An Apple Books Classic edition.
Mary Shelley was just 18 when she had a nightmare vision: “I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life.”
Despite her lack of writing experience, Shelley converted her dream into what is often referred to as the world’s first horror novel, a timeless tale of science gone bad. Frankenstein follows the story of Swiss scientist Victor Frankenstein, who manages to animate a hulking creature referred to as a “monster,” “wretch,” or “fiend.” Shelley’s 1818 classic has become one of the most frequently taught works of fiction, a cultural touchstone for conversations about the dark side of innovation. (Made-up words like Frankenscience andFrankenfood have become shorthand for the products of technological tampering.) More than 200 years after it was published, this novel remains a thought-provoking read that explores timely themes like creators’ responsibilities for the unintended consequences of their inventions.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Few novels can be credited with launching entire genres. Written in 1818, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a gothic tale whose influences are felt in countless works of fantasy, horror and science fiction. Hypnotic and suspenseful, the book slowly unfolds the story of Victor Frankenstein, a ferociously intelligent man whose scientific experiments lead to violent tragedy. Though you’re probably familiar with the basic plot—manmade monster rises up to destroy its creator—it’s fascinating to make connections to the scary stories that came in its wake. Equally compelling is the notion that Shelley found inspiration in her own life; the author’s “creator”, pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, died giving birth to her only daughter.