Summary

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only 18. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering "the cause of generation and life" and "bestowing animation upon lifeless matter", Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts. However, upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, an instant best seller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science-fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? And how far can we go in tampering with Nature?
Public Domain (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic reviews

"A novel which excites new reflections and untried sources of emotion." (Walter Scott, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 23-12-12

Accessible

Well narrated. Good to have the record set straight on this book. Nice to hear the way language was written and spoken. Not impenetrable like Shakespeare, much closer to the current version of the language we use today.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By MFF on 27-10-09

An essential and exciting classic, expertly read.

The classic science fiction novel, a gothic tale of science run amok. The book tells the tale of the life of Victor Frankenstein, and how he discovers the secrets of life. Filled with scientific fervour, he works to create life in his laboratory, and only pauses to contemplate the ramifications of his creation after it is loose. Terrible events follow.

This is so much more than a cautionary tale of what happens when science is untempered by morality. Rather, we gain an insight into the minds of all involved, including the scientist in his thirst of knowledge and respect, and his creature in its lonesome intelligence. Shelley contemplates what makes a human - and it is not just body parts.

The language of the book, while somewhat floral by today's standards, is easy to understand and very pleasurable.

The book is expertly read by Simon Vance. ?Subtle variations in pitch and intonation differentiate the characters without being irritating, giving the title a slight feeling of dramatisation. The reading is suitably expressive.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tad Davis on 03-09-08

Great reading

This is yet another excellent reading of "Frankenstein." There are actually several really good performances of this book on Audible. Simon Vance tends to emphasize the lyrical Romanticism of the prose. Others have other strengths: George Guidall emphasizes the brooding tragedy; the three-reader version from Blackstone highlights the unusual structure of the narrative; and Flo Gibson gives what I think is the only available recording of the shorter 1818 version of the text. (Most use the 1831 revision.) I seem to be collecting versions of this book without realizing it. Vance's reading is lively and clearly differentiates the three major voices in the book (Walton, Frankenstein, and the Creature).

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69 of 69 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joy on 10-03-11

Frankenstein

The book is so much more than the movies or the stage productions. Isn't that true 99% of the time? Simon Vance brings Dr. Frankenstein and his monster to life. Great reading of a great book.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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