Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

First Published in 1818
Categories: Horror, Classic
Source: My own copy


Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering “the cause of generation and life” and “bestowing animation upon lifeless matter,” Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein. 

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? 

My Thoughts:

I think I like the story of how this book came to be better than I liked the actual book. With that said, I’m glad that I read this classic novel.
Frankenstein must have been extremely chilling when it was first published. I can see why it was so popular. It’s a  creepy tale that brings up all types of moral questions. To my modern mind it wasn’t terrifying. It was more of a “meh” type of scary.
All the monster really wanted was to love and be loved in return. He begged for friendship. He pleaded with Dr. Frankenstein to create a companion for him. When these things weren’t forthcoming he turned to furious revenge.
“Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and detested.” 

“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.” 

Frankenstein deserves the classic label for it’s longevity and timelessness. While the tale isn’t as scary as it once was, wonderful writing and fine craftsmanship never go out of style.

The Classics Club

40 thoughts on “Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  1. Indeed he was just looking to be loved. I thought that the way the wanting of warmth and kindness was turned to hate and murder was very affecting. I think such a twisting of positive emotions is the real horror here.The story behind the writing of the book is a great one!


  2. I haven't read it yet, but I think your last point there says it all. It might not be scary, but in a way that today just draws more attention to what it explores, what it has to say. I haven't read the back story so thank you for the link!


  3. I read this book in college for a class called The Enchanted Imagination (great course title, no? don't you want to take the class?) :)Let's see if this goes through – if so, I can finally comment on your blog, Jen! I hope you'll continue to visit mine.


  4. I read this book in college. I think it must have been much scarier when it was published. After all, we live in a world now where amazing things are achieved through science all the time but the people of Shelley's time were very wary of science.I'm glad you got the chance to read this one! 🙂


  5. A few years ago I picked up Dracula and started reading it. It wasn't until I was halfway through that I had an out-loud epiphany that I was reading Frankenstein. I was sooo confused as to why there were no vampires and my husband still refuses to let me forget that I read so much I that I literally read the wrong book.But, I loved Frankenstein (even though there were not any vampires). And in my defense – the spines are similar.


  6. You are doing so good on your classic club choices. I've only read one so far. I am so swayed by new publications right now…


  7. That story cracks me up! Now that I've read Frankenstein I can totally see how that would happen though. You don't get to the meat of these stories for a while. I didn't see the name \”Frankenstein\” until I was half way through the book. I'm thinking that Dracula is similar in that way. I'll be reading that as well but I'll probably save it for October so I have some Halloween reading.


  8. I agree, wonderful writing never goes out of style. I felt the same way about Dracula. It wasn't scary now, but I'm sure it was scary and shocking back when it was published. I do like Frankenstein the film, the one with Robert DeNiro in it. I always felt bad for the monster who just wanted to be loved. Great post.


  9. I never did manage to get through either Dracula or Frankenstein. Not sure why. But, I keep thinking I need to eventually give them another go . . . maybe in the fall. 🙂


  10. i totally agree that Mary Shelley's life and the birth of this story is a bit more interesting than the story itself. However, I did enjoy the story and I agree…the creature just wanted to be loved!


  11. I am a bit scared to read this book, even after you've said it isn't that scary. The same way I feel about Dracula by Bram Stoker. Sooner or later I might pick up both, for now I'll hold out 🙂


  12. Glad to see your review and that it was only sorta scary. It's on my classics club list as well, or I think it is. I look forward to reading it, I think it's interesting the book focuses on the more emotional effects of being a \”monster.\” Monsters have feelings too 🙂


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