• Frankenstein

  • By: Mary Shelley
  • Narrated by: Dan Stevens
  • Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (19,843 ratings)

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Frankenstein  By  cover art


By: Mary Shelley
Narrated by: Dan Stevens
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Editorial review

By Haley Hill, Audible Editor


I was muscling through a difficult breakup and grieving the loss of my grandmother, who had passed away in the summer before my senior year of college, so I felt more than a little overwhelmed by the idea of writing my English department thesis that fall semester. Towards the end of September, when I still had not managed to select a research topic for my paper, my brilliant advisor, who knew that I was both fascinated with Gothic literature and rapidly running out of time, handed me her copy of Frankenstein, and gently urged me to read it over the course of a couple days. Frankly, she did not have to ask me twice to devour the classic with urgency.

I have always been a fan of the macabre, so I figured a story about a mad scientist who robs graves for body parts in order to sew together a creature would be right up my alley. That being said, I was immediately blown away by how many thrilling and thought-provoking layers comprise Mary Shelley’s iconic novel.

Of all the fascinating questions that Frankenstein raises, its most infamous has to be: Who is the monster, and who is the man? (That’s in addition to the notorious confusion around who the title refers to; Frankenstein is named for the monster’s creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, while his creation is simply referred to in the text as "The Creature," a choice that makes sorting out protagonist from antagonist all the more challenging.) The story is as much about corruption as it is about creation, and listening to Victor and his creature narrate their two perspectives while simultaneously making each other’s lives a living hell proves just that. What makes this story so essential is just how difficult it will always be to sympathize with one character entirely over the other.

A less frequently discussed fact about Frankenstein is that is an epistolary novel, making it perfect for audio! The story is bookended by letters that Robert Walton, a seafaring explorer in search of the North Pole, writes to his worried sister, in which he relays Victor Frankenstein’s shocking confession, which the scientist shares after being rescued aboard his ship. However, despite the riveting attention to detail within Walton’s letters, he ultimately leaves listeners with a question that I find just as fascinating as the last. Will he heed Frankenstein’s saga as a cautionary tale and reconsider following his own ambitions to the literal end of the Earth?

Continue reading Haley's review >

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.

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