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Frankenstein Mass Market Paperback – Aug 7 2000
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Frankenstein, loved by many decades of readers and praised by such eminent literary critics as Harold Bloom, seems hardly to need a recommendation. If you haven't read it recently, though, you may not remember the sweeping force of the prose, the grotesque, surreal imagery, and the multilayered doppelgänger themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece. As fantasy writer Jane Yolen writes of this (the reviewer's favorite) edition, "The strong black and whites of the main text [illustrations] are dark and brooding, with unremitting shadows and stark contrasts. But the central conversation with the monster--who owes nothing to the overused movie image but is rather the novel's charnel-house composite--is where [Barry] Moser's illustrations show their greatest power ... The viewer can all but smell the powerful stench of the monster's breath as its words spill out across the page. Strong book-making for one of the world's strongest and most remarkable books." Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce Carol Oates. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Full-color drawings, photographs, and reproductions with extended captions have been added to the unedited text of Shelley's novel, thus placing the work in the context of the era in which it was written. The artwork faithfully represents the text and makes this edition appealing to reluctant readers. Unfortunately, many of the captions provide tangential information that, although interesting, interrupts the flow of the story. However, readers will quickly learn that it is not necessary to read every caption and appreciate this volume for its many quality illustrations.
Michele Snyder, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this 200 pages novel, we have a story within a story where Captain Walton, in an epistolary prose, narrates his sailing toward the North Pole and his rescue of Victor Frankenstein he found strapped on a block of ice. Saving the man's life, but also learning the misfortunes that the scientist experienced as he gave birth to a creature whose existence has destroyed his life. In a story about the quest for knowledge and power, but at the terrible cost of several losses.
Of the Arcturus Edition, this novel doesn't have any illustrations apart from the front cover. The text is transcribed in its entirety, along with a summary on Mary Shelly's life. The prose is easily readable, an fusion of both the Gothic and romanticism currents. Lots of descriptions regarding the emotions, torments, and joys of the characters. Making it a very expressive and emotional read.
As such, this novel was a wonderful opportunity to uncover the original story that inspired all those adaptations. Which some have called one of the first example of Science Fiction literature.
But the original creature is quite different in 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.Read more ›
Although the concept of the monster is good, and the conflicts of the story well thought out, Shelly suffers from the writing style of the time. Many people do not finish the book as the language is stilted and verbose for example when was the last time you said, "Little did I then expect the calamity that was in a few moments to overwhelm me and extinguish in horror and despair all fear of ignominy of death."
Much of the book seems like travel log filler. More time describing the surroundings of Europe than the reason for traveling or just traveling. Many writers use traveling to reflect time passing or the character growing in stature or knowledge. In this story they just travel a lot.
This book is definitely worth plodding through for moviegoers. The record needs to be set strait. First shock is that the creator is named Victor Frankenstein; the creature is just "monster" not Frankenstein. And it is Victor that is backwards which added in him doing the impossible by not knowing any better. The monster is well read in "Sorrows of a Young Werther," "Paradise Lost," and Plutarch's "Lives." The debate (mixed with a few murders) rages on as to whether the monster was doing evil because of his nature or because he was spurned?
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Most recent customer reviews
Third or fourth time reading; and I would guess as many times buying a copy - maybe a couple more. Can't go wrong with this classic. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
On writing this review, I had to remind myself this novel is 200 hundred years old and likely the first of its kind, and therefore as original as a novel can ever be. Read morePublished 3 months ago by BookRecycler
I'm so pleased with my purchase! It's perfect and I love the used condition of it including the writing inside! A gem :) thank you very much!Published 5 months ago by Mishou De Champlain
This book is absolutely great. The quality really astounded me for the price I paid, the story in their is the original, unedited version written by Mary Shelley and that's worth... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mathieu Lapointe