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on 20 November 2017
This version is not compatible with the penguin edition of the book and many pieces of the text is summarised, skipped or altered which of course takes away from the actual meaning of the text. The reading in itself is of good quality and is comfortable to listen to but that means very little when what is being read is not in accordance with the original text. If you just want to read Frankenstein for the pleasure of it I suppose it will do but I would argue having listened to this version you cannot really claim to actually have read Frankenstein as it is so lacking in content that I wouldn't bother.Still waiting for someone to do a full text reading of the book but for now I'll just have to read it out loud to myself.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 May 2017
Shelley’s novel is transgressive in its content, and more transgressive in its nature – written by a female (at age 19!) under a pseudonym to penetrate the public approval. This novel explores human emotions, good and bad, in response to the ‘Other’ in true gothic fashion. The grunting, green-faced, bolt-bearing monster depicted by film and media is a pale imitation of Shelley’s masterpiece – but the original is a 'blue-print' for all monster creations. Despite being a cautionary tale on how nature, which is essentially good, can be corrupted by ill treatment – contemporary depictions have departed from the original characterization of an extremely well-spoken monster with immense speed and grace.

PLOT (4.5/5)
An intelligent and ambitious young student indulges a moment of thoughtless scientific passion and creates life. Horrified at his creation, Victor Frankenstein shuns the creature and attempts to discard it from his life and thoughts. The creature, however, is lost in an unkind world and seeks affection, and upon rejection then seeks revenge.

STUDENT NOTES (5/5)
+ Although many reviewers note The York Notes version usefulness at GCSE, I found in instrumental at helping me receive an A* at A-Level as well:
a) The (character, theme and quotation) analysis is brilliant, clear and precise.
b) The exam questions, key quotations and chapter summaries were invaluable
c) The responses to the text, both modern and those from Shelley's contemporaries are invaluable (especially the feminist and psychoanalytical essays).

CHARACTERS (5/5)
+ Both main characters are easy to empathise with despite being completely at heads – both Victor (the ambitious scientist who realises his overreach and attempts to redeem himself) and the monster (whose fragile psyche is birthed from rejection)

STYLE (4/5)
+ The original, but nevertheless still one of the most remarkable science fiction stories ever written, its relevance persists today as scientific discovery journeys further than before into ethical ambiguity (GM food, AI, cloning) and discrimination still exists in all its forms.
+ Typically Romantic and beautifully descriptive prose, particularly regarding the natural world.
- The book begins very slowly with excessive detail, and the epistolary form makes it hard to convey any sense of suspense. But if you persist despite this you will be drawn in to Shelley's world.
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on 22 June 2016
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 the revision guide which I purchased and throughly enjoyed it.

The school recommended buying it as a useful book to continue the revision now that they have moved on to Macbeth.

What I also like is it has blown away all the myth and given her the story in its true form.

I am pleased this isn't going to be a book that she despises due having to read it again or indeed a book that lay gathering dust from lack of use.
She is 15, studying Frankenstein and throughly enjoys the story.
Not only that but she is really interested in Mary Shelley which makes it all so much more gratifying to buy.
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on 26 April 2017
This book has been reviewed and studied so many times over the years, so I'll keep this simple.

It is a classic novel, originally published back in 1818. This does mean that the language is harder to read and understand for some people, and the general culture and ideas are all rather different to what you may be used to. That's always the biggest problem with reading and appreciating older novels - sometimes we just can't enjoy the fantastic writing or the unique characters like people would've back when it was released.

We are first introduced to Robert Walton on an expedition to the North Pole, writing letters back home. The whole story is, in fact, him recounting what he is told by the man he picks up in his boat - Frankenstein. Frankenstein's story is a familiar one; he created a monster, who subsequently felt lonely amongst this world of humans. This creature wanted a partner, a mate, but Frankenstein was unwilling to create yet another daemon of this kind. So he took revenge, slowly removing all of the Frankenstein's loved ones until he no longer held the will to live himself.

It is actually a lot sadder than I ever knew. I didn't know much, just the generic "Frankenstein's monster" creation story. But this novel is full of heartache and loss, regret and terror. It's about a scientist crossing the line of creation, only to suffer drastically for his ambitions.

Yet we are also given the "monster's" account - his terrifying, lonely entry to the world, his plea for company, even his regret for the lives he took. I never really thought much about the creation himself, didn't consider his side all that much. But this novel makes you think about him, and even causes you to sympathise with him.

I liked this book, but I feel like it's one of those books you're supposed to like. I'm not a huge fan of classic novels, but I can see past the difference in language and lifestyle. I just really appreciated the amount of emotion in this, and also it's not-so-perfect ending. It isn't a favourite, and it wasn't a casual, easy read, but I will give it 3.5 stars.
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on 16 February 2018
A very absorbing tale. Because I have seen so many versions of Frankenstein on TV. Hammer House Horror, the old Boris Karloff style movies. There are so many different presentations that I did not know what to expect. The way it all began was splendid and the whole experience was glorious and Gothic. Victor Frankenstein creates an eight-foot-tall man from dead body parts. The scientific project is a hideous creation that Frankenstein finds himself disgusted with. The crux of the story is that this wretched eight-foot monster can't accept his creator's rejection.

The monster comes back to haunt Frankenstein and shower misery upon him with devious and murderous means of close relatives. Frankenstein is caught up in a battle of his own conscience as the ghoulish giant monster blackmails him for his own contentment and happiness. This story is a fabulous masterpiece. I am so pleased I read this.

The Last Days of Thunder Child: Victorian Britain in chaos!
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on 2 May 2015
Enough has been said already about the story that I can add little. It is a classic of English literature but perhaps also very much of it's time with some of the less probable events ( the monster learns to read by observing from afar then reads some weighty treatise of philosophy, or wandering the wilderness of Central Europe just so happens upon Victor's younger brother). It is also rather bleak and melodramatic, with the main protagonist proclaiming himself the most miserable being even before the worst of his mishaps. That said, it is a very poetic and beautifully written work raising all sorts of questions about the duty of a creator to his creation. It seems odd to a modern sensibility that someone able to instill life in inanimate flesh cannot render a female creation sterile and thus unable to bear children.

These minor gripes aside this is another beautifully presented volume from Barnes & Noble and will sit handsomely on any book lovers shelf - in my case beside the sumptuously blood red Barnes and Noble edition of Dracula - the natural companion.
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on 13 September 2017
Shelley's Matilda, though a mere novella, is worth reading for the way in which it reworks generic Romantic tropes from a female viewpoint.

It tells a heated story of incestuous desire, guilt, exile and death, themes which constitute the standard materials of the Romantics. That P.B. Shelley was also writing a play about incest (The Cenci) adds another intertext.

What makes Shelley's story stand out is her beautiful conjuration of desolation in landscape and soul, and her attention to female interiority. As is the case with the 'creature' in Frankenstein, the sins of the father are, quite literally, appropriated by the 'child'. A short read, but a striking one.
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on 31 March 2018
Rating: 4 stars

Category: Gothic

Synopsis: Victor Frankenstein is a scientist obsessed with the miracle of life. In an intricate but ghastly experiment, he endeavours to discover the nature of life itself by resurrecting a cobbled human corpse. The resulting creation haunts him from the secluded Scottish coastline to the breath-taking lakes of Switzerland, causing us to question the very nature of humanity…

Review:

The famous anecdote surrounding the origin of Frankenstein is that Mary Shelley was on holiday with friends, who challenged each other to write the most terrifying ghost story they could. However, Frankenstein is so much more than this. In fact, the novel has deep philosophical undertones, asking some highly thought-provoking and contentious questions.

One of the most strikingly memorable aspects of Frankenstein is the settings; beautifully depicted mountains, lakes, wildernesses and icy wastelands paint a rich picture in the imagination. A stark contrast is drawn between the flaws of humanity and the awe-inspiring natural world.

The unusual structure of the novel took me a while to get used to, with its stories within stories within stories. At first, I felt limited by the narrow perspectives this gives. However, as I progressed the structure added an element of intrigue as I wondered how the different stories all fit together. Shelley also uses a great deal of foreshadowing, but rather than destroying the suspense I felt that she instead creates a different kind of suspense. Although I knew what was going to happen, my pulse still beat faster – I felt I had no choice but to cling on, hurtling towards the next inevitable disaster.

The main character, Victor Frankenstein, is fundamentally pathetic. I found it very difficult to warm to him due to a self-centred ‘woe is me’ attitude that becomes frustrating. This is particularly the case as he takes very little positive action in the story; any form of ‘resolution’ is only ever a fickle change of attitude or partial reconciliation with his own guilt. However, my disdain for the main character did not undermine the value of the story. In fact, Shelley’s portrayal of him demonstrates a sharp understanding of human nature, making her bleak interpretation of it even more disturbing.
Victor Frankenstein’s obsession with the secret of creation causes us to wonder how far we should push human progress. The treatment of the “creature” that is the abhorred result of his experiments makes for a jarring exploration of the extent of human cruelty. Meanwhile, its longing for affection and development from a state of childlike wonder to vengeful range demands consideration of what exactly makes us human.

Frankenstein remains a relentlessly dark, terrifying portrayal of the fine line between human and monster.

Favourite quote: “The world to me was a secret, which I desired to discover; to her it was a vacancy, which she sought to people with imaginations of her own.”
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on 3 August 2017
Well I'd been wanting to read this for ages, now I have all the time I need so I got started. For anyone who has seen any of the earlier film versions of this, forget them, there is no correlation between what she wrote and what they created. The narrative is excellent and the way your drawn through the story. The philosophical debates of the the creator of life and the created, how they are eternally connected whether they like it or not. How mankind shuns those who are kind and generous yet their looks outway their actions. A must read and I feel I will read it again soon.
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on 14 May 2017
Very powerful. Emotionally incredible. I found the characters very interesting-whether the monster truly was evil, and Frankenstein responsible for his fate, or if the monsters behaviour was akin to an uncontrolled unloved child, who easily overreacted, then tortured himself for his wrongdoings, yet continued to subconsciously/uncontrollably kill in anguish and despair. Hard to read though, slow going, complex. Will take u a while! Also rather depressing. Otherwise very interesting.
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