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Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus | [Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley]

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

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.

Publisher's Summary

SPECIAL OFFER: Get the full text of this classic novel as an eBook when you purchase the audio. You'll receive an e-mail with a link to download the eBook after your purchase is confirmed. Having the novel in convenient Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format will allow you to read along with the audio, perform a "cover to cover" search for your favorite passages, and more.

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?

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

(P)2008 Tantor

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (546 )
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4.3 (442 )
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Performance
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  •  
    brenden Kingwood, Texas, United States 04-10-13
    brenden Kingwood, Texas, United States 04-10-13
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    "Great audio book for school"
    Would you listen to Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus again? Why?

    no, but i would pass it down to my siblings that are going into English IV


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Victor Frankenstein, because he is a mad scientist.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    The monster


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    this book is great for people that are in English IV, it is a good book and the audio is great and i would advice all high school students download this audio and read this great book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siri Tromsø, Norway 03-26-13
    Siri Tromsø, Norway 03-26-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "what to say"

    I loved the book, but I am disappointed in the ending. I feel that it should be more there, in some way it just stopped like the aouter got tired of here story. And I can see that I might be a bit out on a lim there, but I want there to be more. A conclusion to the last problem and maybe some help to the narrater of the story of Frankenstein.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer MESA, AZ, United States 03-02-13
    Kindle Customer MESA, AZ, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Better than I expected."
    What did you love best about Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus?

    This was my first gothic novel. I was very surprised by the vocubulary and the way the story came alive. I have not come across modern authors with the skill and command of the language to tell stories like the classical authors do.


    What other book might you compare Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus to and why?

    I read Les Miserables before I listened to Frankenstein. It was a totally different genre, but the gift for bringing the reader in with the detail was captivating. Who needs television for entertainment when books like these two are so vivid.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I read and listened at the same time with my daughter. It was so much easier to visualize than reading alone and kept us from getting bogged down in the print.


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

    I felt so sad for the creature when Frankenstien refused to create a companion for him. I also felt frustrastion and grief for the families who lost loved ones to the creature's revenge.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Brooklyn, NY, United States 11-23-12
    Erin Brooklyn, NY, United States 11-23-12
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    "Interesting structure with overwrought content"

    Somehow I never read this book in school. It is a classic and very influential so I wanted to hear it. It has a really interesting structure of stories being told within the larger story, which allows you to hear from three different characters in first person. This book deals with big important themes like hubris and compassion in a clever way. I just found the overwrought misery of each of the characters unbearable. There is a whole lot of bemoaning one's fate in this book and the reader's performance does not help matters. I had a hard time getting through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Vidaurre Miami, FL United States 10-30-12
    David Vidaurre Miami, FL United States 10-30-12

    Count Westwest

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not great literature"

    This story begins with a great concept, but is very poorly executed. One improbable event is followed by even more improbable events. The monster seems to have a homing radar with Frankenstein and his friends. This probably has to do with the fact that this story was originally a short story and only at the urging of her husband did Mary Shelley extended it to a novel. The narration was adequate but the cauterization at times seemed silly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica MARYSVILLE, WA, United States 12-14-11
    Jessica MARYSVILLE, WA, United States 12-14-11
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    "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus"

    Great audio book! I had to read it for a school asssignment but because I spend so much wasted time in the car commuting I decided to try the audio and it was great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 12-19-12
    Joe 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Classic must read."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The classics should be read by everyone at least once. I did like the book but not enough to listen to it a second time.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I didn't really like the main character or his friends. I sympathized more for the Frankenstein monster.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good performance each characters' voices where distinct.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-16-12
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    "GREAT STORY"
    Would you listen to Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus again? Why?

    NO, THE VOICE IS INTERESTING AT FIRST, BUT IT DRONES AFTER A WHILE. THIS BOOK WOULD BE BETTER READ BY TWO OR MORE NARRATORS.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus?

    the killing of wife Elizabeth


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Good voice but it has the same tone throughout the book.


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

    What moves me most about this book is its language, the musicality of it and the vocabulary


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nolan B. Walsingham Panama City, FL 04-18-13
    Nolan B. Walsingham Panama City, FL 04-18-13 Member Since 2014

    Nolan Brian

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't do it"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I wanted to check out the "classics" but this was painful. I pictured the "monster" as a wealthy tycoon sipping scotch in a high back leather chair while listening. Had to just shut it down and might I add this is the first time I have ever stopped listening, reading or watching any book or movie. I sincerely hope that you find it enjoyable and if I could give you my copy I would.


    What was most disappointing about Mary Shelley’s story?

    Personally just did not enjoy the story


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Vance’s performances?

    Not likely


    What character would you cut from Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus?

    The cast


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Solvang, CA, United States 06-05-12
    Robin Solvang, CA, United States 06-05-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Defective!"
    What disappointed you about Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus?

    I was so enjoying listening to this book. My previous knowledge of Frankenstein was from the movies. Both the writing and the narration are quite wonderful. However, about 45 minutes into the book, it froze! Not only would the story no longer play, it froze my iPod. I use an older iPod just for listening to books and music and have never had a problem before. I will try to re-download or maybe play it on my iPhone - wish me luck!


    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • John
    Lisbellaw, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Markus
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    10/27/09
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Angelicano
    5/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    4/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ant
    St Albans, United Kingdom
    1/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    7/15/10
    Overall
    "Frustrating"

    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.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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