Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by Mary Shelley


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Jugar a ser Dios es cosa fácil, pero tiene, para todos los involucrados, creadores y criaturas por igual, un alto, altísimo precio que entre todos pagamos tarde o temprano. Este libro nos lo hace ver y comprender magistralmente. Una criatura que ha sido engendrada con restos de cadáveres descubre que ha sido cruelmente engañada por su propio creador. Esta traición le será insoportable y provocará la espiral de la violencia con que la novela se encamina, con renovada intensidad, hacia su desolador desenlace. Mary Shelley es el padre y la madre de la ciencia ficción tal y como la concebimos: como un ejercicio de crítica de la realidad, como una visión panorámica de nuestros deseos más íntimos y de nuestros miedos más públicos. Una escritora imprescndible para entender el mundo en que vivimos, el caos que hoy nos lleva entre sus aguas turbulentas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780613639354
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Publication date: 09/01/1994
Series: Puffin Classics Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.75(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was an English novelist and the second wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Frankenstein is her best-known work.

Read an Excerpt



To Mrs. Saville, England St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17—

You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday; and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare, and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking.

I am already far north of London; and as I walk in the streets of Petersburgh, I feel a cold northern breeze play upon my cheeks, which braces my nerves, and fills me with delight. Do you understand this feeling? This breeze, which has travelled from the regions towards which I am advancing, gives me a foretaste of those icy climes. Inspirited by this wind of promise, my day dreams become more fervent and vivid. I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight. There, Margaret, the sun is for ever visible, its broad disk just skirting the horizon, and diffusing a perpetual splendour. There—for with your leave, my sister, I will put some trust in preceding navigators—there snow and frost are banished; and, sailing over a calm sea, we may be wafted to a land surpassing in wonders and in beauty every region hitherto discovered on the habitable globe. Its productions and features may be without example, as the phenomena of the heavenly bodies undoubtedly are in those undiscovered solitudes. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light? I may there discover the wondrous power which attracts the needle; and may regulate a thousand celestial observations, that requireonly this voyage to render their seeming eccentricities consistent for ever. I shall satiate my ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited, and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man. These are my enticements, and they are sufficient to conquer all fear of danger or death, and to induce me to commence this laborious voyage with the joy a child feels when he embarks in a little boat, with his holiday mates, on an expedition of discovery up his native river. But, supposing all these conjectures to be false, you cannot contest the inestimable benefit which I shall confer on all mankind to the last generation, by discovering a passage near the pole to those countries, to reach which at present so many months are requisite; or by ascertaining the secret of the magnet, which, if at all possible, can only be effected by an undertaking such as mine.

These reflections have dispelled the agitation with which I began my letter, and I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven; for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose—a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. This expedition has been the favourite dream of my early years. I have read with ardour the accounts of the various voyages which have been made in the prospect of arriving at the North Pacific Ocean through the seas which surround the pole. You may remember that a history of all the voyages made for purposes of discovery composed the whole of our good uncle Thomas's library. My education was neglected, yet I was passionately fond of reading. These volumes were my study day and night, and my familiarity with them increased that regret which I had felt, as a child, on learning that my father's dying injunction had forbidden my uncle to allow me to embark in a seafaring life.

These visions faded when I perused, for the first time, those poets whose effusions, entranced my soul, and lifted it to heaven. I also became a poet, and for one year lived in a Paradise of my own creation; I imagined that I also might obtain a niche in the temple where the names of Homer and Shakespeare are consecrated. You are well acquainted with my failure, and how heavily I bore the disappointment. But just at that time I inherited the fortune of my cousin, and my thoughts were turned into the channel of their earlier bent.

Six years have passed since I resolved on my present undertaking. I can, even now, remember the hour from which I dedicated myself to this great enterprise. I commenced by inuring my body to hardship. I accompanied the whale-fishers on several expeditions to the North Sea; I voluntarily endured cold, famine, thirst, and want of sleep; I often worked harder than the common sailors during the day, and devoted my nights to the study of mathematics, the theory of medicine, and those branches of physical science from which a naval adventure might derive the greatest practical advantage. Twice I actually hired myself as an under-mate in a Greenland whaler, and acquitted myself to admiration. I must own I felt a little proud, when my captain offered me the second dignity in the vessel and intreated me to remain with the greatest earnestness so valuable did he consider my services.

And now, dear Margaret, do I not deserve to accomplish some great purpose? My life might have been passed in ease and luxury; but I preferred glory to every enticement that wealth placed in my path. Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! My courage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate, and my spirits are often depressed. I am about to proceed on a long and difficult voyage, the emergencies of which will demand all my fortitude: I am required not only to raise the spirits of others, but sometimes to sustain my own, when theirs are failing.

This is the most favourable period for travelling in Russia. They fly quickly over the snow in their sledges; the motion is pleasant, and, in my opinion, far more agreeable than that of an English stage-coach. The cold is not excessive, if you are wrapped in furs—a dress which I have already adopted; for there is a great difference between walking the deck and remaining seated motionless for hours, when no exercise prevents the blood from actually freezing in your veins. I have no ambition to lose my life on the post-road between St Petersburgh and Archangel.

I shall depart for the latter town in a fortnight or three weeks; and my intention is to hire a ship there, which can easily be done by paying the insurance for the owner, and to engage as many sailors as I think necessary among those who are accustomed to the whale-fishing. I do not intend to sail until the month of June; and when shall I return? Ah, dear sister, how can I answer this question? If I succeed, many, many months, perhaps years, will pass before you and I may meet. If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never.

Farewell, my dear, excellent Margaret. Heaven shower down blessings on you, and save me, that I may again and again testify my gratitude for all your love and kindness.

Your affectionate brother, R. Walton

Table of Contents

About the Series
About This Volume

Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts
The Complete Text [The 1831 Text]

A Critical History of Frankenstein
A Psychoanalytic Perspective:
David Collings, "The Monster and the Imaginary Monster: A Lacanian Reading of Frankenstein"
A Marxist Perspective:
Warren Montag, "'The Workshop of Filthy Creation': A Marxist Reading of Frankenstein"
A Feminist Perspective:
Johanna M. Smith, "'Cooped Up: Feminine Domesticity in Frankenstein"
New A Gender Critic's Perspective:
Frann Michel, "Lesbian Panic and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"
New A Cultural Critic's Perspective:
Bouriana Zakharieva, "Frankenstein of the Nineties: The Composite Body"
New Combining Critical Perspectives:
Fred Botting, "Reflections of Excess: Frankenstein, the French Revolution, and Monstrosity"

Glossary of Critical and Theoretical Terms
About the Contributors

What People are Saying About This

Muriel Spark

Out of that vampire-laden fug of gruesomeness known as the English Gothic Romance, only the forbidding acrid name of Frankenstein remains in general usage... Mary Shelley had courage, she was inspired. Frankenstein has entertained, delighted and harrowed generations of readers to this day.

Customer Reviews

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Frankenstein 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 253 reviews.
BluWolf More than 1 year ago
This is a reprint of the original text. It is considerably different from other versions, and the sections that were altered in later editions are included in appendices for the reader's use or curiosity. The Oxford edition, like their other classics, offers many notes on the text, additional resources, a chronology of the author's life, and many explanatory notes that help the reader move right along in the text. I highly recommend this version for schools. I used this in a college class and made a much more efficient use of my time because the legwork that the editors have done to provide comments and notes saved me from having to discover allusions or references for myself or skip them altogether. It's a great story. If you chose to look more closely, this book raises a lot of questions about human interests at their core. The book, although almost two centuries old, raises questions that are still relevant today - some of which still have no definite answer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With missing passages and characters in place of letters, this version is a ghastly abomination of Shelley's masterpiece, and more than challenging to read. There are better copies out there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't get this copy!! There is gibberish all over the place from Google that, in my opinion, is too distracting to be overlooked. I haven't even read the book yet and just deleted my copy from my nook in search for a better version!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this specific downloadable edition of Frankenstien I do not suggest (it lacks many important things such as discernable chapters and has the Google logo sprinkled throught in the most inconvienent places). Mary Shelly's Frankenstien is one of the few "classic" novels worth such an esteemed title, telling the tale of an unloved outcast and how a lack of compassion can turn a blank slate of a person into a vengeful monster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why are you people using the review section to pretend to be cats from warriors? The review section is supposed to be used to tell people how they thought the book they read was and give a comment that can help people decide whether they want the book, not to pretend to be cats. The book "Frankenstein" is a great classic and a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
we all know frankestein as the this book you understand the feelings of mother who has the heartbreak of his dead child, how she was disappointed,how hard she tried to give birth to his child who left the world she was living in.
DavidGraves on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My researches revealed Mary Shelley wrote this gothic masterpiece when still only 22 years old. Beautiful descriptive prose, inventive central ideas combining new scientfic ideas with Man's vaunting ambition. Often poignant. Mary's original narrative is far superior to the modern parodies available.
Borg-mx5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good, not great novel. Definitely worth a read, especially if you are only familiar with the films.
Stormrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
10/20. Ooo, halfway through the goal! Yay! (although this is a class book, so it doesn't really count...but whatever). I absolutely loved this book. Loved, loved, loved, loved. The fact that Mary Shelley wrote it when she was eighteen is stunning to me. It's got gothic, science fiction, philosophy, realism, travel narrative and bildungsroman all built into one. It's also one of the most morally challenging and ambiguous science fiction texts I have read. And yes, I do consider "Frankenstein" the foundational text of science fiction. You have to read it very carefully to pick up all the nuances, but it's absolutely worth it. Highly recommended.
Imshi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really didn't like this one. Maybe it's because of all the hype about it - surely after that anything would be a letdown. The reason I didn't like it was this: I felt that the themes of the novel were very interesting (knowledge, humanity, etc.) but I felt the execution was poor. Some key events in the novel depended on far too convenient plot devices (The monster needs to learn about humankind and morality! Oh, look, there's a random suitcase of philosophy texts lying in the woods! How convenient!) and because of that for me the plausibility of it suffered. And I KNOW it's meant to be a fantastic as opposed to realistic story, but I feel that with really, really good writing an author can make readers believe in things that are fantastic and implausible - and the writing in this book definitely didn't do that. Giving it two stars only because it's remained popular this long, so I suppose there must be something going for it.
Osbaldistone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First - this particular edition (Fall River Press, 2006, Illustrated by Lynd Ward) is a beautiful edition to a library, both because of Ward's numerous illustrations, but also the overall book design. Regarding Shelley's novel, the tale in this work is is the movie I wish Hollywood had made. A must read for gothic novel fans. Don't expect to find a monosyllabic monster, an assistant named Igor, villagers charging around with torches, or a castle tower capturing lightening to feed a roomful of hardware. As with Stoker's "Dracula" compared to Hollywood's, the impact of Shelley's "Frankenstein" is from the suggestion of the monster more than the monster itself. Victor Frankenstein's creation is rarely in the frame, but his influence on the events of the novel is ubiquitous. Frankly, I think this is a much better story than what Hollywood came up with. The main reason I didn't rate this 4 stars is that I found Frankenstein really annoying in his repeated observations about how much worse off he was than the vicitims of the creature, and his willingess to not worry about the creature's actions as long as it wasn't directed as his friends and family. There is no real protagonist, and certainly no hero in this novel, and that makes it a bit less than satisfying in the end.Os.
leperdbunny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Title: FrankensteinAuthor: Mary ShelleyGenre: Horror# of pages: 222Start date:End date:Borrowed/bought: boughtMy rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: BDescription of the book: Victor Frankenstein grew up in the picturesque Geneva and later Ingolstadt. Frankenstein toils away to create a creature and the moment it comes alive he runs away out of fear.Review: Again, another classic book- very gothic horror- atmospheric with all of the descriptions of nature in juxtapose with the horror of the creature that was created. I really, truly did not understand Victor's sudden pure hatred for his creature. I think I would have enjoyed the read a bit better had I mentally made myself slow down when reading it. It did have a very ghost story feel to it. This would have been fun to read around a campfire!
melydia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Forget all the Frankenstein stereotypes you know. Forget Igor, grave robbing, neck bolts, electricity, and mobs of angry villagers carrying torches. Victor Frankenstein is a student of natural philosophy (what science was evidently called back then) who plays with chemicals in order to create life from dead tissue. The monster, which remains nameless throughout the story, so frightens Victor that he runs away and tries to forget about it. The monster, initially gentle but driven to cruelty by the repeated condemnation by mankind, vows to ruin Victor's life in return for creating his misery. It's an interesting story, one that touches less obviously on the ethics of scientific experimentation, but says quite a lot about the unfortunate importance of beauty in society. Victor is more naive and pitiful than evil or mad. Definitely one worth reading, but don't go in expecting anything like those famous old movies.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For all its faults, the introduction reminds me that this is one of the few Gothic novels that is still read today. There is much that a modern reader would find difficult to believe - primarily the idea that a created being with no instruction, could become not only literate but positively academic in his mode of expression. Not to mention being able to develop the skills to keep himself alive with the assistance of not a single person. But putting that aside, there is a true theme of horror in this novel - not of the creature, but of the cavalier way in which Frankenstein creates life and then abandons his responsibility. Not only abandons, but rejects, again and again, the moral imperative he has to care for his creation. This is a cautionary tale against pursuing knowledge beyond the ability to take responsibility for that knowledge.
pauliharman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like Dracula, this was a book that I felt I had to read, rather than one I strictly wanted to. And after having read Dracula and been rather disappointed, I approached Frankenstein with more than a little trepidation.To begin with though I was pleasantly surprised; the prose was easier to read and the story sufficiently engaging.However as the story progressed, and the protagonist's endless "woe is me" act continued, I found myself having more sympathy for the innocent monster than with the rich idiot who refused to face up to his responsibilities and deal with the consequences of his actions. By the end, I was cheering the monster on to kill Frankenstien, if it would only stop his constant whining.
dickcraig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read the main novel three times and bought this book to round out my collection. It captures the essence of the book.
Wolfsong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Realizing there are some books I am just never going to get around to, I've decided to at least have the experience of having them read to me via audiobook. I don't consider this a substitution for the reading process, but it ranks as number two when it comes to experiencing a work of literature. I chose FRANKENSTEIN first.I'm glad to finally have experienced this story in its original form. Great story, but it left me sad and angry. I have grown to really despise Victor Frankenstein, a creator who abandoned his creation at the onset, merely because he was ugly. No one in the book affords the Creature any lasting sympathy, this is left only for the readers, if they are so inclined. Even the explorer from the book's framing sequence seems to side with Victor and he supposedly hear the tale exactly as I did. As the book drew to a close I was astounded that he felt admiration for Victor after the man's own tale exposed him as self-pitying, sniveling and often stupid coward. I suppose Mary Shelley must have been commenting on the society she lived in. Strangely, it makes me appreciate the character of Frederick Frankenstein in the comedy YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN more, as he is practically the antithesis of Victor, showing care and compassion for his creation despite his appearance.
sapphireblueeye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hated this book. It was boring. It was dense. The descriptions seemed to never end. None of the characters were at all likeable. I couldn't wait to be finished with it!
robreadsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Those of you who have preconceived notions about this story because you've seen the Hollywood film versions, read this book. You'll be pleasantly surprised. I guarantee it. This is nothing like the film and so much better. Shelley, in her brilliance, offers the hideous creature as the one to pity here. Not Frankenstein, not the townspeople, but the creature. A sad victim of his creator's selfish ambitions and the prejudices of a naive populace. In a way, a neglected and abused child, driven to acts of violence and rage as the only release from the agonizing rejection and isolation. His only real crime was his consuming need for acceptance...a love and be loved. This book was so ahead of its time when it was written. I highly recommend it. One of my favorites.
MeditationesMartini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm gonna give you two ways in which this book is laughable bullshit, and then counter with two ways in which it's a stunning triumph.Bullshit 1: Stylistics. I know this was ground out over a summer by a girl who hadn't really written anything before and etc., etc., but there are a lot of rough freakin' passages in this story. I'm not going to quote the one I'd intended to. This is a bit of a half-assed review. I think she smoothed most of them out in the 1831 text anyway.Bullshit 2: On a related note, plot mechanics. Really, dude? You just couldn't take the time to make sure your monster didn't escape? You just ran away and assumed everything would be fine? You couldn't bring yourself to tell the truth, just so you could feel bad when they executed that poor girl? Even with the singular psychology and crazy madness of old Franko, that's pushing it a bit far. But the most ludicrous thing is that it never even occurred to him that "I will be with you on your wedding night" might possibly imply some threat to Elizabeth, as opposed to Victor the golden boy - like, I know it's a convention of the Gothic, but come on, are you writing a parable or are you writing psychological realism?Triumph 1: The central myth is so hard hitting. Like, that's why we've had a hundred Frankensteins since, although the "Adam" version has it all over the bolts-in-neck Karloff guy. Incidentally, am I crazy in remembering this as totally different from last time? Like, the ice, yes, the wedding night, yes, but I thought there was a lot more emphasis on the initial creation (castle, slab, roof opening, lightning, etc.) and the bride. Maybe I just read a movie novelization as a kid and mistook it for the real thing.Triumph 2: the psychological sketch of Frankenstein. He's not "misunderstood genius," that cliche - he's understood genius. He's supportive, brilliant, loving family, golden boy, always fulfilling everyone's high expectations, it's not about duty it's about the stifling quality of love for the egomaniac who still knows how to love. How hard did his going away to Ingolstadt remind me of me running away to Austria and then deciding that wasn't far enough from friends and family and it was gonna have to be Kazakhstan next? How creeping and sick is the realization that realism aside, this paragon basically, symbolically, strangled his own wife so he could feel bad about it and be tragic? How shivery is it when the monster is so much like him, in loves hates rage and misanthropy and the total inability to wrap himself up in humanity? I mean, in a general sense "the monster IS Frankenstein" is a filmic metonymy and an overall cliche, but when you look at it close, really: how much difference is there between Frankenstein creating his monster and Jekyll creating Hyde? Everything is permitted when you put on your mask of sutures and dead flesh. Kill them: then you can miss them, and carry on your important work in their name.
slarsoncollins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow. What a book. Just goes to show things aren't always black and white, but that there are many shades of gray in between. The story centers around Victor Frankenstein, a brilliant scientist, who creates life in his laboratory. Driven by an insatiable desire to bring back the spark of life, he is disgusted and repulsed by his final creation and casts the creature out. This hideous being, denied even the smallest show of kindness or love, pleads with his creator for a symbol of compassion. Again denied, the monster turns against his maker and a life and death struggle ensues. When I turned the final page (or clicked onto the final page), I was left wondering: Who is the real monster?
rabbitrun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of creating life and fashions an eight-foot monster, only to bring danger and destruction to the lives of those he loves after the creature is rejected by society.
Renz0808 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have seen the numerous reproductions of the Frankenstein theme and I felt like I was rather familiar with the plot. Recently, I realized that I am a bit ashamed that I have yet to read this book for myself since along with Dracula it is considered such a classic horror story. I was so surprised as I started reading this book to find that all of the things I had thought about the story were actually wrong. This book is not so much about horror as it is about the basic human emotion for love and acceptance that we continually search for, and while the movies touch on this theme a bit the book is mostly about this thought. In a sense it is not so much horrifying as it is sad and disturbing, but the brilliance of the story is that it really makes you step back and look at yourself and what it means to be human. A Swiss medical student, Victor Frankenstein, discovers the secret of life and decides to build a man from various corpuses. He becomes horrified by what he creates and runs away from what he considers a monster. The creature suffers from a fair amount of confusion and neglect and begins to see himself as a terrifying monster. He is incredible smart and is able to teach himself language and means of communication through watching a poor family. He discovers the truth about his identity and begins to seek revenge on his creator. Through a series of tragic events Victor Frankenstein chases his creation around the world meaning to rid humanity from it.
syunya on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Through the book, I learned real sadness and loneliness. A monster, he is usually called Frankenstein. But the name is creater of Frankenstein. First he is kind. But he changes evil by degrees because people around him hate his face. I thought human is stupid.
elfortunawe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those classics that everyone knows about but that few ever actually read. The actual content of the book is so different from what people believe they know about it that I can't help but think someone (probably long dead by now, and safe from prosecution) has played an elaborate prank on the world, for reasons which will likely remain forever lost to the gentle perturbations of passing time.The story has a nested, tripartite, epistolary structure, being presented as a collection of letters by a young polar explorer named Robert Walton to his sister in England. Within this is nestled the story of the eponymous Dr. Frankenstein, who is found by the explorer and his crew on the pack ice. And comfortably holstered in Dr. Frankenstein's tale is the narrative of the life of Frankenstein's Monster, who relates his story to Frankenstein in the Alps, prior to Walton's discovery of Frankenstein near the North Pole.Mary Shelley was a Romantic, and, like most Romantics, was rather prolix and agitated. The novel maintains a fairly constant emotional tone, leaving the reader feeling a bit drained after only a few pages. All 3 of the narrative voices seem to be constantly on the edge of some unbearable sensation. Sometimes it's joy, but for the vast majority of the work it's despondency, so it's best taken in small doses.It might be easy to take this famous story for granted, but the reader should remember what a novel blend of ideas this was for the time. It's influence has been so thorough that it can be difficult to detect it's presence, but it can be readily perceived in the works of H.P. Lovecraft.