (female this time) creature, that Victor will also suffer the loss of friends and relatives. What is victor to do? Bow to the wishes and needs of his creation? Or challenge it to the death? What would you do?

Although the concept of the monster is good, and the conflicts of the story well thought out, Shelly suffers from the writing style of the time. Many people do not finish the book as the language is stilted and verbose for example when was the last time you said, "Little did I then expect the calamity that was in a few moments to overwhelm me and extinguish in horror and despair all fear of ignominy of death."

Much of the book seems like travel log filler. More time describing the surroundings of Europe than the reason for traveling or just traveling. Many writers use traveling to reflect time passing or the character growing in stature or knowledge. In this story they just travel a lot.

This book is definitely worth plodding through for moviegoers. The record needs to be set strait. First shock is that the creator is named Victor Frankenstein; the creature is just "monster" not Frankenstein. And it is Victor that is backwards which added in him doing the impossible by not knowing any better. The monster is well read in "Sorrows of a Young Werther," "Paradise Lost," and Plutarch's "Lives." The debate (mixed with a few murders) rages on as to whether the monster was doing evil because of his nature or because he was spurned?
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on September 4, 2014
This is a wonderful book. The language is easy to understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to read Frankenstein for the first time.
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on August 21, 2015
Such a tragic, but beautiful book. Highly recommend.
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on November 16, 2014
One of the best editions I've read thus far.
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on February 13, 2015
Absolutely worth reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2012
The delivery of the book was exceptional, but the quality of the book was kind of disappointing. However, it is the material that I was looking forward to, not the image of the book.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2007
Frankenstein is a great work, though one that has consistently been underrated and misrepresented. Frankenstein is, in the words of Donald H. Reiman, "the most seminal literary work of the Romantic period". In my opinion, it is a work of profound and radical ideas, written in poetically powerful prose. Frankenstein is not really a gothic novel, although its author sometimes employs gothic conventions and language, and even spoofs them. Rather, Frankenstein is an enduring myth, a novel of ideas, and above all, a moral allegory about the evil effects of intolerance and prejudice, ostracism and alienation, both to the victims of intolerance and to society at large.

I'll concentrate on thisparticular edition -- the Longman edition edited by Susan J. Wolfson. Most importantly, this is the original 1818 edition, rather than the inferior, bowdlerized 1831 edition -- which is the most common, and the only one that was available for well over a century. Unfortunately, this edition can not be recommended owing to the typeface, Bodoni, which makes the text hard to read and makes it difficult to concentrate. Bodoni can sometimes be effective as a display typeface, but it is never appropriate for extended text. This is too bad, as there is some good material in the back. The best editions of the 1818 text are those edited by James Rieger (Chicago) or by J. Paul Hunter (Norton).

Please check out my own book, The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein, which makes the case that Frankenstein was really written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the greatest poets in the English language. I also argue that male love, both idealized and demonized, is a central theme of Frankenstein.

Five stars for Frankenstein, three stars for this edition.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2009
Book in great condition. Different edition or cover of book received then shown for sale. Disappointed with that. Unsure if correct book. Son needed it for college so went to school bookstore to purchase correct edition.:(
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