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Frankenstein

Written by: Mary Shelley
Narrated by: Dan Stevens
Length: 8 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (189 ratings)

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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.
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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Has Not Lost Any of its Power!

Dan Steven's masterful narration carries the full horror, power, and poignancy of Shelley's tragic and touching tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his "monster". If you've never read it - then listen to this version. It's outstanding. Stevens makes it even harder to believe that Shelley began the book at the tender age of 18! #Audible1

1 person found this helpful

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Far better than I expected for a book from 1818

I wondered how a story published in 1818 would sound to modern ears and was impressed. It holds up well and is not quite what I expected, having been exposed to the movies and Halloween versions of the monster. The original story will remind you of course that Frankenstein is the name of the doctor, not his creation.

The monster learns to speak (French) by spying on a family living in a forest. This kind of implausible detail might be handled differently in a modern story, but it moves things along. The actions and emotions of the doctor might be considered "over acting" today. We're constantly reminded of how tortured and determined he is to reverse his mistake and destroy his creation. I almost wonder if it inspired the more refined fixation of Ahab to destory the White Whale in Moby Dick (1851).

Anything that doesn't quite work to modern ears instead comes across as "style". It's as if we're transported into a Victorian era to hear a tale in the language of the time. That means it was using modern language when it was published. If it's still so good in 2020, imagine how great it must have been to read in 1818.

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a masterful performance

excellent timbre, cadence, pronounciation

exquisite writing and extensive lexical range

highly recommended for native French, Italian Portuguese, or Spanish speakers learning literary English

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So much more than "Fire bad!"

I was given an excerpt from this book to read for a university class. It seemed out of place, so I sought out this audio book to fill me in on my commute. I am so glad that I did!

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So different from the movies and that's ok!

Frankenstein's monster is so much easier to relate to and empathize with than the classical depiction of the character in pop culture, or even in movies about this book. The writing is fantastic and the narration is superb, it was an absolute joy to listen to and I was sad when it ultimately came to a close. I originally got this on audible because I did not want to read the entire story, but instead listen to it while driving or working. However, the story was so engaging and alluring that I shall be reading this book in it's entirety very soon. I highly recommend this story.

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wow!

Dan Stevens. What an actor. He made this so moving and engaging. He brought Mary Shelley's writing to life in the most wonderful way possible.

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amazinggg book!

loved it! the narration was inspiring. the book itself was a master piece. its amazing.

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Dan Stevens has made the book so enjoyable

Excellent piece of literature. It took me on a ride.
Very thought provoking and way ahead of its time

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Good

I never had the chance to read this in school but even if I had I probably would have loathed it. Now that I'm older I can appreciate it better but I still prefer Dracula. This book was good and I'm glad I read it. I'll definitely read it again. The performance was great, the voice was soothing. On the night I started this book I fell asleep just listening to the voice. lol

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Classic

Great narration of a classic tale. Basically, if you want to be happy, don't dabble in necromancy? :)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-23

The Modern Prometheus

This is a dramatically different story than the one prevalent and accepted as "Frankenstein" in popular culture. Here is a nuanced and profound examination of a creation's relationship with his creator. Suffering, described through both the creation and the creator, is explored extensively. Abandonment, desire, hope, rage, and tragedy are all present in abundance. One could easily replace the Monster with humanity and Frankenstein with God. And, in fact, it would be severely questionable if someone asserted that was not Shelley's intent.

Of course, this is also an exploration of humanity's obsession with the advancement of science and the potential fallout from such leaps. In this regard, I fully agree with many who view this as one of the earliest (if not the first) forays into science fiction.

Stevens does an amazing job with the narration and every word sprang out drenched with emotion. It was read almost as poetry, with perfect delivery and nuance.

All in all a brilliant listen and absolute required reading.

90 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-11-01

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.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Mark A Ruiz
  • 2017-04-04

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.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Cabazone
  • 2017-06-27

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.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Nancy
  • 2013-11-25

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.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Janna Wong Healy
  • 2014-02-05

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.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin G.
  • 2017-09-25

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2014-02-27

What, no Bride of Frankenstein?

I have watched several Frankenstein movies and always thought I knew the story. Boy was I ever wrong. I did not know how lyrical and poetic the story really is. Mary Shelly's book is a wonderful story. I love Dan Stevens' narration as he made the story come alive.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas More
  • 2015-12-06

Perfect Reading

It's impossible to imagine a better rendering of Mary Shelley's classic novel. Dan Stevens imbues Shelley's ornate prose with intelligence and sentiment. The quality of the recording is first rate. In short, a peerless performance.

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-01-28

ARE WE ALWAYS TO BE UNHAPPY?

HE IS SO GENTLE, YET SO WISE
All my reviews are aimed at people like me. I would like to be a top reviewer and have lots of followers, but I can not whore myself out and talk about how great this is. I am a blue collar worker who drinks beer, watches football and likes books with violence and sex. This is a great story because of it's history. Re-animation is a great subject and Shelly started it all. That is where it ends. This is a tragedy, full of TEARS. While I love the language for short periods of time, the constant whining and crying is grating. Victor Frankenstein is one of the biggest babies ever. If you are anything like me, you will not be able to stand this.

Dan Stevens is an excellent acting narrator, I hope to hear him in other works.

136 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-04-23

Before Victor Becomes Frankenstein

A wonderful book, so well written and who didn't age that much even though it is one of the founding member of what is today fantastic and horror genre.
Also, I'm not familiar with Dan Stevens, but when he speaks as Frankenstein with the german/swiss accent, his voice reminded me so much of Christopher Waltz I had my doubt for a moment.
So bonus if you enjoy Hans Landa as much as I do.

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  • Taillefeunaille
  • 2018-06-12

Dan Stevens is amazing as always!

Beaucoup de descriptions et quelques longueurs mais Dan Stevens offre une superbe performance et est incroyable comme toujours !

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  • François
  • 2016-10-15

Delight for ears

Excellent narrative, excellent description, plot ok. A lot of feelings and guilt philosophy.
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