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Hey everyone, it’s Hot Frank Summer! Aka we’re all reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein this summer. Just a few pages a day from May 15 to June 12 — check out the schedule and put it in your calendar. #HotFrankSummer

Discussion  14 comments

Jason KottkeMOD

Ok, I'm definitely doing this because I've never read Frankenstein. Who else? Edith? Aaron? Caroline? Any of the Moiras? Some of the 69 other Jasons who are members? If there's enough interest, we can dedicate a thread or two for an on-going discussion.

Caroline G.

I'm in! 🧟


Looking forward to it! Did the Middlemarch madness and appreciated having a guide to make it a less intimidating tome - and what fun that was.

Aaron CohenMOD Edited

I had to read it once in high school and twice in college and I've read it once since then, but sure, I'm in. I'm going to have to put down the Motley Crue biography for this so I hope we have fun.

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Meg Hourihan

I'll totally do this! I'm on a classics kick right now in literature and film, so I'd love to re-read this and have a thread to discuss it. Fun fact: in 1816 Mary & and her husband Percey spent a rainy summer in Switzerland, hanging out with Lord Byron and John Polidori, reading ghost stories. And so for fun Byron was like, "we will each write a ghost story." As she tells it, "his proposition was acceded to" and voila! Frankenstein.

Edith ZimmermanMOD

I’ll give it a rip!! I tried to read Frankenstein once a few years ago and lost steam for some reason, but I’d love to try again ⚡️ 🔩


I'll do it. It's one of those books I've never picked up. It'll be a good break from the antique cookbooks I've been acquiring.


I'm still reading Middlemarch. It's getting so good!

Meg Hourihan Edited


Huh I don't know why that heart is so small and not red! But YAY! Enjoy. :)

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Always wanted to read this so count me in!

Kitty G

Someone on the Bsky feed recommended this excellent essay in the New Yorker as a pre-read: The Strange and Twisted Life of “Frankenstein”

Meg Hourihan

As someone who's read "Frankenstein" already, I'd suggest *not* reading this article, as it has some spoilers (minor) but also gives so much additional information, it could cloud the experience of the initial read. Perhaps that's just my bias/preference, but I like to go in fresh without any premeditations on the the text.

Kitty G

Absolutely your choice to read it or not. While some might argue that spoilers reduce the suspense and surprise, in the case of a literary classic like "Frankenstein," where the depth of themes and narrative techniques are paramount, prior knowledge can actually enhance the reader’s engagement and appreciation.

I find the detailed background on Mary Shelley's life offers valuable insights into the themes of creation, identity, abandonment, social justice, and gender in "Frankenstein." Her personal experiences and the intellectual environment she was part of deeply influenced the narrative and thematic construction of the novel, enriching the reader’s understanding of its complexities.

Here is a better link to the essay:

Meg Hourihan Edited

Oh Kitty G. I 1000% agree, I just meant not before reading the book, not never reading it. I see these themes (which sadly when I read this book in college we had to sort out for ourselves and didn't have the amazing Jill Lapore to assist) as stuff we can discuss in our Hot Frank Summer chat thread. That we can discover it together, rather than "knowing" it before, if that makes sense. But I often read things twice, once for the "beginner's mind" take and then a second pass knowing more and examining more deeply.

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