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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (2001)

Introduction by Jeffery Deaver.

Frankenstein ranks among the most enduring horror tales ever imagined. The groaning Monster, bolts erupting from his neck and stitches fastening his square brow, is famous worldwide. But the creature born in Mary Shelley’s mind nearly two hundred years ago was far more complex: murderous and raging, but also articulate, lonely, and gravely misunderstood by the world into which he was thrust.

The story of Victor Frankenstein emerges in a series of letters penned by Walton, an English explorer icebound in the Arctic. While studying natural philosophy in Geneva, Frankenstein discovers how to give life to inanimate matter, and from dead flesh constructs a living being. His Monster possesses superhuman speed and strength, and learns of human emotion by studying Goethe, Plutarch, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. But as the creature’s mind and thoughts develop, his loneliness and misery build, and he acts out in deadly violence. When the scientist refuses to create a companion for him, the Monster lets loose his full wrath. Berserk, he murders Frankenstein’s wife, then flees to the North Pole. Frankestein follows, desperate to destroy his rampaging creation. Once there he meets Walton and confesses the horror that is drawing him deep into the Arctic wasteland.

Jeff Deaver has written the introduction in the Oxford World’s Classics version of the classic.

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