Frankenstein; Dracula; Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Frankenstein; Dracula; Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Three horror icons come together in one indispensable tome—with an introduction by Stephen King.

“Within the pages of this volume you will come upon three of the darkest creations of English nineteenth-century literature; three of the darkest in all of English and American literature, many would say…and not without justification…These three creatures, presented together for the first time, all have a great deal in common beyond their power to go on frightening generation after generation of readers…but that fact alone should be considered before all others.”—From the Introduction by Stephen King
A scientist oversteps the bounds of conscience and brings to life a tortured creation. A young adventurer succumbs to the night world of a diabolic count. A man of medicine explores his darker side only to fall prey to it. They are legendary tales that have held readers spellbound for more than a century. The titles alone—Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—have become part of a universal language that serves to put a monster’s face on the good-and-evil duality of our very human nature. And the authors—Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Robert Louis Stevenson—equally as mythic, are still possessed of an inventive and subversive power that can shake a reader to this day with something far more profound than fear. They gave root to the modern horror novel, and like the creatures they invented, they’ve achieved immortality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451523631
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1978
Series: Signet Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 736
Sales rank: 55,403
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.81(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Born in London, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-51) was the daughter of William Godwin, a noted social theorist, and Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the leading literary women of the day. Her mother died soon after her birth, and Mary was raised first under the care of servants, then by a stepmother, and finally in the rarefied intellectual atmosphere of her father’s circle. In May 1814, she met Percy Bysshe Shelley and, in July of the year, moved with him to the Continent. Two years later, after the death of Shelley’s wife, the poet and Mary were able to wed. It was in Switzerland in 1816, as a result of a story-writing competition among the Shelleys and Lord Byron, that Mary began Frankenstein, her first and most famous novel. Published in 1818, it was followed by such works as Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), and Falkner (1837). In 1822, after the death of her husband, she devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and the securing of his right to the Shelley family title.

Bram Stoker (1847-1912) was born in Dublin. After attending Dublin University, he spent ten years as an Irish civil servant, trying to keep up his writing in his free time. By 1871, he had become the drama critic for the Dublin Mail and had gained experience as a newspaper editor, reporter, and short story writer. In 1878 he became the personal assistant to Sir Henry Irving, the foremost Shakespearean actor of his day, accompanying him on tours and managing Irving’s theater. After Irving’s death in 1905, Stoker worked on the literary staff of the London Telegraph. Dracula, his most famous work, was published in 1897.

Throughout his life, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was plagued by ill health, which interrupted his formal education at Edinburgh University. Pursuing the life of a bohemian during his twenties and thirties, he traveled around Europe and formed the basis of his first two books, An Inland Journey (1878) and Travels with a Donkey (1879). Stevenson gained his first popular success with Treasure Island (1883). The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which sold forty thousand copies in six months, and Kidnapped appeared in 1886, followed by The Black Arrow (1888) and The Master of Ballantrae (1889). In 1888, he set out with his family for the South Seas, traveling to the leper colony at Molokai, and finally settling in Samoa, where he died.

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Frankenstein; Dracula; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is an introduction written by Stephen King but it adds some to the stories themselves as it places them within historical context. But if you are a first time reader of these stories be warned there are no footnotes, endnotes, or explanations of unfamiliar terms - so you could find yourself at a bit of a loss. The book contains the third edition of "Frankenstein" originally published in 1831, I understand from other readings that Shelley made some changes in the text itself. The third, and last, edition includes the introduction she finally wrote for the novel. For the experienced gothic reader or the novice willing to look up unfamiliar words, this book is a treasure as it has the three most famous and chilling gothic stories of the 19th century. Enjoy them thoroughly and chillingly.
Arkholt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great collection. Three of the most famous stories in the horror genre are brought together.Frankenstein is actually one of the very first science fiction stories, and one of the first mentions of the term "scientist". I always enjoy Frankenstein, as it shows that while science may seem to get out of hand, it is actually very benign. The monster was monstrous because of what he looked like, not what he did. It shows that seeming brutes actually have intelligence.Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seems to take the opposite idea. The carnal, animal side of us seems not to be quite as intelligent. However, one must question the intelligence of dabbling in dangerous alchemy.Dracula I've always seen as more to do with religion, superstition, and of course sexuality. Not as much to do with science, but definitely more deep exploration of the human and animal sides of ourselves.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These three together are the horror classics modern authors like King, Rice, Crichton, Thomas Harris are greatly indebted to. I think Stoker's Dracula is the strongest novel of the three--one with unforgettable characters, a propulsive narrative, and one where the narration and dialogue feels more natural. All three interestingly enough have first person elements. Dracula is almost entirely told through journals and letters; Frankenstein is framed as a letter about Victor Frankenstein including his (and the monster's) own account of the creature's creation and his ruin. A short novel, it's perhaps the most different than what popular culture would lead you to expect--more literary and philosophical, but also at times rather flowery and emo. Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, a short novella, is mostly told in third person through the perspective of Dr Jekyl's friend and lawyer, but ends with Jekyll's letter giving his own account of what led to his transformation. That ending to me made the novel feel disjointed and abrupt, since we never get his friend's reaction to events. Dracula is a more sustained, lengthy novel, and in my opinion, the scariest. All three are worth a read--Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll are as much science fiction as horror, indeed their themes have to do with the horror in science. Dracula I think is all the more interesting then because it uses the science of its day, from blood transfusions to telegrams, to fight the horror from a superstitious age.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frankenstein I was not so fond of. Too whiny. That is a very brief evaluation of a novel which deserves more, but I don't feel like going into details over it. I didn't like it.Dracula, on the other hand, I loved. Exciting, though one did get tired of how stupid everybody was in fighting the vampires. Still. The evil was very evil and was soundly defeated in the end. No other vampires measure up to these in my opinion.Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I liked for all its introspective thoughts. Nothing I've seen of any of the reproduction stories are as good as this original. on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Both Frankenstein and Jekyll & Hyde are cautionary tales: beware the fruits of science, for you may get more than you bargained for! And, of course, the steps of the scientific investigations that brought about the feats of Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll must be destroyed and never reproduced again.This cautionary-tale theme has been reproduced countless times before and hence, going back to and even further than Faust and his infamous deal with the devil. Of course, this scenario is viable only if scientific investigation and its results are seen as a black box, whose inner workings no-one can understand. What history has shown again and again, is that this view of science is highly inaccurate: more knowledge has consistently brought more and more benefits to humanity. What's unfortunate, is that this be-cautious-of-science theme is still present to a considerable degree in modern culture.Both works have nuggets of truth that have not aged. Frankenstein lays bare the inborn human prejudice of the other, the unknown. Jekyll & Hyde deals with the struggle between primitive human desires and the notions of social propriety. Unfortunately, neither offers a satisfactory resolution to these struggles, if any.Dracula, I believe, is a novel qualitatively different from the other two. It is very much a fast paced thriller, without much dwelling on the nature of the human condition. Although, to be fair, there is a bit of musing on the nature of human sanity. On the other hand, the overall feel of Dracula is much more positive than the other to. In my view, it does a good job of pitting superstition versus science, with the latter winning in the end, as it should. Moreover, although I'm not well versed in relevant history, I think it was fairly progressive at the time with respect to the role of women in society. IMHO, Mina Harker is an early prototype of Lara Croft.
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well, lets see...the book is just grand! All 3 of my favourite books in one book! woooohooooo my life is complete, and i am a sad lonely man with no friends...i am jonny liversage, goodnight...p.s buy the book from here you guys, its cool (rock on)! love jonny