Or the Modern Prometheus

Book - 1992
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No-one in the grip of Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN, with its mythic-minded hero and its highly sympathetic monster who reads Goethe and longs to be at peace with himself, can fail to notice how much more excellent the original is than all the adaptations, imitations and outright plagiarisms which have followed in its ample wake. In her first novel, written at the instigation of Lord Byron and published in 1818 (and revised in 1831), Mary Shelley produced English Romanticism's finest prose fiction.

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1992
ISBN: 9780679409991
Branch Call Number: FICTION She
Description: xxix, 231 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

THE novel to come from the Romantic era. Its source was a nightmare, and the book still resonates to this day. I have read it is not her best novel; that place is held by "The Last Man" (which we own, natch), a straight-up work of science fiction set in a post-apocalyptic world.

A scientist discovers a way to create life, but is shocked to find that he cannot control his creation.

Scientist Victor Frankenstein learns how to create life, but his discovery goes quickly awry when he creates a monster larger and stronger than an ordinary man. As the monster uses its power to destroy everything Victor loves, the young scientist is forced to embark on a treacherous journey to en... Read More »

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esimpat Mar 27, 2020

In the quest for greatness and notoriety, Victor Frankenstein, a young university student, discovers the genesis of life and creates a man in his laboratory. Isolating himself for years to accomplish his experiment only to experience extreme loathing at what he has created. The story then transpires as to the choices made by the characters in a way that does not condemn nor deify the act but allows the reader to make their own assessments.
At face value the story contemplates the morality and consequences of creating life but the narrative examines these issues with different perspectives that takes a deeper look at man’s struggle with right/wrong, compassion or lack thereof, status, and revenge. It is a story that is relevant even today as we stand on the cutting edge of science and its dilemmas in regard to any consequences to humanity in the name of progress.
Frankenstein is a book to read once and then perhaps read again later.

Dec 17, 2019

Shelley’s work has been cited as evidence against everything from GMO to AI. However, while I do think man-playing-god-gone-wrong is a central theme, there are several other ones I wish to dwell upon.⁣⁣
The first has to do with the dichotomy of good and evil. Frankenstein believes that the monster is evil because he is not human, but the latter argues it is because of the treatment he has received. In other words, it is a matter of nature versus nurture, and the book seems to lean towards the latter. ⁣⁣
However, what’s interesting is that as a monster, there is technically nothing wrong with killing humans. After all, don’t the humans hunt hares also, and not even notice when we step on bugs while walking? The good and evil is no longer a definite concept here, but rather dependent on identity and perspective. ⁣⁣
The second concerns the definition of humanity. Throughout the novel, both main characters remain obsessed with social connections. Frankenstein would rather die than tell people of his creation, and the monster first falls due to human rejection and later takes revenge through eliminating his creator’s connections. Thus, the definition of humanity here does not seem to be physical, as Frankenstein insists, but rather social. ⁣⁣
Lastly, we know Frankenstein is compared to god and the monster to Adam, but Frankenstein also describes his experiment to the original sin by saying “the apple was already eaten.” So he, too, is Adam. Through playing god and creating Adam, god himself has also fallen. Through creating a monster, Frankenstein has also become one himself. ⁣⁣

For more book reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

Dec 11, 2019

It was good when I owned it, but I don't like books when I read them the second time.

Sep 11, 2019

Frankenstein is a classic Gothic novel written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, initially as a short horror story to enter in a competition between her husband and friends. Upon the suggestion and encouragement of her husband, Shelley succeeded in reforming her story into the renowned novel Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein, the narrator, seems to be a young man of very few wants, with a loving family and the prospect of a successful life ahead with his remarkable intelligence. However, upon the discovery of his potential to create a living human out of the bodies of the dead, which he procures in a graveyard, his life takes a dark turn. The story causes the reader to reflect upon Victor Frankenstein's ultimate decision, borne of his arrogance and confidence in his abilities, to create the monster, that became the curse of his life and those of his loved ones. Science, creation, brilliance; Frankenstein turns the tables as it portrays those things as dangerous weapons, especially in the hands of a genius. The horrors that exist inside a human are uncovered, to some extent, in this richly descriptive novel. 4 stars out of 5. @StarRead of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a classic that tells the tumultuous tale of a monster and his creator. Victor Frankenstein is a wealthy scholar who is overcome with the desire to learn about the origin of life. After laboring for years in solitude, he finally creates a man out of dead body segments but is horrified to see the grotesque monster he has created. Frankenstein abandons his creation which results in the monster killing his younger brother out of revenge. The remainder of the story revolves around the complicated relationship between master and creator where both sides seem equally pitiful. To find out what happens to Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, I recommend reading this amazing classic. Although it is a difficult read, this book is a 4 out of 5 because its chilling plot will make you turn page after page. Catherine P., grade 11, of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

May 27, 2019

It's a classics! And a classics go it's actually a good one, if a little dated. With advances in science and technology the themes of Frankenstein might be more pertinent now then they were in 1818 when Mary Shelley first wrote it.

Feb 26, 2019

One of the very first Science fiction novels I read that focuses on the consequences of action and the responsibility and ethics of scientific research and human values. This book is famous as a Halloween horror read, but it delves deep into the ego of acting god-like and the emotions of an un-dead monster willed into existence by a mortal being. The book questions who the real monster is!

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 21, 2018

One of the original “horror” stories, written by a 19-year-old woman trying to impress her “great writer” husband. While the ideas have a great deal of interest, the writing is dreadfully long-winded and indirect, nearly indecipherable at times.

Young student Victor Frankenstein goes off to college and becomes obsessed with learning to create life. He succeeds, bringing life to a combination of human parts he has stitched together in imitation of a man. The creature disappears. Years later Victor discovers that the creature has gained language and emotions and is bent on murdering the family of the man who brought him to life. The creature asks Victor to make him a wife but Victor refuses. Much murder, anguish, and chasing around follow.

For modern readers, the writing is difficult. Nevertheless, the germ of the story is compelling. A creature is given life and then abandoned by his creator, left on his own to determine how the world works. He is rejected by all humans and then rejected again when he asks for a companion to share his retched life. From that point of view it is a sad story. From Victor Frankenstein’s point of view, he has committed the “ultimate sin” – attempting to take over the powers of “God.” *Frankenstein* has influenced the writing of hundreds of other books from science fiction to anti-science polemics and is an important part of feminist and literary history. It is worth reading on that basis.

Dec 19, 2018

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay / to mould me man? Did I solicit thee / From Darkness to promote me?". Are creations accountable for their imperfections?

Nov 16, 2018

Not good for baby children, queit scary.

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Feb 05, 2019

FaithR thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jan 27, 2018

Alanreviews thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 23, 2017

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Dec 29, 2010

The story of attempting to prolong life and avoid death ultimately leading to disaster with the deaths and murders of friends and family of Victor Frankenstein.


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Feb 07, 2018

I ought to be thy Adam


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