By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley,

Book cover of Frankenstein

Book description

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

'That rare story to pass from literature into myth' The New York Times

Mary Shelley's chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley on Lake Geneva. The story of Victor Frankenstein who,…

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Why read it?

27 authors picked Frankenstein as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book is ideal for people who like to explore the dark side of scientific obsession devoid of context and the unexpected negative effects of research without any restraint or concern for the consequences in the shadowy figure of Dr. Moreau. One of the most intriguing villains in literary history in my view. When science pursues goals without any concern for how it affects the entire scope of persons involved or the wider field of influence around it, disastrous things can happen no one can predict. That being said, there is a lot of unknowns in pursuing cutting-edge research which…

Okay, I know Frankenstein’s Creature is generally viewed as a Monster rather than zombie but hey, he’s built from graveyard flesh and bone. His creator is generally seen as a ‘man of science’ but he dabbled in the occult and alchemy, too, even if he abandoned those ideas to try modern alternatives. It’s an amazing book using The Creature’s plight to challenge our ideas and morals. These ideas of how we should treat people and the results remain poignant but it is the loneliness of the Creature and its battle to survive its rejection by its creator and society…

From David's list on where the dead have something to say.

This was one of my first fiction favourites, and you can’t talk about medical technology in fiction without talking about the book that started it all. Frankenstein is often called the first science fiction novel, and I completely agree, but let’s not forget that secondary title: The Modern Prometheus, proclaiming a modern mythology that equates science with stealing fire from the gods. A cautionary message about the promise and perils of the search for knowledge, the essence of the story will never be outdated: a would-be-creator reaching too far, ultimately failing his/her creation and being destroyed by it.


Love knows no bounds. A creature created by the ambition of another sparked a war within their very souls. To be loved is the goal of anyone's existence. It could be by the one who gave you life, another who looks like you, or can conquer or shatter one's existence. 

I found that love can come in many forms. Without it, we are all doomed to suffer.

Forgot the films, read the book. Told in an epistolary format, the novel is short but fantastically crafted, and crammed with graphic details and the science of the day. I don’t think any film has or could do it justice. A must-read, if only to use your own imagination as Shelley saw it.

Plenty of readers love Frankenstein. It’s a classic gothic horror story about monsters and men, but what I love about this book is its commentary on science. Dr. Frankenstein is a cold and calculating man for whom restrictions are merely obstacles to be overcome. It’s this theme as a work of science-fiction that allows it to stand out.

From Frank's list on monster stories about humanity.

I’m sure you all know about Frankenstein, It is an old book and story that has been told and retold but it’s popularity is well deserved. Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.

Victor Frankenstein was the inspiration behind another character in my story. Although the characters are not alike. Just the idea of a creepy Doctor doing odd and slightly scary things. I found the whole story creepy and weird and it’s a classic that never gets old.

From John's list on madness, fear, and the unknown.

I went into this with a vision of the classic Frankenstein monster in my head from the James Whale movies—a square head and sparkplugs poking out of his neck. I love Whale’s aesthetic (especially his Bride of Frankenstein), but it doesn’t do justice to Shelley’s prose as Dr. Frankenstein looks in horror upon his creation. “I had gazed on him while unfinished; he was ugly then, but when those muscles and joints were rendered capable of motion, it became a thing such as even Dante could not have conceived.” This lyricism drew me in and made me realize that’s why…

Mary Shelley invented the science fiction genre with this book. When I read it the first time, I felt empathy for the monster, and outrage at his creator. Frankenstein created his “man” and was so horrified at his successful experiment, that he abandoned the creature, which had no idea who or what it was, or how to live its life. Everywhere the creature turned it was rejected and abused on the basis of its appearance, while its creator evaded his responsibility. The scientist was, in many ways, more monstrous than his monster.

This novel, written in 1816, is the granddaddy of all changeling books. I read it when I was in high school, and I’ve read it many times since because it is riveting. Filled with horror, high emotions, and changelings who despite their deeds haven’t lost their humanity. Shelley’s world building is specific and real, which makes the danger feel even closer. There’s a reason thus books have stood the test of time. 

From Michael's list on changelings and their friends.

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