I have always seen pictures of the Frankenstein monster, and film clips from various productions, but that was the extent of my exposure. Lately I’ve gotten interested in classic literature (see my earlier piece on The Phantom of the Opera), and decided to read the original novel, Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (picture from Wikipedia).
It was nothing like I expected. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but there was no obedient monster or mob scenes with pitchfork-wielding peasants. Some call it the first science-fiction novel. I would call it a tragedy. It’s a cautionary tale about the consequences of one’s actions, with a generous portion of obsession. Written in a different time, the author’s style very much fits her era; it seemed almost quaint to me.
In any event, it has certainly struck a chord in contemporary culture. Wikipedia lists 24 films, plays, and television, beginning in 1826, plus 28 “loose adaptations”. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s all the more reason to read the original.
The Wikipedia entry can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein
Amazon.com has a free Kindle download of the original at http://www.amazon.com/Frankenstein-Original-1818-Uncensored-Version/dp/149731982X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451872531&sr=1-3&keywords=frankenstein+by+mary+shelley