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Frankenstein | [Mary Shelley]

Frankenstein

Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2013

Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2013

Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

Public Domain (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (296 )
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4.5 (273 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nancy Middleburg Heights, OH, United States 11-25-13
    Nancy Middleburg Heights, OH, United States 11-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A great listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Frankenstein the most enjoyable?

    I think Dan Stevens is one of the best audiobook performers I have ever heard. He brought this story to life. It was so easy to just get into the story and actually have sympathy for both Frankenstein and the monster he created. I did not expect that as I have always thought of this book as a horror story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The monster. I felt sorry for him and was surprised by that. When he told his story, the reader could understand how alone he felt . He enjoyed the beauty of the earth was eager to learn about the world and the people he encountered. He just wanted to be loved like everyone else, but that would never happen so he did indeed become a monster.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ending.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I enjoyed listening to it a bit each night or in my car on the way to work.


    Any additional comments?

    You will come away with a new appreciation for this beautifully written work.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antonette 11-24-13
    Antonette 11-24-13 Member Since 2011

    I love to read! I love reading even more now with my Audible account. I probably read two to three books a month. And, yes, I have a life!

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    "A romance story"

    Today everyone equates romance to sleeping with the president. However this story is a real romance. There are a few types of love displayed throughout this tale: brotherly affection, parental love, young love that grows into a deep passion, sincere friendship, and sadly unrequited love.

    Mary Shelley included it all in this well organized, detailed account of creation of the monster that just desperately wanted to be loved. Dan Stevens, please read more books! He did a fantastic job of given each character a distinct voice, and the monster sounded just like I thought he should. I highly recommend this book!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann United States 02-27-14
    Ann United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "I never knew this story was so enchanting."
    Where does Frankenstein rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book opened my eyes to trying more classics. The story was vastly engaging without feeling dry or uncomfortable for me as a modern reader.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The gorgeous settings were fantastic to imagine. I felt the cold of the arctic, the mist of the British Isles and the fresh breeze of the Alps.


    Have you listened to any of Dan Stevens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not


    Who was the most memorable character of Frankenstein and why?

    The monster.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William KNIGHTDALE, NC, United States 02-27-14
    William KNIGHTDALE, NC, United States 02-27-14 Member Since 2004

    I love a good book...

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    "What, no Bride of Frankenstein?"

    I have watched several Frankenstein movies and always thought I knew the story. Boy was I ever wrong. I did not know how lyrical and poetic the story really is. Mary Shelly's book is a wonderful story. I love Dan Stevens' narration as he made the story come alive.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler MCALLEN, TX, United States 02-09-14
    Tyler MCALLEN, TX, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A Classic for a Reason"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It's a sad tale about the greed for knowledge and finding peace (or not) in the worlds around each of us.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The creature was my favorite because of how human he turned out to be. He wasn't a mindless monster (like the Universal movie had made me to believe) but a creature with human feelings and the human need to want to be accepted.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the creature first speaks to his creator and tells his story of what he had gone through up to this point in the book.


    If you could rename Frankenstein, what would you call it?

    Dr. Frankenstein's Creation


    Any additional comments?

    A very moving and powerful book that teaches that everyone yearns simply to be accepted.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janna Wong Healy Los Angeles, CA 02-05-14
    Janna Wong Healy Los Angeles, CA 02-05-14 Member Since 2013

    I've spent my entire life around the written word - writing it, editing it, teaching it. So, it's no wonder I also love to read it!

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    "SUPERB IN EVERY WAY"

    I never had the opportunity to read Mary Shelley's classic horror story but listening to the incredible narration by Dan Stevens was a fantastic way to experience this masterful piece of writing. The book is at turns exciting, action-packed, sad and dramatic. Dan Stevens' nuanced performance captures every mood from every character. Three months after listening to this book and I'm still thinking about it. This could be my favorite Audible book of all time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-13-14

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "The Creature Lives!"

    I pretty much cut my teeth on the classic monsters of the silver screen from Universal and Hammer Studios. Those old movies in turn helped me to discover books such as this one. As a kid, I used to find myself returning to the well as often as the movie studios do, for as everyone knows... the novel is ALWAYS better. And regardless of which monster is your favorite on screen, Frankenstein is the best written of them all when it comes to the original source material. That's not just opinion on my part. That's just the very nature of the beast. Between Shelley's considerable literary gifts and personal influences, perhaps it was inevitable that this novel should stand the test of time as one of the great proto-Gothic horror masterpieces.

    As my reading list has grown considerably wider since I was a kid, it's been a decade, perhaps more, since my last reading of Frankenstein. In those years, I've since better acquainted myself with Shelley's world and contemporaries such as her husband Percy, Lord Byron, Keats, et al, so I feel I've gained a deeper appreciation of the author and her circle through history and their own works. As a result, I feel it's been far too long since I revisited this story.

    But chances are, if you're reading this review, it may be that you're ready to read this story for the first time, and so you naturally want to know what to expect. Above and beyond all of praise I heap upon it, this book is a product of its time and place. It reads with all the flowery prose of the early 19th century, but it's by no means difficult reading as some novels of that time may be for modern readers. As to the story itself, Frankenstein has the distinction of not only being the source for so many fun horror movies, it's also the very science fiction novel. When this was written, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and the boundaries of what was possible culturally and scientifically were being pushed all the time. Long before Jurassic Park, Shelley dared to ask if humanity should open the doors we dared to open simply because we could. This classic is born of fear and despair, which is as real as the ink that flowed from Shelley's pen. Because of pop culture, it's so easy to take this story for granted, but it's precisely for that reason that this book needs to be experienced. It's depth will surprise you as you come to know Dr. Frankenstein and his equally intelligent Creature. If anything, for all of our social media, I find that the perceived isolation of our current generation is something that will likely resonate with modern readers.

    For this particular edition from Audible, Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens is an excellent choice for narrator. He lends his own brand of class and gravitas to this tale in a way that just works for me. He brings this venerable tale to life with the same depth and perception gifted to the Creature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 05-14-14
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 05-14-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Run to Frankenstein"
    Any additional comments?

    I somehow neglected to read Frankenstein during my current 49 years of existence. All of the ideas and concepts I learned about the Frankenstein story originated with the 1931 film and the accompanying outlandish movie spinoffs (Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Theory, and Abbot/Costello meet Frankenstein...) . If you are in my Frankenstein starting position, you will be delighted by this engaging and smart audio book that bears little resemblance to the Hollywood re-invented movies.

    Mary Shelley's 1818 novel is still fresh and resonates with modern day concerns. Frankenstein is never boring and engages the reader from the get go. The prose and language used by Shelley to tell the Frankenstein story is exquisite. Shelley is a master wordsmith who make the Frankenstein story a piece of art rather than a mere horror story. The beauty of her writing is even more impressive when one considers that Shelley wrote this masterpiece at 18 years of age.

    The major theme of Frankenstein contemplates the limits of science. Shelly's monster is a metaphor to examine the consequences of unrestricted scientific advancements without consideration for ethics or morality. The warnings to scientists laid out in the Frankenstein story can presently be applied to stem cell research or mapping the genome. Readers interested in this topic may want to check out the movie The Frankenstein Syndrome (2010).

    Another fascinating aspect to Frankenstein are the descriptions of how the monster learns language and attempts to develop relationships with others. Shelly does not permit the reader to make absolute judgments about the evil or good nature of the monster or Dr. Frankenstein. The reader is constantly sympathizing and abhorring the behaviors of the main characters.

    Overall, listening to Frankenstein was a pleasant surprise. If you have yet to read the book, you are in for a treat. In my rank order book evaluation system, Frankenstein ranks in 26 of 67.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle 01-27-14
    Gayle 01-27-14
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    "Glad I listened but didn't care for it"

    Since I wasn't familiar with the original story of Frankenstein, I decided to give this a listen. I'm sorry to say I didn't care for it.

    I didn't feel sympathy for either Frankenstein or the monster. I felt bad for their original circumstances but felt they made matters worse for themselves by their subsequent decisions.

    I also did not care for the narration. I thought it was very dry and too "woe is me."

    I thought the story was implausible and left too many questions unanswered. The implausibility I'm talking about is not the creation of the monster but the reactions of the characters. The unanswered questions for me are not those of scientific ethics, love, friendship, obligation, revenge, etc., but practical details. On one hand, I felt the story dragged on. On the other, I felt too many details were ignored.

    All in all, it was interesting to learn that the original story was not at its core a horror story. Glad I listened, but I wish I had been more drawn into the story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Parkwood, Australia 01-15-14
    Maria Parkwood, Australia 01-15-14 Member Since 2007
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    "the devil is in the detail"

    Although Mary Shelley weights this story with in-depth detail about how her characters are feeling and what they are thinking, the flow of the writing still holds you.
    Dan Stevens expertly draws you in with his thoughtful and well paced vocal style.
    the story is engaging and you genuinely feel something for the Monster
    With regards to Dr Frankenstein one can't help but watch in frustration as he makes one
    bad decision after another. Gaps in the story for me are - The characterizations of the family members, which are portrayed as one-dimensional paragons of virtue.
    There is no explanation regarding important points such as how the Doc obtains body parts Or how he disposes of them, why he didnt just shoot the Monster when he had the chance and why wasn't he arrested for his wife's murder.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 23 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • K
    STANSTED, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
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    "Powerful and moving"
    Where does Frankenstein rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Dan's performance in this reading of the classic by Mary Shelley is incredibly powerful and moving, and has to be one of the most heart rending audiobooks I have heard.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Frankenstein?

    One of the most memorable moments was the confrontation between Frankenstein and his monster where loneliness and the desire for a companion were expressed.


    Which character – as performed by Dan Stevens – was your favourite?

    Victor Frankenstein


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were so many powerful, emotional moments in Dan's reading of this book that it is impossible to define just one.


    Any additional comments?

    Having never previously read the book, Dan's narration was a real revelation. I was familiar with film versions, but I was totally unaware of the depth of the original story. I doubt that I would ever have selected the book to read myself. I am so pleased that I was able to hear Dan reading it to me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • FM Veteran
    UK
    1/9/14
    Overall
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    "Frankly, not up to much"


    Thanks to Audible for this generous Christmas gift. Sadly, I feel the way you do when you’ve been given unwanted socks.

    In truth, it’s hard to say why you should read this rather than just watch the movie. Mary Shelley plainly had literary pretensions but, if it’s literature you’re after, there are numerous better writers of her period to turn to. If on the other hand you’re interested in it as an early example of science fiction, you’d better know that the book has as much science in it as ‘The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’. Frankenstein may now be a byword for dangerous science, but the Romantic Shelley is much more interested in the ramifications of being irredeemably miserable. Plainly a believer in the blank slate, she has Frankenstein’s creation progress in a year from poltroon to articulate scholar, familiar even with Plutarch, just so that he can give full vent to his suffering. Hollywood was right to dismiss all the pious waffle when it created one of cinema’s most memorable characters.

    Narrator Dan Stevens doesn’t help. Apart from one brief spell when he gets angry, Dr Frankenstein sounds the whole time as though he’s about to burst into tears. But that’s nothing compared with his ‘wretch’, from whom we hear a tremendous impersonation of Mervyn the Paranoid Android. Consequently, when the ill-starred doctor’s accent also lurches between Geneva and Guildford, you’re not prepared to make allowances.

    But don’t think it’s all bad. True, the first 75 minutes are dull as ditch-water, as Shelley seeks to establish some literary credentials and tediously observes the contemporary convention of making the text resemble a formal document. When the wretch turns badass, however, and the doctor is finally roused from his self-pity, the narrative does tweak your curiosity – though nothing like a Sherlock Holmes yarn.

    We’ve all met the dinner-party pseudo who’s read Frankenstein and insists how much better it is than the movie. Read this, and you can laugh in her face.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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