Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


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This week’s Thinking in English book of the week is Frankenstein. The book is also available as a graded reader (a book designed to help English learners practice and develop reading skills).

Mary Shelley created the story Frankenstein over 200 years ago while traveling in Switzerland with her husband, the poet Percy Shelley, and their friend Lord Byron. Due to bad weather, the group entertained themselves by writing and telling ghost stories to each other. Frankenstein was born out of this rainy day game.

Victor Frankenstein, a scientist studying natural philosophy, manages to give life to a creature with human features. However, after the experiment doesn’t satisfy the scientist, his monster is left to a free and lonely. This book is an incredibly psychological novel, considered a turning point in English language literature, and tackles themes like horror, romance, and drama.

Frankenstein, 1936

The original version of the book is incredible, but it can be challenging for people not used to reading in English. Especially if your not used to reading classic novels and old fashioned language. If you’re confident, then by all means try the native English version.

But, if you’re a little more hesitant, then the graded reader should be great for you. I have linked a Level 5 Frankenstein graded reader which is equivalent to B1 of the CEFR framework. In other words, an intermediate level book! The sentences have up to 4 clauses, and the most difficult grammar includes present perfect continuous, past perfect, and second conditional!

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Are you going to read the book? What books do you recommend for English learners? Let us know in the comments!


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Host and founder of Thinking in English, Tom is committed to providing quality and interesting content to all English learners. Previously a research student at a top Japanese university and with a background in English teaching, political research, and Asian languages, Tom is now working fulltime on bettering Thinking in English!

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