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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.

Featured Article: The Best Sci-Fi Horror Audiobooks of All Time


Sci-fi and horror are two genres that just make sense together. Swap haunted mansions for abandoned space ships, ghosts for virus-created zombies and experiments gone wrong, and the eerie darkness of the woods for the deep vastness of space, and it’s easy to see why these two genres make for a classic, thrilling combination. Here are our picks for some of the best sci-fi horror audiobooks of all time.

What listeners say about Frankenstein

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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a very good reading of a classic tale

I always knew it was a book that influenced other works, but I now see that Frankenstein is one of the most complete and best stories of its kind (specifically, horror stories and stories about men toying with God's powers).

Also, narration was fantastic. Dan Stevens reads perfectly and his different voices are incredibly good and consistent. At one point, I went to look up whether the narrator was actually German because I heard these perfect little hints of accent during the chapters that are narrated by Victor Frankenstein. Yet during the chapters narrated by the monster, he does another voice that makes it immediately clear not only who is speaking, but that conveys really well the monster's unique mix of seductiveness and horror, sophistication and ignorance, misery and malice. Likewise for all other speakers in the book.

51 people found this helpful

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For another person

This book was written for another time period. And I found myself wanting the story to progress faster. It was verbose, and I guess my taste in books are different. I don't regret hearing it, but I will not do so again.

16 people found this helpful

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Speed up

This audiobook is much more reasonable by turning the speed up to somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5.

15 people found this helpful

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Not the 1818 version..

Got this to follow along with the physical text of the 1818 version, but this isn’t it. It’s definitely more elaborate and it makes it difficult to match up where you are in the text.. but if you’re just getting it to listen, go for it!

15 people found this helpful

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Also not unabridged

Does not match the original publication text. Customer service could not help me find one either.

12 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

I've never liked to read and am new to audio books, so I don't have much of a basis for comparison, but this was incredible. The voices and feeling of the reader brought to the story a life that I would have never experienced had I tried to read it myself. I understand why this is a classic. It's an exquisite, deep tale of love, pain, and regret. Everyone should hear it.

64 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

I purchased this book expecting a great story about a giant monster and the struggle to kill it. What I found was one of the greatest, and most emotionally complex stories I've ever read. By the end, I came to the inescapable conclusion that the villain/monster of the story is Frankenstein, not his creature. The creature is the victim. The victim of a creator so consumed with selfishness he abandoned his creation because of how the creation made him feel. Taken in proper context, the actions of the creature are understandable, but not excusable. There is always personal responsibility. But there is a modicum of understanding for the creature, abandoned to his fate by a cruel and selfish creator, who seeks vengeance on his creator for denying to the creature what he enjoys.

99 people found this helpful

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Great story. Great performance.

I had to read this book for my AP literature class, and it is by far the best book I have read for an English class so far. Mary Shelley was far ahead of her time, on terms of her insights into human nature. The narration was very good as well. Dan Stevens does a good job of creating a unique voice for each character.

16 people found this helpful

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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.

42 people found this helpful

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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.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 11-20-16

Absolute Classic

Brilliant narration of a classic story, couldnt stop listening, despite the relentlessly grim storyline one of the best books I have read (had read to me!)

7 people found this helpful

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  • Alexander M.
  • 06-21-16

Brilliant

Outstanding use of the English Language! The story is compelling and easy to see why it has stood the test of time.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • FENARETI
  • 08-21-20

Dan Stevens is Devine

I used to be so infatuated with Dan Stevens when he was in Downton Abbey. And then I learned he could sing, and now this.
His voice is so perfect. I tend to listen to most audiobooks in ×2 speed but I didnt want to miss any moment of his performance and listened to the whole book in normal speed. I never ever do that.
His performance was so brilliant, each character had such a distinct voice, it was extraordinary to listen to him switch from character to character.

I have been so blown away by his performance that only now will I spend a few words to express how perfect this book was. Here "it was a perfect classic book". That's all you need to know really. so many passages I highlighted. So many memorable quotes. My favourite adaptation was from the "National theatre live" With Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein and Jonny Lee Miller as the creature. That's what made me want to read the book. But all three, the play the book and the audiobook where equally phenomenal. I would strongly suggest you give them a chance!

5 people found this helpful

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  • M. Davies
  • 05-31-17

Perfect story and perfect narration

Expected the story to seem very dated but was pleasantly surprised. Superb bit of beautifully crafted storytelling. And the narration was superb, appropriate and utterly flawless.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-16-16

A good performance of a great story.

An unaltered version of Shelley's fantastic and unsettling narrative. The narration is accurate throughout; the only thing stopping me from giving 5*s is that the reselling lacks a little emotion in places. One could argue that this is reflective of the characters themselves, but I felt a little more vitality could have been given to the retell ing.

Otherwise, a very good performance and well worth acquiring.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 05-16-16

excellent telling of the classic

Dan Stevens narrates beautifully. I read the book as a youngster and felt the urge to revisit as an adult. Stevens articulates well and characters are easily distinguished . highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 09-25-17

A classic

Really enjoyed this audiobook but Dan Stevens’ affected voice for the monster made parts especially hard to get through. The constant ‘woe is me’ affected droning made it very hard to sympathise with the monster. Other than that, his narration was great for everyone else and the story as a whole still stands strong.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-07-17

Excellent yarn

The narration was superb. I was thoroughly entertained throughout. I might listen to it again.

5 people found this helpful

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  • T
  • 03-14-15

Wonderful performance

I had never actually read Frankenstein but over the years I pretty much grew to know the entire story.

Listening/ reading the book I must say It's extremely well written and amazing for someone so young to have such depth and emotion in her dialogue.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Dan
  • 05-10-16

Timeless

Any additional comments?

There is a reason this book still resonates after two hundred years. Totally different to the various film adaptations, an epic tragedy I would urge everyone to experience. It is relentlessly miserable, with salvation and redemption for none, so perhaps not all in one sitting.

4 people found this helpful

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  • DoctorFirefly
  • 09-19-17

Great way to get through a classic

Frankenstein is such a classic but I was reluctant to read this after reading Dracula and hating it. When I saw this edition with Dan Stevens as narrator I took the plunge. It was a little slow to start, taking the form of an epistolary novel with no mention of either Frankenstein or the monster, but I persevered. I was really absorbed in the plot and Stevens voice is very easy to listen to. He also gave distinct voices to the main three narrators so it was easy to keep track of who was talking in the audio format after I stopped listening and restarted.
Highly recommend reading this sci fi classic in this format.

7 people found this helpful

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  • nick
  • 03-24-20

Old school obviously

You may find it slow, narrator was good but I speed it up to ×1.3 and found it easier to listen to like that. otherwise it's a book that should be on a bucket list.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-16-20

Great listen. Do not listen if you feel guilty.

Frankenstein is overwhelmed with anguish and agony, feeling the weight of the abomination he has created and set loose among his fellow men. Do not listen if you are feeling the weight of anxiety or guilt.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dylan
  • 11-21-21

Tragic

The greatest book ever written. The most tragic story ever told. A great performance. So wonderful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 01-05-19

A Wonderful Rendition

The changes in accents were a pleasant surprise, they made a vast difference, especially in such a narrative style as Shelley’s. Shelley is a master of words amd Stevens’ performance does those words justice.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lily Davison
  • 06-14-17

Freakily Fascinating

The invention of a genre is always an interesting read.

Mary Shelley's classic, and the worlds first, science fiction novel is brought to life by the animated and enthralling voice of Dan Stevens. His characterisation is involved but does not go into the silly or stupid. You are never yanked out of the stories captivating grasp, but encouraged to lose yourself in the story and the characters.

A classic read with passion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daryl
  • 05-03-22

A wonderful performance of a great gothic tragedy

Victor Frankenstein has all of the characteristics of a tragic hero. A brilliant young man, he harnesses his intellect and endurance to go beyond what previous scientists achieved. His scientific journey takes him through the alchemy of Agrippa and Paracelsus, a man who sought to combine medicine and magic, finally arriving at a passionate dedication to the study of Natural Philosophy. The philosophy of physics.

Victor's search for the spark of life leads him to the realisation of his dream, the creation of Frankenstein's monster. A woebegone creature that immediately fills Victor with revulsion, marking the reversal of fortunes for him. The tale winds through several countries as Victor and his monster play out their tragedy destroying the lives of Victor's friends, family and his beloved cousin, Elizabeth.

Dr Victor Frankenstein

Dr Frankenstein is not the man of later monster movies. Not the mad scientist with his sidekick Ygor, added later by Mel Brooks in 1974. There are no lightning or lightning rods and no bride of Frankenstein. No, Mary Shelly's novel is all about Victor Frankenstein, and Victor is a despicable character. A tragic hero overflowing with hubris fatally flawed by selfishness.

As an indulged child he was the focus of his mother's attention, prompting his own lifelong selfishness. His mother even brought his cousin, Elizabeth, to live with them ostensibly to raise her from her family's peasant lifestyle. However, on her deathbed, she reveals her hopes that Victor and his cousin would be a romantic match.

Victor was passionate about alchemy. Once he finds a teacher who appreciates the path he has taken and can ignite his educational passion, helping him to bridge the gap between alchemy and science. While his narcissistic view of his intellect may be justified, it is at University that his self-confidence spills over into arrogance. In his hubris, Victor believes that only he would dare to ask the questions that others won't and that only he had the burning flame of genius to discover the source of life through chemistry and anatomy.

Yet, on achieving his life's pursuit, Frankenstein is immediately disgusted by his awakening monster, the point his fortunes reverse. All of the things that had driven him to this point suddenly became the flaws that drag him to his doom. Ever the indulged child, Victor immediately makes it all about him. Instead of confronting his creation, he runs from it. He refuses to take responsibility for his creation throughout the book.

Moreover, he regularly throws himself at the mercy of friends and family, repeatedly falling into exhaustion or illness taking weeks or months to recuperate. This self-centeredness is evident from the beginning of the book. Revealingly, his cousin Elizabeth first steals his heart when she puts aside her feelings about the death of her Aunt, Victor's mother, to care for the men in the family.

A Life Lived in Selfishness

This theme continues throughout the book. Victor is a man hiding a dreadful secret he dares not share out of fear that others won't believe him and the shame of creating his monster. His reluctance to face his responsibilities leads directly to the death of all his close friends and family. Each time there is a chance for him to take responsibility he hides from it.

It is the death of the love of his life, Elisabeth, that is striking. After being told by the monster that he would be with him on his wedding night, Frankenstein tells his future bride that he will reveal his dark secret the day after the wedding. Fantasising instead that he would fight a heroic battle with the monster. The arrogance that propels him doesn't contemplate the consequences of losing.

The Ending

When narrating his childhood, he states that “natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate.” , refusing to see his responsibility. It is only after losing his family that Victor finally begins to struggle with his responsibility for creating the creature and therefore responsible for its actions.

His attempt to make amends drive him to pursue the monster across deserts and ice. Finally confesses his story to Robert Walton, captain of a ship in the Arctic Circle before being killed by his monster.

Pacing and Language

The book moves relatively quickly and is highly readable. It has large descriptive passages of scenery, landscapes, and comparisons of Scotland and Switzerland. In the audiobook, the prose is enjoyable but it lacks the immersive experience of reading. The language is the English of the time and enjoyable. Every time someone leaves a room they are said to have "quitted" the room. It is easy to read and is written in simple sentences, though descriptive.

Worthwhile?

Like a lot of great classic literature, the characters are well thought out on a psychological level. The framework of the tragic hero allows the depth of character development of Victor. It also places his monster as a tragic villain driven by a deep sense of revenge and envy. The monster comes to revel in his villainy and has come to treat it as a poetic art form.

I sincerely recommend it to anyone who is on a journey through the great books, I will likely return to it again.

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  • Amanda
  • 04-23-22

great narration

I can't fault the writing of this book. Although it's quite an old text, it has aged very well and was quite accessible. Brilliantly written and very ahead of its time. The narration is also excellent. The only reason I removed a star is because the characters make me angry. Frankenstein's monster is a total incel and both the monster and Frankenstein himself are total assholes who shun responsibility whenever possible. Ugh. Did not enjoy spending time with these repugnant characters.

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  • Stephen Grocott
  • 04-19-22

Of historical interest – not general consumption

Listening to this from modern perspective made it a bit of an ordeal. If I concentrated, I could try to listen from a 19th century perspective and get more out of it. But it was hard work and not especially enjoyable. It strikes me as being written to horrify uneducated early 19th century readers and i that regard, wouldn’t have been particularly helpful to their development.

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  • WJ
  • 03-03-22

What a classic!

Can really see how this birthed the horror genre. The narrator really sells the vocal cadences of the different characters. His performance the "the wretch" is chilling.