AoM Book Club February 2014: Frankenstein

by Jeremy Anderberg on January 27, 2014 · 17 comments

in Book Club, Travel & Leisure


After diving into the world of modern masculinity in January, we’re next going to dig into a young woman’s take on humanity and horror written nearly 200 years ago. Mary Shelley was just 21 when Frankenstein was first published in 1818, and the book is widely regarded as the first popular science fiction/horror novel. This is a personal favorite of mine, and much different than you might expect if your only knowledge of the tale is from pop culture. It’s a much darker and more philosophical book than the moaning green monster that Victor Frankenstein’s creation has become. We’ll learn about science, ego, pride, and ultimately, what it means to be human. I can’t wait to get started.


The book is free as an ebook, and just over 130 pages long, so you should have no trouble keeping up.

  • Wednesday, February 12th is when the first discussion will be posted. It will cover the first 10 chapters (through roughly page 70).
  • Wednesday, February 26th is when the second discussion will be posted. It will cover chapter 11 through the end of the book.

How to Join the Book Club

We make announcements about the book club here on the main site, while housing the book’s discussion over on the AoM Community in a private group called “The Official Art of Manliness Book Club.” In addition to online discussion in the group forums, the club offers other great features including video chats and Q&As with some literary experts on the subjects of our discussions.

To join the AoM Book Club you pay a one-time $1 membership fee (the aim of this nominal fee is to simply keep out trolls and hopefully increase your commitment). If you’ve already joined the book club group and paid, you don’t have to do so again. You’ll have access to all our discussions, notes, video chats, and expert Q&As from here on out.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew Carlson January 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm

We just began reading this book in English class last week, and were suprised to find (or not find) that there was no green monster with its head bolted on, no lightning, no Igor, and no trace of the infamous line “It’s alive!”

Still a good book so far though. Wonderfully written, somewhat stylistically similar to “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” if anyone here is familiar with that beautifully worded piece.

2 Candy January 28, 2014 at 9:59 am

That is my next book that I plan on reading.


3 Ike January 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Just finished reading this last month. I, too, was surprised of all the things that we associate with Frankenstein that are not in the book. Well worth the read.

4 Chris January 28, 2014 at 6:24 pm

E. Michael Jones, in his book Monsters From the ID, has a lot of interesting things to say about Frankenstein and the horror genre as a whole. I recommend it highly. He makes the point that Frankenstein is M. Shelly’s repudiation of the enlightenment values tearing apart Europe (and her own life). Mankind attempts to replace God with science (electricity). The Monster is an avenging Nemesis set on restoring balance to the moral order. Obviously, this is a simplistic recounting of Jones’s argument. Anyone interested in more detail would do well to pick up Monsters From the Id.

5 Goldy January 29, 2014 at 7:14 am

Great book! Way better than anything Hollywood versions I’ve come across.

6 Rob January 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Read this book in college with my wifey. Actually started dating during this literature class, been married 14 years this year.

7 Zachary January 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

This is also one of my top favorite books. I look forward to reading it again in this book club!

8 Ladd January 29, 2014 at 5:48 pm

I read this on vacation in Antigua. Great book and the story about it’s creations is pretty good too!

9 Shawn Steinschreiber January 29, 2014 at 8:40 pm

You can also get the book and an audio version at this site. I love this site!

10 Jake Bohlken January 31, 2014 at 11:54 am

I remember winging an hour-long “book talk” grilling about this book in Ms. Mattson’s class. Oooooofta.

I have since actually read it – it’s a truly well-crafted story.

11 Jeremy Anderberg January 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Ha! Ms. Mattson’s class… that’s great. I don’t think I was in that class — was that the one worth college credit? I read Frankenstein for the first time about a year ago and loved it.

12 Coyote February 3, 2014 at 1:13 am

Think this was one of the classics I was supposed to read in high school and opted out in favor of the Classic Comics version. Just got the book today and I’m looking forward to the reading and the discussion.

13 Juan Schräler February 9, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I’ve actually finished the book on a bus ride to Geneve at Halloween last year. I don’t think, there are many better ways to experience this novel.

14 Russ February 10, 2014 at 8:48 am

Frankenstein is a great novel, and it’s one of the rare novels which I’ve reread several times in my life.

15 mr. bab February 11, 2014 at 10:39 am

The amazon link in the article is the 1831, not the original 1818 text. I am reading the original version via

16 Jeremy Anderberg February 11, 2014 at 11:07 am

Mr Bab —

There is very little difference between the 1818 and 1831 texts. 1831 is actually the third printing of the novel. In 1818, it was published anonymously, as many readers weren’t keen to buying something written by a very young woman. The only differences are minor punctuation. I actually prefer the 1831 text since it includes an introduction from our author that tells a bit of her own story in writing the book. Enjoy!

17 Trey Winters March 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Brilliant essay! Victor Frankenstein might be the most repulsive protagonist in classic lit,…Especially in terms of what we’d consider a manly modern man…He is the ultimate procrastinator and the epitome of a man of INACTION …He claims to love his friends and family while allowing them to be picked off by a monster whom he might have (early on) ambushed with a shotgun…Note how Victor behaves on his wedding night when he knows the monster is coming…He tells his wife to wait upstairs ALONE…need I say more?

(I recommend the free version on, not the Audible new Dan Stevens version)..

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