Or, The Modern Prometheus

Book - 2003
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Obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material with which to fashion a new being, shocking his creation to life with electricity. But this botched creature, rejected by its creator and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy Frankenstein and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley's chilling gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Lord Byron's villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world's most famous work of Gothic horror, and Frankenstein's monster an instantly-recognisable symbol of the limits of human creativity.Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Shelley's preface to the first edition. This revised edition includes as appendices a select collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 together with 'A Fragment' by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori's 'The Vampyre- A Tale'.Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of the author and political philosopher William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman . In 1814 she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married when his first wife died in 1816. She is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein , but she wrote several other works, including Valperga and The Last Man. If you liked Frankenstein , you might enjoy Bram Stoker's Dracula , also available in Penguin Classics.
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 2003
Edition: Rev. ed
ISBN: 9780141439471
Characteristics: lxiii, 273 p. ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Hindle, Maurice
Alternative Title: Frankenstein
Modern Prometheus


From Library Staff

Banned in apartheid South Africa in 1955 for containing "obscene" or "indecent" material.

The story of a young science student who creates a creature during an unorthodox scientific experiment.

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Mar 19, 2019

One of the greatest novels of all-time by the mother of science fiction.

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.

Nov 13, 2018

It reads more like romance literature from the drugstore racks, I have to say I am a bit disappointed in the original rendition of this book. The details in the accounts given second hand to the captain are beyond verbose which makes the book unrealistic. It could have been a series of letters written by the hand of Frankenstein not a oral conversation written down in detail that a stenographer would have a tough time at it.

I gave up after 150 pages or so, it's a romance novel just from a different era.

AnnabelleLee27 Oct 24, 2018

The novel is quite different (and much better) than any of the Hollywood versions. The core of the story presents many fascinating and still relevant questions around what it means to be truly human, the power of acceptance and love, consciousness, and grief. Many of the characters are simplistic and undeveloped while the prose is flowery and rambling by today's standards which makes it a somewhat difficult read.

IndyPL_ShelbyG Oct 23, 2018

This was my first time reading Frankenstein and I loved it! I thought the writing was easy to follow, even when the characters went on a tangent (which happens multiple times). Her descriptions of the landscape were beautiful. I despised Victor Frankenstein; I thought he was, for lack of a better term, a selfish crybaby. I highly recommend this classic!

LPL_IlkaI Sep 30, 2018

Not just solid classic literature, but also the first science fiction novel and written by a woman! There are common misperceptions that are associated with Frankenstein that mostly come from popular culture and one most prevalent is the Creature is without a voice. When you read Frankenstein, nothing could be further from the truth. His voice is one of the most important in literature out there, quite possibly, and it will touch your heart.

Jul 18, 2018

Everybody should read this book, the first work of science fiction. Frankenstein and the fiend are two sides of the same coin, both deserving pity, both doing evil. The book presages the ills wrought by modern power, including terrible war and the destruction of the environment.

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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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