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Steampunk: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Steampunk...Frankenstein combines the third edition of Mary Shelley's book with new illustrations. The introduction does an excellent job of explaining the choice of manuscript-the third edition was the first to include a personal introduction by the author-as well as the reasoning behind the marriage of the classic sci-fi novel and the gothic/Victorian style of art. The personal introduction by Shelley provides the necessary context to set the stage for the highly atmospheric quality of this unique edition. The classic tale tells of Dr. Frankenstein's discovery of the essence of life and creation of an animated being that later becomes a rampaging monster. Traditionally known as the precursor to the modern science fiction genre, it was written with the flowery language and richly descriptive style typical of that time period. The dramatic nature of the story pairs well with the richly hued style of art found throughout. However, the serious nature of the plot is not always complemented by the bespectacled figures featured in the accompanying illustrations. For those uninitiated to the steampunk style, the characters could simply look like goofy individuals in goggles. While fans of steampunk will likely enjoy this offering, this title will not win any new converts to the genre. Readers who enjoy classic literature will love this story with or without illustrations, so this book is strictly an additional purchase.-Sunnie Sette, New Haven Public Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

The Writer’s Journey(blog)
“Basic and Sumberac do an extraordinary job of reinterpreting the story without changing a single word. The madness of the creator and the terror of the creature are on full display in the illustrations, a grand marriage between Mary Shelley’s writing and the imagination of the artists.”

Asbury Park Press

“Sometimes, you want to stop traffic. You want people to nudge you and ask: “What the heck is that you’re reading?” It may be the cover art or just the title that arrests their attention. ... Just a few moments leafing through the pages of the classic story, illustrated by Zdenko Basic and Manuel Sumberac, will make you wonder what took them so long to get “Frank” to the Steampunk genre. A perfect mating.”

San Francisco Book Review
"Frankenstein goes quite well with the steampunk style. With its gritty post-industrial imagery, the dark ambiance of these illustrations does a wonderful job helping readers visualize the story… the photoshop-esque style of these particular pictures support the story fantastically. Between the pictures and the generous double-spaced layout of the text, this is one edition of the story that is meant to be lingered over, enjoyed languidly and thoroughly. A beautiful version of a classic story; this is a must-have for any steampunk fan’s library.”

SanFranciscoBookReview.com
Frankenstein goes quite well with the steampunk style. With its gritty post-industrial imagery, the dark ambiance of these illustrations does a wonderful job helping readers visualize the story… the photoshop-esque style of these particular pictures support the story fantastically. Between the pictures and the generous double-spaced layout of the text, this is one edition of the story that is meant to be lingered over, enjoyed languidly and thoroughly. A beautiful version of a classic story; this is a must-have for any steampunk fan’s library.”

Dark Faerie Tales blog
“The illustrations of this book are what set it apart from other editions of Frankenstein. …Basic and Sumberac’s uses of stark colors invites the reader further into the world of Frankenstein and his foleys. Most of the scenes chosen to be drawn are key to the novel itself, giving the reader yet another avenue to fuel their imagination. …This particular version is well worth the money. Not only do you get a great story, you also get great visual renditions of captivating scenes along the way.”

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids; 1St Edition edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762444274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762444274
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
IMPORTANT NOTE: this is not a new book of short stories or whatever, but a steampunk-illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's original book.

But the steampunk theme works remarkably well with "Steampunk: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I now have read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for the third time in my "reading life". I came to this "steampunk" edition after searching for a copy to read for my Classical Book Group in Seattle. Else, it would not have been on my "list". And so it is with classical books, we discover them again because we have.....like me..... a duty to our Book Group or maybe it is required reading for a high school or college literature class. I am grateful for book groups and required reading lists!

To briefly recap the story line: Victor Frankenstein, the "mad scientist" who sought the secret of creating life, is rescued from a frozen ice floe in the Artic by sailors seeking a Northwest Passage. He tells his tale to the ship's captain. The tale consists of Frankenstein successfully creating a living being from body parts dug from graveyards, and a mysterious chemistry he has discovered. Frankenstein returns to his studio to find he has created an ugly "monster", from which he flees and abandons. The monster, though maybe 8-feet tall is a "naïve child". Despite his horrific appearance, he seeks love, affection and acceptance among humans....which he does not receive. He then begins a series of horrific acts of revenge calculated to punish his creator who has spurned him. The story ends with a climactic confrontation between Victor Frankenstein and the monster.

The themes are classic in this edition which is accompanied by Steampunk illustrations. The twin aspects of good and evil in human nature are evident in the creator, V. Frankenstein and the created monster. By seeking to be a co-creator, like his own God, Frankenstein creates an image of himself where evil and good exist side-by-side.
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Format: Hardcover
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite horror novels and I can still recall my absolute horror upon reading it for the first time back when I was a young teen. I've revisited the novel several times over the years and when I saw this edition at my local library, I was drawn to the cover and decided to re-read it again.

The tale of Frankenstein has become part of popular culture - a dark tale of ambition and playing God, creating life where none should be created, and suffering the horrific consequences. This novel's text is derived from the third edition of Mary Shelley's work which contains her introduction to the novel. The difference here is that this novel has been given a steampunk treatment in its illustrations. As defined in the book, steampunk is "a sub-genre of science fiction that came widely into being in the late 1980s and into the 1990s; its influences are from the Victorian era (1837-1901) and the brink of the Industrial Revolution (1760-1850)." Though the work itself was set and published prior to the Victorian era (it was published in 1818), the steampunk-inspired illustrations work here and remain faithful to Frankenstein's Gothic and Romantic roots.

I enjoyed the illustrations and felt that they provided an added enhancement to a classic text. There are some surprises in the illustrations that I welcomed - the use of shadows, a moon which upon closer inspection turns out to also show the monster's face, and many other subtleties that greatly added to my enjoyment of the story. Each illustration is captioned and provides an understanding of which particular scene is being conveyed. I think this steampunk-illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein will appeal to fans of the genre and also to long-standing fans looking for some creative visuals to accompany one of the classic horror stories of all time.
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