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Frankenstein: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – September 25, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century Gothicism. While stay-ing in the Swiss Alps in 1816 with her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and others, Mary, then eighteen, began to concoct the story of Dr. Victor Frankenstein and the monster he brings to life by electricity. Written in a time of great personal tragedy, it is a subversive and morbid story warning against the dehumanization of art and the corrupting influence of science. Packed with allusions and literary references, it is also one of the best thrillers ever written. Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus was an instant bestseller on publication in 1818. The prototype of the science fiction novel, it has spawned countless imitations and adaptations but retains its original power.
This Modern Library edition includes a new Introduction by Wendy Steiner, the chair of the English department at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Scandal of Pleasure.

Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in 1797 in London. She eloped to France with Shelley, whom she married in 1816. After Frankenstein, she wrote several novels, including Valperga and Falkner, and edited editions of the poetry of Shelley, who had died in 1822. Mary Shelley died in London in 1851.

About the Author

Maurice Hindle edited Frankenstein and Dracula for Penguin Classics and teaches at the Open University.

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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rep Dlx edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143105035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143105039
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jolene S. Arrant on September 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Victor Frankenstein is driven by his hunger for scientific knowledge and accomplishment. What he can not know is that one day, after he creates a living, breathing being, he will regret his scientific pursuits. This created being is hideous and rejected by all who meet him, including his creator. Rejection leads the creature to become a monster filled with despair and rage. In a futile attempt to pacify the creature, Victor agrees to create a female companion, but finds that he is unable to finish the task. At Victor's refusal to create the companion, the monster is filled with hatred and commits additional murders. The only recourse for Victor is to pursue his creation and destroy it.

This is not a book I would have chosen to read on my own. It was required reading for my current British Literature class and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Mary Shelley used three characters to narrate during the story: Captain Walton, Victor Frankenstein and the creature. I thought the chapters narrated by the monster were particularly interesting. They developed the character of the monster beyond just a hideous, killing machine. It gave insight was to why the monster behaved in the way he did. I suspect that Mary Shelley may have been making a statement about children. The creature craved love, affection and acceptance, just as all children do. Yet, when rejected and deprived of natural affection, the creature became a monster filled with pain and anger.

Mary Shelley was the daughter of writer Mary Wollstonecraft and the wife of poet Percy Shelley. I especially liked how Mary Shelley used some of her husband's poetry in the narrative of the story. The story behind the creation of this book is also unique.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Bevers TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I recently read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the first time, then realized I had never read Frankenstein either. I bought it awhile ago and finally got around to reading it. Its a deserved classic, and there are some great things about this book and some disappointing things, all unexpected.

Some of things I was surprised by include the story itself. Very involved in literary history, quotes many authors. Frankenstein's monster is a sympathetic creation in a lot of ways. By the end of part 2, where the monster tells his own story, you start to feel sorry for him. Great story that casts light on sin, humanity, religion, and what life is. It is not a book that will really scare you, but it will make you think.

Some things I was disappointed in include the coincidences that occur. A story written like this today would never work . . . but it was fine for its era. The monster finding Victor's home based on some loose directions overheard from a French family is at best a stretch. The book drags in a few places as well for modern readers, but you are rewarded for pushing through it.

All in all, a well deserved classic that is a worthy read. The fact that Mary Shelley wrote this at 19 is astounding and humbling. Note that this is NOT a comic book. It has an illustrated cover, no graphics inside. Another review made it sound like it was a comic book.

Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Everyone has heard of Frankenstein's monster... or at least the Hollywood version, with green skin, boxy head and bolts in his neck.

But the original creature is quite different in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," which starts off rather slow but builds into a tragic, darkly hypnotic tale about tampering in God's domain, and the terrible consequences that come from it. Also: if you create a new creature out of dead body parts, don't disown him or he'll kill your family.

During a trip across the Arctic, a ship picks up a starved, half-frozen man named Victor Frankenstein. As he recovers, Frankenstein tells them his life story -- especially about how he became fascinated with science, and developed a process to reanimate dead tissue. Eventually he constructs a new creature out of dead body parts, and brings him to life.

But while the creature is intelligent and articulate, he's also hideously ugly. Horrified that he's not beautiful, Frankenstein flees... and has a nervous breakdown. Wimp.

But months later, the murder of his little brother brings Victor back to his home, where he figures out that the creature was involved. And to his horror, the creature now wants a mate. But the loathing between them -- caused by Frankenstein's disgust and the creature's increasing bitterness -- leads to even more tragedy...

"Frankenstein" is one of those rare novels that is almost beyond classification -- it's gothic horror, it's sci-fi, it's a tragedy about scientific ambition that goes where it shouldn't go. Mary Shelley was only eighteen years old when she began writing this book, but she interwove religion, science and a fiercely intelligent knowledge of human nature into it.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Louis on September 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Daniel Clowes, the artistic genius who brought us Ghost World and Ice Haven, focuses his immense talents to reconfigure Shelley timeless literary masterpiece to fit the boundaries the four-color page. The result: one of the best comic book portrayal of the monster since Dick Briefer's 1950's horror comic The Monster of Frankenstein! Buy it today!
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