Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992
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From the Back Cover
At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the 'ghost story' that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the rage of London. In the generations since, the story of Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created has been read by millions all over the world. It has inspired hundreds of imitations, but it has never been equaled for its masterful manipulation of the elements of horror and suspense.
About the Author
Mary Shelley was born in 1797, the only daughter of William Godwin the philosopher and writer and Mary Wollstonecraft, the radical author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Her mother died a few days after her birth. In 1814 she left England with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and married him in 1816 on the death of his wife. She returned to England in 1823 after her husband's death. Shelley is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, but she wrote several other works including novels, biographies and short stories. She died in 1851.
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Top Customer Reviews
An intelligent and promising young student indulges a moment of thoughtless scientific passion and creates life. Horrified at himself, Victor Frankenstein shuns the creature and attempts to continue his life without thinking about it. The creature, however, is lost in an unkind world and he never stops thinking about Frankenstein.
Forget square-heads and green make-up, forget that dreadful modern remake with Kenneth Branagh and Robert DeNiro sit down and read one of the most remarkable science fiction stories ever written. It is basically about two men, Frankenstein and 'the wretch', who are so consumed by passion and pride that they are drawn ever further from the redemption that at times is tantalisingly close. These two men are all too easy to empathise with; Victor being a scientific genius but also scared witless by the horror he feels he has unleashed upon mankind and 'the wretch' (I can't honestly call him monster) who wants only to be loved but is so pained by his loneliness that he lashes out at others. Perhaps my favourite element of the book is the fact that the wretch reads 'Paradise Lost' and, having no concept of fiction, takes it all as complete truth, subtley warping his perception of reality.
As with a lot of 19th century literature, this book can be ponderous at times, seeming to deliberately avoid getting on with the story. Also, like a lot of 19th century literature, this book is incredibly depressing. By the time you've read it, you'll be in no doubt that you've read a masterpiece, but you'll also be as miserable as sin.
Victor Frankenstein is an ambitious young man obsessed with 'natural philosophy' - the natural sciences. When his interest turns to theories on reanimation and 'the spark of life', his devotion pays off and he builds a being, a giant of sorts, and succeeds in giving him life. But as this huge creature stirs for the first time, Victor awakens from his single-minded working frenzy, and flees in horror from this primitive monster he's created. What follows is a battle for freedom, happiness - and vengeance. The Creature, left to develop alone, outcast despite his capacity for love, becomes bitter in the face of his loneliness and the hostility of society. He blames Victor for his woes, for deserting him so cruelly - but Victor, in turn, is terrified of the 'demon' he fears he has unleashed. It becomes an all-out war which can only lead to tragedy...
For the reader, there can be no winner in this battle for dominance. Frankenstein, chasing his monster through the bleak landscape of the North, tells his story to the captain of a ship that has rescued him from the ice. The Creature, in turn, tells his own sorry tale to Victor within this narrative. Frankenstein is self-obsessed and blind to his responsibilities, yet perhaps he is right to condemn a being who has caused so much destruction.Read more ›
Without spoiling it too much, the monster was not given a name and Frankenstein was the name of the scientist who made the monster. Another mistake that some people make is in giving Victor Frankenstein the title of Dr. Frankenstein, as he never completed his studies. As for the monster itself, it was yellow, moved with immense speed & grace and was extremely well-spoken, having learned English from, amongst other thing, Paradise Lost.
The book begins very slowly. There is a lot of background detail given that doesn't really add much to the story and by a quarter of the way through the book, I was considering abandoning the book. Thankfully I didn't, for as the story continued I was drawn in to Shelley's world.
The tale touches on themes of ethics in science, love, rejection, denial and a huge dose of revenge. Undoubtedly the best section is the first prolonged conversation that Frankenstein has with his creation. While some sections are tough-going, I would highly recommend this as a classic of literature, and the best antidote to considering Frankenstein as anything like Fred Munster.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just finished reading letter 1. Language is quite beautiful. However I do wonder as to whether the author was writing with a dictionary in hand. Read morePublished 3 days ago by DC
I bought this for my daughter as she is studying Frankenstein for the 2017 english exam.
She has already read the book supplied for lessons/mock exams in school and used... Read more
Always wanted read this story. Overall good, but Frankenstein is such a winger...... Mary Shelley goes on a bit too much on things that do not matter and quickly skims over... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kevin John Lancaster
This is the book that you get out during the really bad weather. You know what I mean. The cold, damp and stormy weather that we in U.K know all too well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by YorockJr.