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5.0 out of 5 stars The original novel that started it all
Almost everybody I know has heard of Frankenstein. Maybe not its original story, but various adaptations and references either in movies, music songs, video clips, television, and video games involve Mary Shelley' storyline or its two characters; Victor Frankenstein and his unnamed creature which some people or movies have even named or confused with the title of the...
Published 3 months ago by Omnes

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "cursed, cursed creator."
Victor grew up reading the works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Albertus Magnus, the alchemists of the time. Toss in a little natural philosophy (sciences) and you have the making of a monster. Or at least a being that after being spurned for looking ugly becomes ugly. So for revenge the creature decides unless Victor makes another (female this time) creature, that Victor...
Published on Nov. 4 2006 by bernie


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5.0 out of 5 stars The original novel that started it all, Sept. 12 2014
By 
Omnes - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Frankenstein (Paperback)
Almost everybody I know has heard of Frankenstein. Maybe not its original story, but various adaptations and references either in movies, music songs, video clips, television, and video games involve Mary Shelley' storyline or its two characters; Victor Frankenstein and his unnamed creature which some people or movies have even named or confused with the title of the book's title/creator's name. For me, it wasn't until I saw Ken Russell's movie Gothic that I decided to read the original story.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Sympathy and Disgust, Jan. 26 2009
This review is from: Frankenstein (Paperback)
Frankenstein is a great novel. I went into it with all the flawed knowledge that television had told me of the tale. Of course, I was blown away with how the tale really went. I really enjoyed this book, and my friend who read it was also pleasently suprised by just how "awsome" it was.

I will try not to mention any plot give aways, but I feel I need to mention some things. The main characters in the novel are Victor Frankenstein and the "daemon" we all know he has created. My emotions for both these characters constantly varied throughout the book. Both characters were driven by such strong emotions, that I know caused them to make great errors in their judgement.

I just wish Victor had the sense to as calmly as he could sit with the monster and discuss why certain things could not be so, and how even though initially the monster was undeserved of the disgust he recieved, that since he had commited horrible crimes, he did indeed deserve all he had recieved. A rational "person", would likely begin to realize that he was right.

I would highly suggest reading this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "cursed, cursed creator.", Nov. 4 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Victor grew up reading the works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Albertus Magnus, the alchemists of the time. Toss in a little natural philosophy (sciences) and you have the making of a monster. Or at least a being that after being spurned for looking ugly becomes ugly. So for revenge the creature decides unless Victor makes another (female this time) creature, that Victor will also suffer the loss of friends and relatives. What is victor to do? Bow to the wishes and needs of his creation? Or challenge it to the death? What would you do?

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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3.0 out of 5 stars "cursed, cursed creator.", July 21 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The commentary tries to give depth and meaning to this poorly written story.

Victor grew up reading the works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Albertus Magnus, the alchemists of the time. Toss in a little natural philosophy (sciences) and you have the making of a monster. Or at least a being that after being spurned for looking ugly becomes ugly. So for revenge the creature decides unless Victor makes another (female this time) creature, that Victor will also suffer the loss of friends and relatives. What is victor to do? Bow to the wishes and needs of his creation? Or challenge it to the death? What would you do?

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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3.0 out of 5 stars "cursed, cursed creator.", June 27 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The commentary tries to give depth and meaning to this poorly written story.

Victor grew up reading the works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Albertus Magnus, the alchemists of the time. Toss in a little natural philosophy (sciences) and you have the making of a monster. Or at least a being that after being spurned for looking ugly becomes ugly. So for revenge the creature decides unless Victor makes another (female this time) creature, that Victor will also suffer the loss of friends and relatives. What is victor to do? Bow to the wishes and needs of his creation? Or challenge it to the death? What would you do?

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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3.0 out of 5 stars "Cursed, cursed creator.", Dec 5 2004
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Frankenstein (Paperback)
Victor grew up reading the works of Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Albertus Magnus, the alchemists of the time. Toss in a little natural philosophy (sciences) and you have the making of a monster. Or at least a being that after being spurned for looking ugly becomes ugly. So for revenge the creature decides unless Victor makes another (female this time) creature, that Victor will also suffer the loss of friends and relatives. What is victor to do? Bow to the wishes and needs of his creation? Or challenge it to the death? What would you do?

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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5.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough look at Mary Shelley's original work., May 2 2004
By 
This review is from: Frankenstein (Paperback)
This Norton Critical Edition makes an excellent value in literature. If you are a student of literature, this volume will help you gain a thorough knowledge of Mary Shelley's original text (lots of context and critical essays included), as well as editions that followed. It contains her original preface (supposedly much influenced by Percy) as well as her 1830 preface. If you do not know, Mary's monster is not the monster one finds in the movies, nor is Dr. Frankenstein. Further, if you have not read an edition other than the first, you don't know about the incest issue that is in the first edition, but not later editions. As you will find in reviews below, this is not a flawless novel, but it is a must read for any well-read person. What is rarely discussed is the influence of John Locke, whose Essay Concerning Human Understanding Mary Shelley read closely just prior to writing the novel. The influence of his work on hers is substantial. Read in the light of Romanticism's reaction to the Enlightenment and Locke et al gives one a completely different perspective for understanding the work. I think you'll find Mary's philosophy appropriately and interestingly feminine, without being feminist; another surprise, considering her lineage. Definitely a good read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquently Written Horror Classic, Jan. 19 2004
By 
C. Stephans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Frankenstein exceeded my expectations that were based on movies I have seen by the same title. This book is a literary masterpiece that sets a bar for terror that is yet to be surpassed.
I was very impressed by the writing skill of Shelley. She does a terrific job telling this story, using three narrators that offer different points of view and voices.
The monster is a character that elicited sympathy, respect, anger and hatred. He is intelligent and articulate in a way I did not expect. His ability to convey emotions and thoughts creates mixed emotions about him. Yet, because his hatred and anger prevail, these emotions prevailed in me too in my regards of him.
Shelley shows the danger of allowing one's ambitions to overtake balance and reason. We see the character of Dr. Frankenstein forsake all to see this dream of creating life realized. We see the consequences of his actions that are a warning to us to tread more cautiously regarding our ambitions.
All of the characters are developed comprehensively.
I enjoyed reading this but had to set it aside at times because of the tragedy it entails. You know where the story is headed but still hold out some hope that it will turn out more positively--like watching Titanic, you know it is going to sink but still hope maybe it won't.
I think this is a timeless classic you should read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its time; exquisitely written, terrrifying novel, Jan. 18 2004
By 
C. Stephans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was surprised by the literary beauty of this book and by its intriguing horror. It was not at all what I had expected based on my exposure to Frankenstein movies and tales. This story is quite different in many ways that make it more appealing to the reader.
The tale involves a monster that is truly hideous in form but reveals a conflicted mind and heart. Shelley effectively causes the reader to have mixed feelings about this creature that wields destruction while confessing its own misery and affection for humanity.
She also conveys the dangers of a person pursuing his or her ambition at the cost of other values such as relationships and peace.
The novel is told in an innovative fashion. Shelley uses three different narrators to tell the story. This creates some variety in the point of view and in the voice of the narrator.
This book is very compelling, but at times I had to put it down due to the tragedy of it. The whole time you know where its events are leading and a part of you wants to go there and another part wants to avoid it--like watching Titanic, you know it is going to sink but you still hold out some hope it won't and you try to avoid its definitive demise.
I think this is a horror story that has yet to be surpassed in literature. I really felt for the characters, including the monster. I was completely entertained by the skillful writing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Book at All!!, Jan. 13 2004
By A Customer
The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley starts off very uninteresting. In the beginning, a man writes letters to his sister in England but the story soon begins to pick up. Don't be discouraged when you read the first page or two. Give it a chance you will learn to love this story.
This novel is definitely not the same as the black and white movies you may have seen. Mary Shelley shows a whole new side to the monster in her novel. There are many conflicts and themes in this story. There is love, hate, and the most obvious rage. This is a classic story of a gothic monster gone mad and even though it was written well over 100 years ago it can still scare the pants off of people today.
This book touches on the main problem in society, acceptance. There are so many people out there who will change their look, their attitude and their entire lifestyle just to be accepted. This relates to me because I am now in high school and I have observed people who will do anything to be accepted. In my opinion it is ok to want to be accepted but when a person is willing to harm themselves, just to have more friends, that is not ok with me. Mary Shelley shows us the reality of life in this wonderfully touching story.
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Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Paperback - Dec 17 1995)
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