Author: Mary Shelley
Released: 1818
Genre: Horror fiction

When you think of Frankenstein, chances are the image of Boris Karloff lumbering around in the classic 1931 movie come to mind. As excellent as that film is, though, Mary Shelley's original novel will forever remain the best option for basking in all of Dr. Victor Frankenstein's morbid experimentation.

That lab work, of course, consists of creating a man from pieces of various corpses, an unforgettable example of an overzealous guy's tragic God complex, told by the extremely gifted Shelley with deeper meaning and scarier implications than any motion picture ever could.

Fun Fact: Shelley first began writing Frankenstein thanks to a challenge from friend Lord Byron while she was visiting his Villa Diodati, by Lake Geneva, in 1816. In addition to Shelley's productivity, that evening also led to John Polidori's The Vampyre, and in 1986 director Ken Russell fictionalized that fateful night at Lord Byron's villa in the movie Gothic, which starred the sexy Natasha Richardson as Shelley.