Cancel

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

by Mary Shelley , Karen Karbiener (Introduction)

996 Reviews

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
Launch Sample
Paperback  (Revised Text Edition (1831))
$7.95 7.95
Special Item Info Text
View Product Details
add to cart
save for later
Select Wishlist
Everyone (Public)
Just You (Private) - Sharing is Disabled
Select a Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
Advertising
Overview

Overview

Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

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 rofound, 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? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

Karen Karbiener received a Ph.D. from Columbia University and currently teaches literature at New York University.



Show More
Product Details
ISBN-13:
9781593081157
9781593081157
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
01/30/2005
Series:
Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Edition description:
Revised Text Edition (1831)
Pages:
256
256
Sales rank:
231
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
10 - 18 Years
Show More
Read an Excerpt

Read an Excerpt

From Karen Karbiener's Introduction to Frankenstein

Werewolves, vampires, witches, and warlocks have been the stuff of folklore, legend, and nightmare for centuries, yet none have so haunted the public imagination as the monster created by eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley in 1816. From the start, we have been eager to help the monster live off of the page, to interpret the tale for ourselves. Within five years of the novel's initial publication, the first of what would eventually be more than ninety dramatizations of Frankenstein appeared onstage. Shelley herself went to see one of the thirty-seven performances of Presumption that played in London in 1823. Lumbering violently and uttering inarticulate groans, the monster attracted record numbers of theatergoers, as well as a series of protests by the London Society for the Prevention of Vice. Mary was pleased and "much amused" by Thomas Cooke's attempts to portray the monster, and even made a favorable note about the playbill to her friend Leigh Hunt. "In the list of dramatis personae came, --- by Mr. T Cooke: this nameless mode of naming the unameable [sic] is rather good," she wrote on September 11 (Letters, vol. 1, p. 378).

A familiar yet ever-evolving presence on the Victorian stage, the monster also haunted the pages of newspapers and journals. Political cartoonists used Shelley's monster as the representation of the "pure evil" of Irish nationalists, labor reformers, and other favored subjects of controversy; it was often depicted as an oversized, rough-and-ready, weapon-wielding hooligan. In Annals of the New York Stage, George Odell notes that audiences were entertained with photographic"illusions" of the monster as early as the 1870s. And the cinema was barely ten years old before the Edison Film Company presented their version of the story, with Charles Ogle portraying a long-haired, confused-looking giant. Virtually every year since that film's appearance in 1910, another version of Frankenstein has been released somewhere in the world-though the most enduring image of the monster was the one created by Boris Karloff in James Whale's 1931 classic. The creature's huge, square head, oversized frame, and undersized suit jacket still inform most people's idea of what Shelley's monster "really" looks like.

As strange and various as the interpretations of the creature have been, the monster has retained a surprisingly human quality. Even in its most melodramatic portrayals, its innate mortality is made apparent; whether through a certain softness in the eyes, a wistfulness or longing in its expression, or a desperate helplessness in its movements, the creature has always come across as much more than a stock horror device. In fact, several film adaptations have avoided the use of heavy makeup and props that audiences have come to expect. Life Without a Soul (1915) stars a human-looking, flesh-toned monster; and in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), actor Robert DeNiro, who is certainly neither ugly nor of great stature, did not wear the conventional green face paint and restored the monster's eloquent powers of speech.

Like Satan in Paradise Lost, Mary Shelley's monster was given a shadowy and elusive physical presence by its creator. It moves through the story faster than the eye can follow it, descending glaciers "with greater speed than the flight of an eagle" or rowing "with an arrowy swiftness." The blurriness of the scenes in which the monster appears allows us to create his image for ourselves and helps explain why it has inspired so many adaptations and reinterpretations. Certainly, too, both Milton's Satan and Shelley's creature have been made more interesting, resonant, and frightening because they have human qualities. The monster possesses familiar impulses to seek knowledge and companionship, and these pique our curiosity and awaken our sympathies. Its complex emotions, intelligence, and ability to plan vengeful tactics awaken greater fears than the stumbling and grunting of a mindless beast. A closer look at Shelley's singular description of the monster's features reveals its likeness to a newborn infant rather than a "fiend" or "demon": Consider its "shrivelled complexion," "watery eyes," and "yellow skin [that] scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath." The emotional range of De Niro's monster, the gentle childish expression in Karloff's eyes, even the actor Cooke's "seeking as it were for support-his trying to grasp at the sounds he heard" (Letters, vol. 1, p. 378), suggest that we have sensed the monster's humanity all along.

Another trend in the way the monster has been reinterpreted is equally suggestive. Movie titles such as Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), and Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) testify to the fact that the monster has taken on the name of his creator in popular culture. In Frankenstein, the monster is called plenty of names by his creator, from at best "the accomplishment of my toils" to "wretch," "miserable monster," and "filthy daemon"; significantly, Victor never blesses his progeny with his own last name. Our identity of the creature as the title character does, of course, shift the focus from man to monster, reversing Shelley's intention. Reading the book, we realize that Frankenstein's lack of recognizing the creature as his own-in essence, not giving the monster his name-is the monster's root problem. Is it our instinctive human sympathy for the anonymous being that has influenced us to name him? Is it our recognition of similarities and ties between "father" and "son," our defensiveness regarding family values? Or is it simply our interest in convenience, our compelling need to label and sort?

Our confusion of creator and created, as well as our interest in depicting the creature's human side, indicate an unconscious acknowledgment of a common and powerful reading of Frankenstein: that the monster and his creator are two halves of the same being who together as one represents the self divided, a mind in dramatic conflict with itself. Just as Walton notes to his sister the possibility of living a "double existence," even the civilized person is forever in conflict with his or her own monstrous, destructive, even self-destructive side. Indeed, if the monster/creator conflation were to represent the human race in general, Shelley seems to be saying that our struggles with the conflicting impulses to create and destroy, to love and hate, permeate all of human existence. Shelley could not have chosen an idea with more relevance to twentieth- and twenty-first-century readers than humankind's own potential inhumanity to itself. Our ambitions have led us to the point where we, too, can accomplish what Victor did in his laboratory that dreary night in November: artificially create life. But will our plan to clone living organisms or produce life in test tubes have dire repercussions? We build glorious temples to progress and technology, monumental structures that soar toward the heavens; and yet in a single September morning, the World Trade Center was leveled-proving once again that man is his own worst enemy.

In Frankenstein, Shelley exhibits a remarkable ability to anticipate and develop questions and themes peculiarly relevant to her future readers, thereby ensuring its endurance for almost 200 years. To understand why and how this ability developed, we must take a closer look at her life, times, and psychological state. Certainly, Frankenstein details a fascinating experiment, introduces us to vivid characters, and takes us to gorgeous, exotic places. But this text, written by a teenager, also addresses fundamental contemporary questions regarding "otherness" and society's superficial evaluations of character based on appearance, as well as modern concerns about parental responsibility and the harmful effects of absenteeism. Anticipating the alienation of everyday life, Robert Walton and the monster speak to those of us who now live our lives in front of screens of various kinds-computer, television, movie. Other readers may feel stabs of recognition when confronting Victor, a perfectionist workaholic who sacrifices love and friendship in the name of ambition. Frankenstein is a nineteenth-century literary classic, but it is also fully engaged in many of the most profound philosophical, psychological, social, and spiritual questions of modern existence.

Show More
Customer Reviews (996)
- Anonymous
September 3, 2010
- Anonymous
November 15, 2012
- Anonymous
April 12, 2009
Show More Reviews 
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING details
  • Get it by Tuesday, May 29 ,  Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 
    Details

  • Advertising
    Share
    Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
    Hardcover (46)
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 09/30/2014
    Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
    ADD TO CART - $19.05
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 03/28/1992
    Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
    ADD TO CART - $18.83
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 02/07/2017
    Publisher: Macmillan Collector's Library
    ADD TO CART - $12.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
    Pub. Date: 05/28/1984
    Publisher: Turtleback Books
    ADD TO CART - $15.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
    Pub. Date: 10/01/2013
    Publisher: Turtleback Books
    ADD TO CART - $15.73
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 10/17/2017
    Publisher: Racehorse for Young Readers
    ADD TO CART - $14.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 11/07/2011
    Publisher: Simon & Brown
    ADD TO CART - $15.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Ad Classic Library Edition)
    Pub. Date: 10/23/2009
    Publisher: Engage Books
    ADD TO CART - $17.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 04/28/2018
    Publisher: Blurb
    ADD TO CART - $29.96
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 06/22/2011
    Publisher: Simon & Brown
    ADD TO CART - $15.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Paperback (240)
    Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
    Pub. Date: 01/30/2005
    Publisher: Barnes & Noble
    ADD TO CART - $7.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 05/06/2003
    Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
    ADD TO CART - $8.79
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 10/21/1994
    Publisher: Dover Publications
    ADD TO CART - $6.00
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Enriched Classic Series)
    Pub. Date: 04/27/2004
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    ADD TO CART - $4.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 10/01/2013
    Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
    ADD TO CART - $5.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 05/28/1984
    Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
    ADD TO CART - $5.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Step-Up Classic Chillers)
    Pub. Date: 04/28/1982
    Publisher: Random House Children's Books
    ADD TO CART - $3.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
    Pub. Date: 09/25/2007
    Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
    ADD TO CART - $17.00
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Ignatius Press Edition)
    Pub. Date: 02/28/2007
    Publisher: Ignatius Press
    ADD TO CART - $8.95
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (World Classics, Unabridged)
    Pub. Date: 08/01/2017
    Publisher: Alpha Editions
    ADD TO CART - $6.95
    Add to Wishlist
    NOOK Book (128)
    Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
    Pub. Date: 06/01/2009
    Publisher: Barnes & Noble
    ADD TO CART - $3.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 03/18/2014
    Publisher: Open Road Media
    ADD TO CART - $0.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 10/20/2015
    Publisher: Ideenbrücke Verlag
    ADD TO CART - $0.50
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (The Original 1818 'Uncensored' Edition)
    Pub. Date: 01/14/2018
    Publisher: A to Z Classics
    ADD TO CART - $0.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 03/29/2017
    Publisher: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    ADD TO CART - $1.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 05/06/2014
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    ADD TO CART - $0.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 12/03/2013
    Publisher: Dover Publications
    ADD TO CART - $0.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 11/05/2017
    Publisher: Pandora's Box
    ADD TO CART - $0.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 01/11/2018
    Publisher: Publisher s24148
    ADD TO CART - $1.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)
    Pub. Date: 11/01/2012
    Publisher: Barnes & Noble
    ADD TO CART - $2.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Audiobook (14)
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 03/10/2015
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio
    ADD TO CART - $9.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 11/03/2015
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio
    ADD TO CART - $14.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 08/04/2015
    Publisher: Dreamscape Media
    ADD TO CART - $39.99
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 09/28/2012
    Publisher: Scobre Press Corporation
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 09/25/2005
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 10/01/1994
    Publisher: HighBridge Company
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 08/01/2006
    Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 03/08/1994
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 10/28/2011
    Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein (The Classic Collection Series)
    Pub. Date: 06/10/2004
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Other Format (2)
    Frankenstein
    Pub. Date: 08/18/1992
    Publisher: Random House Children's Books
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Frankenstein : Library Edition
    Pub. Date: 06/26/2006
    Publisher: Findaway World Llc
    Temporarily out of stock online.
    Add to Wishlist
    Explore More Items
    Horror hides behind an attractive face in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's tale ...
    Horror hides behind an attractive face in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's tale of a notorious Victorian libertine and his life of evil excesses. Though Dorian's hedonistic indulgences leave no blemish on his ageless features, the painted portrait ...
    This stark little volume, orignally published in 1922, is Masefield's tribute to his deceased friend Charles Daniel, ...
    This stark little volume, orignally published in 1922, is Masefield's tribute to his deceased friend Charles Daniel, a former provost of Worcester College, Oxford. Based on a dream of the poet's, it consists of a 168 line poem accompanied by four striking illustrations by ...
    Two hundred years have passed since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and yet it’s still considered ...
    Two hundred years have passed since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and yet it’s still considered a literary classic, one of the most recognizable stories in popular culture, and a horror icon around the world.Pasaron doscientos años desde que Mary Shelley ...
    ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP A timeless, terrifying tale of one man's obsession to ...
    ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP A timeless, terrifying tale of one man's obsession to create life -- and the monster that became his legacy. EACH ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: • A concise introduction that gives readers important background information ...
    The California edition of the Pennyroyal Press Frankenstein unites the dark side of Barry Moser's ...
    The California edition of the Pennyroyal Press Frankenstein unites the dark side of Barry Moser's art with the classic 1818 text of Mary Shelley's tale of moral transfiguration. In a vivid sequence of woodcuts, the reader witnesses the birth of ...
    Frankenstein (also titled The Modern Prometheus but now generally referred to as Frankenstein), was written ...
    Frankenstein (also titled The Modern Prometheus but now generally referred to as Frankenstein), was written by Mary Shelley and first published anonymously in 1818. The title makes reference to one of the novel's main characters, a scientist named Victor Frankenstein, ...
    Mary Shelley (1797-1851) published Frankenstein in 1818. Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist who creates ...
    Mary Shelley (1797-1851) published Frankenstein in 1818. Victor Frankenstein is a young scientist who creates a grotesque but sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement, Frankenstein is, at the ...
    Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy ...
    Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American ReadFilmmaker and longtime horror literature fan ...