Are the stories of "Young Frankenstein" and "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley the same, or do they just share character names?

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It seems to me that if you are looking for a film of the Shelley novel, stay away from the Mel Brooks creation until you are fairly familiar with the text or the story.  I think that watching the 1994 version with Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro might be a good start.  Naturally, reading the text in conjunction with the film could help you develop a better understanding of both and be able to make serious points as to where the film succeeds and falls short or where the novel surpasses.  After this, I would suggest watching the Mel Brooks version.  I think that his sardonic style and humor can be fully appreciated when understanding his targets.  Certainly, some of the jokes can be grasped without full understanding, but a more meaningful humor experience would be present if one were able identify where his jokes are and the text would be a good set up for this.

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