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Showing 1-10 of 1,561 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,400 reviews
on February 9, 2016
If you're reading this review, you only have one question. You're not looking for a book review, you already know it's a classic. You already know this is the most original, and one of the best, and best-written horror stories in literature. You may or may not like the story, but that's a matter of personal taste. A lot of people don't like Shakespeare, but no one questions whether he was a good writer or not. If you don't like the writing style, it's because you aren't familiar with the English of this period. Nearly eighty years before Stoker's "Dracula" ( an idea stolen from Polidori's "The Vampyre", which was an idea stolen from LeFanu's "Carmilla"), this most-original horror masterpiece was born. So, your only question is, "Is this really the uncensored 1818 version? Because I've only seen one other verified version, and it's over twenty dollars in paperback. All the others claiming to be the 1818 version have been disproved." YES, as far as I can tell, it is. The only preface is Shelley's own original. There is no introduction, no commentary or editorial credits whatsoever. There are no illustrations, and the spelling and language have not been edited. Have a good thesaurus handy. So, here it is, the author's original script, no frills, for a bargain price. Which is exactly what I was looking for.
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VINE VOICEon August 16, 2011
I think like almost every American kid, I grew up "Frankenstein" on the movie screen. And I think I've seen them all: Boris Karloff, the silent version, "Young Frankenstein," "Bride of Frankenstein," "Frankenstein vs The Mummy," etc. I really thought I knew this story - the monster and the creator.

Turns out, I didn't know anything. Mary Shelley was very young woman when she wrote this piece, and her immaturity in writing does reflect within the pages. More on that later. This novel is important, as it ushered in a genre never before experienced: science fiction. Although this genre would become more advanced and developed, this novel broke ground, so to speak. What is unfortunate is Mary Shelley had a concept (such as re-animating a corpse), but didn't have the knowledge or understanding of how those concepts might be realized, so there are gaps. For example, the reader goes from A to C and is never truly given an explanation for B.

However, that's where imagination comes in, and the greater part of the story is not how certain concepts are realized, but a much larger moral issue. The question is: if humans have the capacity to defy the laws nature and play creator, should humans take on that role or should there be a code of morality to be considered? I do think this moral issue is also addressed in the movies I've seen, but not to such a large degree as it is in the book.

The variances between the book and the movies are astounding. If you've seen the myriad movies made of "Frankenstein," and believe you know the story, think again. The movie is really nothing like the book. The book offers so much more understanding of the "monster" - what he thinks, what he feels, and why he does what he does.

The writing style is a bit obtuse and outdated, but then, this was written during the gothic period. Also, Mary Shelley was quite young, and was not as seasoned a writer and it shows. Still, the novel is short and fairly easy to read, and the character and personality Mrs. Shelley gives the "monster" is well worth it.
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on December 12, 2012
There are several good reasons for reading FRANKENSTEIN, by Mary Shelley.

First, it's an excellent example of literature of the English Romantic period. It has the Gothic element as exemplified by its eerie monster; the detailed appreciation of nature with its descriptions of lakes, mountains, forests, and ice floes; and the idealization of the common man in its central characterization of the humble DeLaceys, who are at first so much admired by the monster.

Second, it is the first example of science fiction in English literature, as science is used to create human life in the laboratory. Some may argue that the third voyage of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS is also science fiction with its flying island, thus making FRANKENSTEIN the first complete novel in this genre.

Third, the plot of the novel is an intricate frame story that contains not one, not two, but three narratives. The outside frame consists of the epistolary technique--a series of letters exchanged between Captain Robert Walton and his sister, Margaret. Walton is exploring the North Pole region on his ship when he sights first a giant who is fleeing across the ice and then shortly afterward Victor Frankenstein in a physically diminished state. Walton rescues Frankenstein, who was pursuing the nameless, eight-foot tall creature. Frankenstein then proceeds to tell his life story in an extended flashback.

A brilliant student, Frankenstein's reach exceeds his grasp when he makes the decision to play God. Using recycled body parts of humans and animals and his knowledge of chemistry, he creates a monster with yellow eyes and yellow, almost transparent skin, so hideous looking that Frankenstein abandons his creation as soon as the thing opens its watery eyes. The monster disappears, and Frankenstein himself is ill for a period of time. Eventually he learns of the death of his young brother, supposedly killed by his caretaker, who is subsequently tried and executed. Frankenstein suspects otherwise and eventually confronts his ghastly creation, who confesses.

This confession, which is the third narrative, will wring the heart of the reader, and this account is the finest part of Shelley's novel. The monster has frightening encounters with humans and so eventually hides near the cottage of the DeLacey family. He watches them, falls in love with their humble lifestyle, and does farm chores for them at night in secret. By listening to them, he learns to speak and by borrowing their books, again at night, he learns to read. Thus he becomes the educated creature confessing to Victor Frankenstein. Finally, the monster gets up the courage to reveal himself, first to the blind DeLacey grandfather, but when he is discovered by the adult children, all hell literally breaks loose.

I cannot emphasize enough how poignant and heart-breaking this section of the novel is. After his rejection by the DeLaceys, the monster burns down their cottage and eventually murders his creator's brother. Now he asks Victor Frankenstein to have mercy on him--by creating a mate for him! It will be a new Eve for the new Adam, and Frankenstein reluctantly agrees. However, when the time comes to do the deed, he cannot bring himself to bring another monster into the world.

What follows is a continuation of Victor's story and then Walton's--it is a tale of madness, mayhem, and murder that eventually ends in self-destruction on the ice floes of the North Pole.
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on September 19, 2011
When I came across this book I had to buy it. If you're a fan of classic horror, you'll love the story that inspired the movies. But if you're looking for a couple hundred pages of grunts, growls, and "fire bad...arrrrggghhh!" don't buy this book. It's a more intelligent read than that. I won't go into the story itself, most everyone around the world is familiar with the basic premise of the Frankenstein tale.

The book itself is beautiful. If you want eye candy for your bookshelf, this would satisfy any literary sweet tooth. It's a leather bound book. How can you tell it's real leather and not simulated? You stick your nose close to the binding and sniff. If it smells like a brand new pair of Buster Browns it's leather. Along with the leather binding it has quality end pages, the page edges are gilded giving them a nice sheen when the book is closed, and like a good quality bound book it has a sewn in ribbon book mark.

It's been printed in fairly large print on heavy stock paper and is easy to read, but as this work of fiction was penned almost 200 years ago the reading may be a little slow until you get used to the vernacular of the early 1800's. However, there are footnotes throughout the book that define and explain certain words and references that might confuse the modern reader.

This is a true literary classic, no library should be considered complete without this title in the collection. This particular edition would be a beautiful addition to anyone's book collection.
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on October 23, 2013
First off, I have to be honest in saying that I was actually very surprised that the story—the original text—is nothing like the stories we have today about Frankenstein. First being that Frankenstein wasn’t even the name of the that freaky dude. He was actually called the creature or the monster in the book and came to be the Frankenstein monster but he wasn’t actually called that so…tough call for any families actually named Frankenstein during those days.

Second, this book is terrifying! It’s more than the image of this monster that’s scary because in reality, there’s not even much of description of the creature except he was yellow skin, had big eyes, like 8 ft tall, and had black lips. No really, there’s barely a paragraph of him. So I don’t know where the green colored Herman Munster comes from really. But back to what I was saying…ah yes, the terror! Because there’s so much background of this doctor Victor Frankenstein it’s scary to imagine what goes inside his psychotic little head. The description of what he does and what he thinks is so detailed, the story seems to be like a big fat foreshadow. And there’s so much death! Caroline, William, Henry, etc… Any character besides Vic barely lasts a few chapters.

If you haven’t read it, I would definitely suggest it. Usually classics are either a strong no or yes but this is a strong yes for me! It’s completely worth it and if you ever consider watching the ridiculous movie adaptations then read the book first! The movies are ridiculous, specially the one with Robert De Niro in it.

Overall Rating: Well, who am I to rate it? Except that I really did like it, for a horror book. It’s definitely up there with Stephen King, actually way better than SK, so I would definitely give it a 5/5.
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on April 29, 2017
Very complex characters. I wrote an essay about this book to get me into my college's high school program on that exact topic, actually. This novel is nothing like the Frankenstein monster we associate with Halloween today. It's a classic that I feel everyone should read, a book that redefined a genre with its publication. You really felt for all the characters, and understood all of their motivations. Not what I was expecting, and in a good way!
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on December 22, 2012
Oh, Bernie Wrightson, great God illustrator of classic Gothic Horror. Where can you go wrong with Bernie Wrightson? Back in 1983, out of sheer love of Mary Shelley's classic novel, Frankenstein, comic illustrator Bernie Wrightson made a fully illustrated edition of the classic novel (currently available on amazon). The illustrations are nearly exactly what Mary Shelley described save for a strange liberty in making the creature's nose look like the nose of a skeleton. This was not described in the original novel and I was never quite sure of the point behind it. Oh, well. Bernie did the job for free. A nice, hard cover reprint of this book with an introduction by horror icon, Stephen King is currently available on Amazon for less than thirty dollars.

Bernie Wrightson was the illustrator for comic books for many years and even did the artwork for a Color the monster book back in the seventies. I used to have the color the monster book actually signed by Bernie. I bought it in Upstate New York. Now it has disappeared on me, probably accidentally thrown away by someone who did not realize what it was. He also did the art work for Stephen King's Cycle of the werewolf (made into the movie Silver Bullet) and Creepshow (also made into a movie).

The artwork here is beautiful and atmospheric and has a classic Gothic quality to it that you may only know from certain very old comic books. As I said before, the onlyd etail I'm not fond of is how he doe the nose of the creature. That was not how it was described in the novel. Otherwise this is perfect.
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on December 21, 2013
A long time ago, I went to high school and college, and had a chance to read this classic. After years of wondering why it was suppose to be so good, I read Mary Shelley's work last year and thought I got it all. Then I decided to get this version with the notes, analysis and summaries, and then re-read it again. As a result of this well put together, organized and simple to read book, I can finally say that I understand why it is a "classic" and I wished I had found this study edition back in the day. I would strongly recommend it for anyone trying to understand this original science fiction work, the author, and why her work is a classic. Further, I plan to incorporate this novel into my psychopathology course in the future. Excellent work!
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on June 1, 2015
Do not buy this item. The description is deceiving. It supposed to be a Maltese edition i.e. a translation into Maltese language. Instead of it you'll receive a horrible gibberish! It is a machine translation made by someone who has no idea of Maltese language. Majority of English personal pronouns especially "I" weren't recognized by that "machine" and left as they go, the language of "translation" is a horrible mixture of some English words including: dear , sister and so on, the words which have of course equivalents in real Maltese with the words in pidgin Maltese. Besides, the verbal forms of that supposed Maltese don't follow the subject of the sentence (e.g. the subject in singular proceeds the verb in plural! sometimes not in the 3rd person as required but in 2nd!). There is no name of so called "translator" mentioned anywhere, no printing place etc. The pages are not justified - they were printed as the text goes. I wonder why Amazon allows such "books" to be sold at all. Horror, horror, horror!
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on November 23, 2011
My earliest memories of the horror genre are from Saturday mornings with Grandpa Munster. I used to get up early just to go get the paper and see which movie was showing that Saturday. It was usually either a Godzilla movie or a Bela Lugosi-era monster movie. So my first experience with Frankenstein was the 1931 film version and Herman Munster. Needless to say, the original version was quite a bit different. Frankenstein was the creator, not the monster (although he more often goes by Victor). No stunted, criminal brain is involved. In fact, he is highly intelligent. I will leave it to the reader to decide for herself whether he is innately malevolent or a blank slate shaped by his early experiences, but I depart from many in thinking the former.

Shelley's prose is often very powerful. There are shades of Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment. Shelley makes extensive use of symbolism--breaking ice, the escape from science into nature, Frankenstein's relation with his monster analogized to God's relationship with man. It doesn't have much of the suspense modern horror so heavily relies upon. It's the kind of book that should make you think long and hard, and much of what you should think long and hard about is not entirely pleasant.

Shelley does sometimes writes in convoluted sentences: "She was tranquil, yet her tranquility [sic] was evidently constrained; and as her confusion had before been adduced as a proof of her guilt, she worked up her mind to an appearance of courage." But that's par for the course with Victorian writing.

I read the Kindle version of Frankenstein offered free through Amazon. I noticed few, if any, errors. This version contains Shelley's 1831 edits (e.g., Elizabeth is a Milanese orphan).
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