Originally written as a response to a challenge from Lord Byron‚ Frankenstein still haunts our minds with images of the dead brought back to hideous life. Mary Shelley’s nineteenth-century masterpiece begins with a fateful rescue in the Arctic and slowly evolves into a gripping story of horror—a contest of wills between Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates. Wandering through Europe‚ the confused creature searches for a father figure in the tortured scientist who stitched him together with body parts stolen from the grave. Themes of revenge‚ the philosophical limits of science‚ and forbidden knowledge are deeply explored in the greatest Gothic novel ever written.
This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader’s notes to help the modern reader contend with Shelley’s complex vocabulary and references.
Frankenstein, loved by many decades of readers and praised by such eminent literary critics as Harold Bloom, seems hardly to need a recommendation. If you haven't read it recently, though, you may not remember the sweeping force of the prose, the grotesque, surreal imagery, and the multilayered doppelgänger themes of Mary Shelley's masterpiece. As fantasy writer Jane Yolen writes of this (the reviewer's favorite) edition, "The strong black and whites of the main text [illustrations] are dark and brooding, with unremitting shadows and stark contrasts. But the central conversation with the monster--who owes nothing to the overused movie image … but is rather the novel's charnel-house composite--is where [Barry] Moser's illustrations show their greatest power ... The viewer can all but smell the powerful stench of the monster's breath as its words spill out across the page. Strong book-making for one of the world's strongest and most remarkable books." Includes an illuminating afterword by Joyce Carol Oates.