Making the Monster by Kathryn Harkup

Making the Monster

The year 1818 saw the publication of one of the most influential science-fiction stories of all time. Frankenstein: Or, Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley had a huge impact on gothic horror and science fiction genres. The name Frankenstein has become part of our everyday language, often used in derogatory terms to describe scientists who have overstepped a perceived moral line. But how did a 19-year-old woman with no formal education come up with ...

Details Making the Monster

TitleMaking the Monster
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury SIGMA
GenreNonfiction, History, Science, Writing, Books About Books

Reviews Making the Monster

  • Susan
    Subtitled, “The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” this is a really interesting mix of biography (both of Mary Shelley herself and her novel), combined with a look at the scientific achievements of the time. The early 1800’s were a time of great scientific advances, when science itself was beginning to break into different branches. In fact, the term, ‘scientist,’ was, in itself, new and evolved from the word ‘artist,’ t...
  • Stephanie
    4.25 I can sum up my feelings with 5 words.I. Fucking. Love. Mary. Shelley!Granted i'm not sure how much someone who isn't interested in Mary Shelley and Frankenstein would enjoy this book, since I seem to be obsessed with Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, I freaking loved it! Mary Shelley dealt with a lot of shit, was a bad-ass, and an amazing woman. I learned a lot about history, science, and Mary Shelley and was fascinated by all of it. And I am ...
  • Nancy Oakes
    When this book is actually released in a couple of days, you will definitely want to read it. Making the Monster, as the dustjacket blurb says, "explores the scientific background" behind Mary Shelley's masterwork, Frankenstein: Or, Modern Prometheus, first published in 1818 and then again in 1831. The book examines the "science behind the story," but it also pieces together the "political, social and scientific world" in which Mary Shelley grew...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my rating. Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for the advanced copy!When I saw this book on NetGalley, I basically jumped at the chance to read it because I, admittedly, really enjoy Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I wasn't raised watching the original Boris Karloff movie, but I loved Young Frankenstein and anything h...
  • Missy (myweereads)
    “I succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay, more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation lifeless matter.”Making The Monster - The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Kathryn Harkup is a fascinating read for fans of the classic story and even those who haven’t read it yet. The book takes us through Mary Shelley’s life prior to her writing her iconic novel. As we know the story of Frankenstein beg...
  • Kristy K
    Whether or not you’ve read or liked Frankenstein, this is an extremely interesting book about Mary Shelley, her life, and the science of her time. I enjoyed the detail Harkup went into and how she was able to make it so informative while keeping it interesting. I own Harkup’s other novel (A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie) and it will be moving up on my tbr after reading this.
  • Jamie
    When I saw another book by Harkup I immediately requested it, as A is for Arsenic made it to my top reads of 2016.The title is a little misleading as it goes quite a bit in-depth into Shelley's life, as well at a look starting from the Enlightenment era to the beginnings of alchemy and chemistry. The bulk of the book is, of course, the inspiration behind the classic novel of Frankenstein. I found this to be a very interesting read and thought tha...
  • Salla (Booksonal)
    Full review at*ARC kindly provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*✦✦✦✦.5Like Harkups last novel A is for Arsenic based on Agatha Christie and the poisons she used (link to my review), this book was filled with science.This book went through lots of aspects including science at that time and to my great interest: things that might've inspired her.The thing is though, Frankenstein has...
  • Amanda
    I confess, I still haven’t read Frankenstein. It’s on my list – especially after how much I loved Romantic Outlaws about Mary Shelley and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft. But I admit I’ve spent most of the last 18 months reading fluff and I’m not ashamed. In the future though – Frankenstein and Anna Karenina – I’m coming for you! So, back to Mary Shelley, when I received a message about Making the Monster I was completely intrigued...
  • lacy [lacy’s library]
    A special thank you goes to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Sigma for the eARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.This book was a monster. (haha, did you see what I did there??) It took me over a week to read this book and it wasn't even that long, which is unheard of for me. The last time I took that long to read a book, I read Roots which took me a month and was back when I was in high school.Basically, the premise of this book was con...
  • Cristina
    2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's gothic masterpiece-- Frankenstein; or The Modern Prometheus. Widely recognized as one of the first works of science fiction, this revolutionary novel has truly withstood the test of time (and continues to haunt middle school literary criticism to this day!). Some may already know the broad strokes of how this story came to life: on a dark and stormy night (of course), 18 year old Mary joins her f...
  • Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
    I found Making the Monster to be a really interesting book. It is both a biography of Mary Shelley, as well as an exploration of the scientific achievements of that time. The book also explores Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein. This book goes into all of these aspects in trying to explain how such a young woman wrote a book in the early 1800's that is still very popular today. Anyone familiar with pop culture knows that this book has not only...
  • Brian Clegg
    Subtitled 'the science behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein', what we get here is a mix of a biography of Mary Shelley and historical context for the various aspects of science that feature in Frankenstein, from electricity to preserving organs after death. I found this a much more approachable work than the annotated Frankenstein - in fact the perfect title would probably have been a combination of the two, with annotation based on Kathryn Harkup'...
  • Tiffany
    Kathryn Harkup doesn't seem to have missed much in this thoroughly researched and insightfully arranged work. *Bonus: the Timeline of events appendix is a glorious addition rather than a necessary element to help readers understand the vast amount of information that is packed into the pages, which is not always the case when a book is as dense with dates, names, and scientific exploration.* "Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley's ...
  • LAPL Reads
    2018 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus. In the intervening two centuries, Shelley’s novel, originally published anonymously, has become her most famous and well-known work and an international icon. The name Frankenstein has become shorthand for both mad scientists running amok and their monstrous creations (which also tend to run amok!). So, it is fitting that ...
  • Katherine P
    I don't think I realized just how little I knew about Mary Shelley and her husband, Percy Shelley or what was going on around Mary when Frankenstein was being written. Shelley's childhood was chaotic and lacking in any kind of formal education yet she was incredibly curious and well read. What little I knew about Mary Shelley I knew even less about what was going on in scientific world at the time and was very surprised about the number and scope...
  • Becky Loader
    I am *ahem, ahem* kind of a science geek. Harkup wrote another book which talked all about poisons. It was fascinating.Now Harkup has turned her attention to 19th century science and how a very smart young woman used her brain to come up with a very clever idea about re-animation of corpses. I really enjoyed all the detail about science, electricity, and the experiments that led to discoveries that laid the groundwork for future developments. Gre...
  • Patrick DiJusto
    Insanely detailed analysis of the background of the novel Frankenstein, celebrating it's Bicentennial this year.The book starts by looking into the background of Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. What was it like growing up in the shadow of a pioneering feminist mother who died giving birth to her? What was it like being raised by her father, William Godwin, a political radical? What was it like to be a teenage girl, hiding...
  • Allison O'Toole
    I enjoyed this survey of scientific topics related to Frankenstein, it's a fast read for such a big topic. However, it covers so much that it skims across the surface of most topics without depth.My full review is up at Rogues Portal:
  • Alexandra
    This was the second book in my birthday haul from my mother this year. The first was... not as good as I had hoped. Happily, this did not fall into the same trap.The idea behind Harkup's book is to look into the science that was happening around the time of Shelley writing Frankenstein, to explore what ideas influenced her. I was slightly concerned that this could go down the route that Russ identifies of suggesting Shelley was nothing but a co...
  • Dean
    This work is well done and has covered the topic well enough to have done a commendable job on tackling this topic. (Basically, the Science of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein.) If you are familiar with Mary Shelley and the book "Frankenstein" the first half of this is not going to really tell you anything you really want to know. The second half of the book delves into the entertaining idea of how the work "Frankenstein" is mirrored in science. It ans...
  • Pages & Cup
    Was sent a review copy from Bloomsbury.
  • Emma Hollen
    My only regret with this book is how short it was. Considering the unbelievable amount of research Kathryn Harkup has been going through, it could have easily been 700 pages long and still be captivating! :)
  • Warren Benton
    This book is bookended by the life of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.  From her parents who were way ahead of their time with what could be considered hippie thinking.  They instilled a forward-thinking, and love to write in their young daughter.  Mary was a huge fan of science and her husband Percy was also an author.  Most of Mary's life was in and around author's circle.  From her time when with Lord Byron and the beginnings of Frankenstein...
  • Monique
    This unique book, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, doesn't just summarize the scientific advancements that led to the classic tale, it meticulously pieces together the methods and means that Victor would have used to accomplish this feat. Equally entertaining and disturbing, this book provides all the gory details behind grave robbing, criminal dissection, and the evolution of surgical advancements and organ transplants.
  • Brice Fuqua
    This year marks 200 years since the publication of Frankenstein. There are a number of books being released this year to mark the anniversary of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s iconic novel. One of the more unusual is Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein by Kathryn Harkup. It is a curious hybrid, being part biography, part popular science and part literary analysis. Harkup sees Frankenstein as being as much a reflec...
  • Allen Adams
    1970-01-01 Shelley’s “Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus” was published in 1818. In the two centuries since, it has taken its place as one of the most iconic works of science fiction and gothic horror in the history of Western literature. It has become a cultural touchstone, a familiar landmark for anyone navigating the realm of popular culture. When you say “Frankenstein,” everyone knows to what y...
  • Meg
    3.5/5 starsMary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my favorite books of all time, and definitely in my list of top ten classics. So when I saw Kathryn Harkup's Making the Monster beginning to make its rounds on Twitter and Instagram, I added it to my TBR and wishlist and waited for a good sale because based on the cover and title alone, I wanted it for my own collection.I love literary histories like these that give the reader an insight into the c...
  • Debbie
    "Making the Monster" is about the science and people that influenced the making of the story "Frankenstein." The book started with a biography of Mary Shelley's life, focusing on the people and events that probably inspired parts of the novel. It ended with this biography, briefly talking about Mary Shelley's life after "Frankenstein" was published. The author also compared the books (the original and the 1831 revised version) and the books to th...