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Frankenstein Turns 200

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Two hundred years ago this month, a modern classic was born. FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley has captured the imaginations of generations since it was published in 1818. We all know the story, even if we haven’t read the novel: mad scientist Victor Frankenstein cobbles together a monster, made of body parts, and brings it to life with terrible consequences.

Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Cover Image
ISBN: 9781472933737
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Sigma - February 6th, 2018

But where did these ideas come from? How did a teenager imagine such a strange monster? It seems as if the scientific learning of the day contributed significantly to some of the Monster’s most horrifying features. Kathryn Harkup’s new book, MAKING THE MONSTER: THE SCIENCE BEHIND MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN, explores the impact real science had on Shelley’s fiction.

The Original Frankenstein (Vintage Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307474421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - September 8th, 2009

Just like the monster, the original publication was cobbled together from multiple sources. Mary Shelley’s future husband, the poet Percy Shelley, made significant additions to the text. Mary subsequently revised further editions until the popular edition that we still read today was published in 1831. In 2008, Penguin Classics produced a version that compares Mary’s original text to the first edition. This is a fascinating look at how literature can change and evolve.

Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - January 23rd, 2018

The monster is still evolving. In 2014, Ahmed Saadawi won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel, FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD. Set in U.S. occupied Baghdad, a strange man begins to piece together human body parts from the rubble of the city ostensibly to make the government recognize the parts as people. But things don’t go as planned. This gripping, black comedy examines the contemporary landscape of war using 200 year old fears.

Young Frankenstein: A Mel Brooks Book: The Story of the Making of the Film Cover Image
By Mel Brooks, Judd Apatow (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780316315470
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - October 18th, 2016

Of course, sometimes the humor triumphs over the fears. One of our more enduring interpretations of the novel is Mel Brooks' film, Young Frankenstein. Spoofing the original 1931 movie, Victor Frankenstein (pronounced Fronk-en-steen) resists fufilling his grandfather's mad ambition. This fantastic book of stories and photographs from the film (on screen and off) shows how one classic work and create another.