A classic tale of Gothic horror, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been a world favorite since it was first published in 1818.
Originally published as part of a contest between Mary Shelley, her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron, Frankenstein has since captured countless imaginations. When Dr. Victor Frankenstein learns the secret of imparting life to inanimate matter, he is eager to test his theories. The bones he collects to construct his human subject become a gruesome, frightening creature, endowed with supernatural size and strength. Lonely and miserable, the created comes to hate his creator. When the monster murders Frankenstein's brother and his bride, the doctor embarks on a heated pursuit, only to put his own life in grave danger.
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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.