Since it was first published in 1818, Mary Shelley's seminal novel has generated countless print, stage and screen adaptations, but none has ever matched the power and philosophical resonance of the original. Composed as part of a challenge with Byron and Shelley to conjure up the most terrifying ghost story, Frankenstein narrates the chilling tale of a being created by a bright young scientist and the catastrophic consequences that ensue. Considered by many to be the first science-fiction novel, the tragic tale of Victor Frankenstein and the tortured creation he rejects is a classic fable about the pursuit of knowledge, the nature of beauty and the monstrosity inherent to man.
The first novel of the scientific revolution and, incidentally, the first novel of science fiction. -- Brian Aldiss Frankenstein appeals to something very primal, but it's also about profound things, the very nature of life and death and birth. -- Kenneth Branagh How many fictional characters have made the great leap from literature to mythology; how many creatures of sheer language have stepped from the rhythms of their author's idiosyncratic voices into what might be called a collective cultural consciousness? -- Joyce Carol Oates The greatest novel of the Romantic movement. -- Michael Dirda