Or, The Modern Prometheus

Book - 2013
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One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'

A stunning new clothbound edition of Mary Shelley's infamous work of horror fiction, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectible Penguin editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design

Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. This chilling gothic tale, begun when Mary Shelley was just nineteen years old, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

This edition also includes 'A Fragment' by Lord Byron and 'The Vampyre: A Tale' by John Polidori, as well as an introduction and notes

Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the daughter of pioneering thinkers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, eloped with the poet Percy Shelley at the age of sixteen. Three years later, during a wet summer on Lake Geneva, Shelley famously wrote her masterpiece, Frankenstein . The years of her marriage were blighted by the deaths of three of her four children, and further tragedy followed in 1822, when Percy Shelley drowned in Italy. Following his death, Mary Shelley returned to England and continued to travel and write until her own death at the age of fifty-three.

Publisher: London : Penguin Classics, 2013
ISBN: 9780141393391 (hbk.)
0141393394 (hbk.)
Branch Call Number: FIC SHELLEY
Characteristics: lxiii, 273 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Hindle, Maurice 1944-


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200 Years of Frankenstein

Step into Victor Frankenstein's nightmare: A monster of his own creation, sewn together from corpses, hates him so deeply that it vows to kill everyone he loves. Frankenstein, a tale of horror by Mary Shelley, is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year! A classic work of English literature, Frankenstein is about more than fear and the unnatural. It's also about scientific advancement and… (more)

From Library Staff

October 1: See Great Conversations Book 2 for Discussion Guide.

October 1: See Great Conversations Book 2 for Discussion Guide.

October 1: See Great Conversations Book 2 for Discussion Guide.

From the mother of Science Fiction - A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.

Summer 2020 Reading Selection. Will discuss at October 2021 meeting. See Great Conversations Book 2 for Discussion Guide.

From the critics

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Jan 15, 2021

One of the first published works of science fiction, Frankenstein recounts the story of Victor Frankenstein's creation of a creature and its ramifications. The frame narrative (a story within a story) makes even more compelling because it allows the reader to connect with another character who is also hearing the story for the first time.

Jan 06, 2021

This novel is a classic, focusing on the creator/creature relationship between Frankenstein and his monster. Shelley explores the boundaries of science and ethicalities in her gothic novel. The tragic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monster is an enrapturing warning for those who meddle beyond the laws of nature.
recommended age: 12+

Jan 06, 2021

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a gothic, science fiction novel, a classic. I’m sure most are somewhat aware of what the story entails. A mad scientist creates life, but unfortunately is posed with the consequences of acting before thinking. Our main character Victor Frankenstein (not the monster contrary to popular belief) is faced with moral quandary after moral quandary, and we are able to read both from his and the monster’s perspective. Will humanity accept the monster? Will Frankenstein have a happy ending after taking such a deep step into the unknown of sciences? Find out by reading Frankenstein, a classic that all should read once in their lifetime.

Dec 18, 2020

Very thought provoking book, it makes you question what really defines a “monster”. I really like how it makes us sympathize with the creature and how his appearance affects his relationships with the world. It gives a great example of judging a book from it’s cover, the creature looks disgusting and gross on the outside, but on the inside he is smart, kind, and confused. The tragic events that happen to his creator, Victor, could be seen as a punishment my nature for the sin he’s committed, messing with life and death with his creature.

Nov 29, 2020

The modern adaptations of the scary green monster are not always accurate in regards to the creation described in the novel. Frankenstein, by the renowned Mary Shelley, has become a classic displayed every Halloween, most typically as a green, incoherent monster. Instead, the novel follows Doctor Victor Frankenstein, who obsessively seeks to find an answer to transcending death and is able to re-animate a corpse. Horrified by his own creation and the destruction he believes the monster will cause, he flees, haunted by his own invention. The monster is left to fend for himself in this strange society, and gradually learns the ways of humans and is even able to learn the language. When the two meet, atrocities follow.

This story has certainly stood the test of time, even if the plot has been warped along the way. I love this novel because it reveals an important theme of caution over the excessive pursuit of knowledge. The monster is a result of too much ambition, and it ultimately backfires on Dr. Victor Frankenstein and causes him to lose much in his life. Furthermore, the prejudice against the monster is what causes him to ultimately become that, a monster. Although this novel was born out of a scary story-making contest between some of the great writers in the early nineteenth century, these messages are still applicable today.

This novel is great for anyone to read, as there are themes that people of different age groups can relate to. However, I would caution against younger children reading the book, as they may be susceptible to certain fears as a result of the story. Overall, I highly advise people to read this novel at least once in their life.

Age rating: 13+
Star rating: 5 stars

Nov 19, 2020

This book is absolutely stunning. It is interesting and engaging with underlying moral philosophies, making it both a pleasure to read as well as contemplative and introspective. I would definitely recommend this book.

Just to let you know, the 2004 ebook version is in FRENCH. And it pops up even when you filter for English.

Oct 29, 2020

i didnt expect Victor to be a twink

Oct 22, 2020

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the ultimate Romantic novel. It follows a young man named Victor who becomes fascinated with pushing the boundaries of science and takes his inspiration from occult and arcane sources to transgress again and again. We’ve all heard about Frankenstein’s monster, and the story places great significance in the similarities and differences between Frankenstein the man, and the monster he creates. Shelley deftly handles themes of identity, transgression, morality, society, and the self in Frankenstein. Reading this book is engrossing; its writing and narrative structure pulled me in and I appreciated getting to see more of Victor’s path to dissolution and the ways Shelley compared the monster and the man. I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in a good book-- that’s how versatile and widely appealing it is.

Sep 17, 2020

This book kept me turning every page for a hope at happiness for Victor. I am honestly speechless and at a lost for words. Read the book and you will feel the same way. Absolutely stunning.

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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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