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Editorial 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

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • brenden
  • Kingwood, Texas, United States
  • 04-10-13

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.

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  • Siri
  • Tromsø, Norway
  • 03-26-13

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

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  • Story

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

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  • Erin
  • Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 11-23-12

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.

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  • Story

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

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  • Jessica
  • MARYSVILLE, WA, United States
  • 12-14-11

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!

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Too wordy...

Reader was excellent!!!!
Story was good
Writing was unnecessarily wordy.
Yes the author created a well written novel. I can't argue that. Just not my style. Annoying to listen to the wordiness...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DB
  • 11-11-16

A little disappointing and pretty depressing

Any additional comments?

I didn't know what to expect with this book. Most everyone has seen some version of the story through the numerous movies out there. I really didn't like the doctor at all. I felt a little sympathy for the monster at first, only to not like him either. Vengeance is the theme from both of the main characters which makes it hard to get behind anyone in the story which left me depressed. <br/><br/>The writing was just OK, to me; nothing special. <br/><br/>Simon Vance was good, not great. Maybe it was what he had to work with. <br/><br/>I'll stick with the Young Frankenstein version by Mel Brooks.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • betsy
  • Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
  • 09-23-15

disastrous

Simon Vance is popular, I think, but he's always rubbed me the wrong way. Narrating a stuffy, melodramatic gothic novel brings out the traits of his that I have trouble with. He really doubles down on sounding like a pompous 19th c Euro aristocrat, with no humanizing or naturalizing of the language.

The novel is not good. There are so many words and so little happening. Frankenstein made sense as a young man, but grown, he just runs around Europe alternately fleeing, chasing, and trying to forget his monster, while having regular nervous breakdowns. There are a number of deaths and a monster, but there's not much horror or suspense as far as I've read.

I'm giving up at 80%, having read most of that at 2x, looking fruitlessly for anything of interest in this stinker.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • josh
  • Berkeley, CA, United States
  • 09-15-13

Narrator Doesn't Do It Justice

Would you try another book from Mary Shelley and/or Simon Vance?

Not from Simon Vance

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His diction didn't vary much. The quality of the recording was lacking.

Any additional comments?

I love this book, but I could not get into this reading of it. Vance's delivery put me to sleep more than it drew me in. His tonality is soft and he doesn't change pitch or act much out. I really feel like its an overall fail of a great piece of literature.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful