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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 (412 )
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4.3 (315 )
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  •  
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 09-03-08
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 09-03-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3163
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    1549
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    Overall
    "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).

    50 of 50 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy MIDLAND, TX, United States 03-10-11
    Joy MIDLAND, TX, United States 03-10-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimra Tuscola, TX, United States 06-20-11
    Kimra Tuscola, TX, United States 06-20-11 Member Since 2010

    My husband & I share the account. Anything on history is his read. I'm more into fiction/zombie & apocalyptic reads.

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    "Frankenstein"

    Wow. Wished I would have read this much earlier in my life. Excellent over all in the writing and the narrator. No complaints and really enjoyed it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry Grafton, MA, United States 01-18-11
    Henry Grafton, MA, United States 01-18-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great read of a great book:"

    This being the first time I have read/listen to this book I was amazed. This is not the modern day Frankenstein I was brought up with. This was a lot more then I expected. It was simply great! What added to the wonder of my experiences was the awesome narration of Simon Vance. I have listened to Mr. Vance’s narration in past and have found him to be very enjoyable but, this narration takes the prize. You won’t be disappointed with this book or the narrator.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krystal SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, United States 09-20-12
    Krystal SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, United States 09-20-12
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    "I know why it's a classic!"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus?

    I found myself conflicted. I strongly disliked the monster because of his cruel nature. But I felt bad for him as well. I enjoyed the story from his point of view. A memorable moment was how his beloved "protectors" reacted to him.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    All around great! Did a good job of sounding different when portraying Dr. Frankenstein vs. the monster. Sounded very gruff as the monster. Which fit perfectly.


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

    When the a falsely accused girl is put to death. It signified how Dr. Frankenstein's world was spiraling out of control for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hesitant to listen to this book. I thought I'd be bored. I like zombie and vampire stories to pass my time. However, this story is truly interesting! I enjoyed it to the point of being a little disappointed it had to end. This was nice change from my typical genre of books. I will be reading many more classics now!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 04-28-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 04-28-13 Member Since 2011

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much more to the beast than a B Movie has been"

    It is hard to believe Shelley wrote this cornerstone of the horror and sci fi genres at the age of 19. The beast she creates is Far more intriguing than the B movie fodder the Frankenstein monster evolved into. Prometheus retold for sure but a tale of utter loneliness and regret as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suzanne Ottawa, ON, Canada 04-22-12
    suzanne Ottawa, ON, Canada 04-22-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get ready to be depressed!"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siri Tromsø, Norway 03-26-13
    Siri Tromsø, Norway 03-26-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MESA, AZ, United States 03-02-13
    Amazon Customer MESA, AZ, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    caroline ChulaVista, CA, United States 11-01-12
    caroline ChulaVista, CA, United States 11-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen!"

    This book is a classic and one of my all time favorites. Simon Vance adds so much more to the story with his rich, scary voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 24 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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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.

    0 of 0 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.

    2 of 4 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 1 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 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

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