Simon Vance narrates this no-frills production of what is widely regarded as the first science-fiction novel ever published. This classic horror story may be one of the most oft-recorded novels of all time, but this version is certainly a fine one. In fact, it's hard to imagine one better. Simon Vance's regal English accent provides the perfect tone for this early-nineteenth-century moral exploration of mankind's use of knowledge. Mary Shelley wrote this novel which may surprise those whose experience with the story is only from movies. Nearly two hundred years later, it is still thoughtful and completely worthwhile.
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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?
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"A novel which excites new reflections and untried sources of emotion." (Walter Scott, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine)
I never realized Frankenstein's Monster (who is never given a name) was such an eloquent, well-spoken, thoughtful, sensitive and sympathetic character. Mind you, he's also a ruthless killer, but as the story unfolds you find out the reasons for his behaviour.
This is one of the most depressing books I have ever read/listened to.
Don't get me wrong: this book is a classic and should rightly be considered one of the greatest examples of English literature... but holy crap. If you have depressive tendencies or even if it's kinda gray outside and you're feeling a little blue - this book isn't gonna make you feel better.
Steven Vance is an excellent narrator - although I found myself "tuning him out" - not sure if that was because the story was so bleak and I needed to keep my sanity or if it was just his reading. Nevertheless, he does a good job with the voices of the different characters.
I was numb with two centuries of retellings of this story. But the spoken word performance by Simon Vance brought the story alive. I can see it's one of the first and one of the most perfect novels written. The myth will be around for millennia, long after the monster gets around to being done with himself in an artic fire.
What do you even say about yourself on an audio book site? I like books? I don't have time to read anymore so I listen?
I didn't expect much when picking up the classic and got about what I expected. A dated story that while good, didn't quite live up to what I have come to expect from most modern books.
Narrator wise I really felt like they tried hard to sound spooky and dark through the narration which didn't really allow the book to speak for itself. Should have just attempted to narrate and not give the spooky vibe.
First of all, Simon Vance was great.
I expected this story to be more about the relationship between Frankenstein and his creature. I was disappointed that most of the book is about the doctor's regrets and accumulated burden. He tends to repeat himself in various ways within minutes of dialogue. It was frustratingly slow and I did not feel any pity for him...despite his best efforts.
The creature's side of the story is more interesting.... but, so, so brief in comparison to the doctor.
Horrors Hospice Nurse
Good narration. As a classic book it is a must "read". And I am very happy i did listen to this. But honestly Frankenstein and his monster were so whinny and overly sensitive it was kind of annoying.
I loved this book. I would rank it in the top 5 books I have ever read
The humanness of the monster. I felt for the monster through out the whole book. I loved how he learned to read and understand who he was and that Frankenstein and he were linked together.
This book raises so many questions that we should examine as humans. What responsibility do we have when we create or destroy live. Was the monster right to kill.
Should the doctor create a wife for the monster?
The list of morale questions are long in this book.
Forget the movie get the book and enjoy a great story.
This book is a masterpiece of literature! One of the most amazing books I have ever experienced! Simon Vance is awesome as usual. The writing is exquisite and conveys emotions I did not think possible in the written word! Sit back and be amazed!!!!!! Worth listening to for a second time just to hear human emotion and life described by this author!
Everything! Simon Vance, the story, the writing is superb!!!! You must experience this book!
Frankenstein! and his monster is second.
Yes, this book brought tears and terror to me! This book is a look into the human condition itself.
I will have to listen again, it is so wonderfully written. I did not know such beauty existed in a book!
i had never read the book but always meant to. my daughter was assigned it for 9th grade English (NYC Public School) so i wanted to be in sync with her assignment, i opted for the audiobook because i can listen while cooking. Simon Vance is terrific as always (i also enjoyed his reading of Bram Stoker's Dracula) and i was appreciative of his distinctive voices for each character. this is a pretty heavy moralistic tale about the state of mankind, but this reading made it enjoyable and perhaps even inspiring. i recommend it.
The performance of Simon Vance was great, as usual.
The story sucked me in from the very start, but got somewhat drawn out in the middle of the book (my subjective opinion, of course). It got more interesting again towards the end, I found.
Overall a good read, I can well recommend this.
* please excuse any spelling errors ;)
I listen to this story every year around the holidays. It's one of my favorites. It's heartbreaking and beautiful just the same. Vance is an excellent narrator and shows the emotions ever so strongly in his telling. It's safe to say that Mary Shelley wins the game that Byron, Poladari, and her husband Percy played long ago in that Italian villa...
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.
"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.
I don't want to struggle on any longer. The style of writing is so long -winded, and over-dramatic.
Really not entertaining enough for me.
"Wow. It's a classic alright"
Fantastic performance by Simon Vance of a deserved classic. The is the Godfather of them all - written by a 18-20 year old young woman. (Took her two years). Stunning and poetic and still disturbing and socially politically astute. What took me so long?
"Not what I was expecting"
Like most people I thought I knew the story of Frankenstein and his monster. This book had a lot more than I expected, It is beautifully written and well read and is different enough from all the films/movie tropes to keep me entertained.
"Hasn't aged well"
While the concepts that the book discusses are very valid today and interesting, I'm afraid I found the style of writing too decorative without adding anything to the tale. This made the story a chore to wade through. I found myself using the dead time in the novel (during overly flowery descriptions of a persons many good qualities) to pick holes in the plot: "yea, I get it, your sister is the most saintly of people, whom you love to distraction... but not enough to write her a letter to stop her worrying about your health".
I also failed to find any of the characters particularly likeable - I'm sure taking to your bed for 2 months after a shock was all the rage back then, but it served to lower my enjoyment even further.
The narration was fine, but I'm not sure the Genevois accent sounds so similar to the Transylvanian one I remember from old horror films.
All in all, I would have preferred to have read a synopsis and left it at that.
A cautionary tale of an incredibly irresponsible and infuriatingly self-indulgent and mawkish scientist who creates the 'Monster' and then spends the rest of the book running away from it feeling sorry for himself. Maybe in 1818 when the book was first published, peoples sensitivities would bring them down on the side of the 'tortured' scientist, but listening to in today, I just felt sorry for the monster and cheered him on all the way.
I found myself not giving two hoots for Frankenstein or his fast-diminishing family and felt the scientist at least got everything he deserved. An interesting book that I enjoyed listening to as a 'classic', but in it's own right it was quite frustrating, with it's deeper historical context being sidelined somewhat by my desire to throttle the scientist and insist he grow a back-bone and deal with his creation.
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