Scientist Victor Frankenstein learns the secret of how to bring life to the non longer living. By constructing a human form out of assembled body parts and giving the form life, Victor creates a creature not meant for the world, and the consequences are chilling.
What I liked most about this novel was the number of philosophical questions it raises: what makes a monster a monster, who is the monster, at what point does knowledge become dangerous, what are the lines that science should not cross, who decides where these boundaries are, what are the consequences of interfering with evolution (for us and for our `creations'), where does religion fit in, what right do humans have to interfere with nature etc...; blended with the human emotions of betrayal, acceptance, loss, regret, repentance and rejection. The blend of science and philosophy is anchored to the human experience through Victor and the monster (who through consciousness feels the same spectrum of human emotion we do).
As others have noted, this is the 1818 version of the text, so differs from the most widely known version. I agree with most people here it is the better version. It seems to be less contrived and more natural, and there is more commentary on science and society to enrich the philosophical side.
I agree that the introductory material is excellent and definitely worth reading.
I would recommended this.