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Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems
Emily Dickinson, Helen McNeil
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Norman Denny
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
Selected Poems
William Shakespeare
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Fannie Flagg
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley, Maurice Hindle, Elizabeth Kostava, Elizabeth Kostova

A gothic horror classic. A book that predates Dracula by almost 100 years and was written by Mary Shelley when she was just 19 years old. Firstly, I LOVED the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition of this book. It had an amazing cover and started with a brief introduction of circumstances of how it came to be written. Mary Shelley was holed up on the continent in the pouring rain for a few days, with her husband, the poet Percy Shelley and their friend Lord Byron, along with another guest Dr Polidori (Gabriele Rossetti's uncle) when Byron suggested they each write a 'ghost story'. Apparently Shelley and Byron abandoned their projects, while Poldori went on to write 'The Vampyre: A Tale' a book that perhaps later inspired Dracula. I found this tale of the how the book came about enthralling in it's own way and it was a who's who of English literature of the time. Now onto the actual story of Frankenstein. I guess I shouldn't detail what exactly happens, for those who haven't read the book. What I will say is that it isn't what films and cartoons of the 20th century have made Frankenstein out to be. My edition of the book contained the 1831 revisions that Mary Shelley made from the original 1818 edition, which re-wrote most of the first volume of the book (it containing 3 volumes) I found this first volume a quicker and more enthralling read and it contained mostly Dr Frankenstein's rendition of events. The next volume largely moved to his 'monsters' version of events and I was slightly disappointed by how slow this section became. I felt it detailed too much of the mundane and not enough of the horror that I was expecting. The last volume picked up again and ended off both Dr Frankenstein's tale and that of his creation. So my thoughts on the book....I gave it 4 stars. It didn't completely grip me and like I said, I found the middle section a little slow and boring in places. However I think that this is such an important book and written almost 200 years ago, at the dawn of modern science (indeed when Mary Shelley writes about Dr Darwin she is referring to Erasmus Darwin, Charles' Grandfather, yet are the discoveries of Nature and evolution still to be made) I think the subject of what constitutes life and by which means we as humanity, should be enabled to create it, are as pertinent today, if not more so.