Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron's.
"We will each write a story," Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal.
The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, "would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror â€” one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."
Every Sunday, Mr. Utterson, a prominent London lawyer, and his distant kinsman, Mr. Richard Enfield, take a stroll through the city of London. Even though to a strangerâ€™s eyes, these two gentlemen seem to be complete opposites, both look forward to, and enjoy, their weekly stroll with one another. One Sunday, they pass a certain house with a door unlike those in the rest of the neighborhood. The door reminds Mr. Enfield of a previous incident in which he witnessed an extremely unpleasant man trampling upon a small, screaming girl while the strange man was in flight from something, or to somewhere.
...and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but he "present" in which we live.
A century after the publication of H. G. Wells' immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today's most acclaimed new "hard SF" author, and the acknowledged Clarke, returns to the distant conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks in a story that is at once an exciting expansion, and a radical departure based on the astonishing new understandings of quantum physics.
Regarded as the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, Jonathan Swift (1667â€“1745) intended this masterpiece, as he once wrote Alexander Pope, to "vex the world rather than divert it." Savagely ironic, it portrays man as foolish at best, and at worst, not much more than an ape.
The direct and unadorned narrative describes four remarkable journies of ship's surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, among them, one to the land of Lilliput, where six-inch-high inhabitants bicker over trivialities; and another to Brobdingnag, a land where giants reduce man to insignificance.
Written with disarming simplicity and careful attention to detail, this classic is diverse in its appeal: for children, it remains an enchanting fantasy. For adults, it is a witty parody of political life in Swift's time and a scathing send-up of manners and morals in 18th-century England.