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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"A great listen"
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.
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.
No, I enjoyed listening to it a bit each night or in my car on the way to work.
You will come away with a new appreciation for this beautifully written work.
"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.
"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.
"A romance story"
Today everyone equates romance to sleeping with the president. However this story is a real romance. There are a few types of love displayed throughout this tale: brotherly affection, parental love, young love that grows into a deep passion, sincere friendship, and sadly unrequited love.
Mary Shelley included it all in this well organized, detailed account of creation of the monster that just desperately wanted to be loved. Dan Stevens, please read more books! He did a fantastic job of given each character a distinct voice, and the monster sounded just like I thought he should. I highly recommend this book!
"The Creature Lives!"
I pretty much cut my teeth on the classic monsters of the silver screen from Universal and Hammer Studios. Those old movies in turn helped me to discover books such as this one. As a kid, I used to find myself returning to the well as often as the movie studios do, for as everyone knows... the novel is ALWAYS better. And regardless of which monster is your favorite on screen, Frankenstein is the best written of them all when it comes to the original source material. That's not just opinion on my part. That's just the very nature of the beast. Between Shelley's considerable literary gifts and personal influences, perhaps it was inevitable that this novel should stand the test of time as one of the great proto-Gothic horror masterpieces.
As my reading list has grown considerably wider since I was a kid, it's been a decade, perhaps more, since my last reading of Frankenstein. In those years, I've since better acquainted myself with Shelley's world and contemporaries such as her husband Percy, Lord Byron, Keats, et al, so I feel I've gained a deeper appreciation of the author and her circle through history and their own works. As a result, I feel it's been far too long since I revisited this story.
But chances are, if you're reading this review, it may be that you're ready to read this story for the first time, and so you naturally want to know what to expect. Above and beyond all of praise I heap upon it, this book is a product of its time and place. It reads with all the flowery prose of the early 19th century, but it's by no means difficult reading as some novels of that time may be for modern readers. As to the story itself, Frankenstein has the distinction of not only being the source for so many fun horror movies, it's also the very science fiction novel. When this was written, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and the boundaries of what was possible culturally and scientifically were being pushed all the time. Long before Jurassic Park, Shelley dared to ask if humanity should open the doors we dared to open simply because we could. This classic is born of fear and despair, which is as real as the ink that flowed from Shelley's pen. Because of pop culture, it's so easy to take this story for granted, but it's precisely for that reason that this book needs to be experienced. It's depth will surprise you as you come to know Dr. Frankenstein and his equally intelligent Creature. If anything, for all of our social media, I find that the perceived isolation of our current generation is something that will likely resonate with modern readers.
For this particular edition from Audible, Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens is an excellent choice for narrator. He lends his own brand of class and gravitas to this tale in a way that just works for me. He brings this venerable tale to life with the same depth and perception gifted to the Creature.
"I never knew this story was so enchanting."
This book opened my eyes to trying more classics. The story was vastly engaging without feeling dry or uncomfortable for me as a modern reader.
The gorgeous settings were fantastic to imagine. I felt the cold of the arctic, the mist of the British Isles and the fresh breeze of the Alps.
I have not
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.
"Such a tragic tale; Stevens a fantastic narrator"
I'm so depressed- I thought I was going to be reading a classic Gothic horror story, and got a profound Gothic tragedy instead. But I suppose that's good, because if it were true horror, I'd probably be distraught rather than just melancholy. The prose was magnificent, and the monologues of the monster were even entrancing. But the course of events was absolutely and horribly tragic.
I think Frankenstein (and even humanity in general) was the true monster, rather than his creation... I can certainly understand ignorant and superstitious villagers being scared out of their wits by such a being - but certainly Delancy or Victor aught to have been more sympathetic to him. He was so sincere and happy and helpful in his early days, only turning to darker emotion and actions when spurned by all. While I cannot forgive him his crimes, I think certainly he could have been redeemed if F had given him a chance -but F would not even conceive that this monster could contain a gentle heart... and while he thought only to protect humanity from being further savaged, that could have been done with a little sympathy and companionship, rather than being hellbent on destroying the poor wretched creature. Had he but done right by his creation, his own misery could well have ended, but in breaking his promise he doomed them both to an awful fate of misery until death. Horrible.
Fabulously written, but broke my heart and made me question humanity, horrible.
Fantastic narration by Dan Stevens. His is far and away one of the most talented narrators ever to lend his voice to an audible production. He is wonderful at the slightly varied European accents, and the narrative styles he used for each speaker accentuated their character and demeanor expertly. He is quite good at intoning desolation and suffering. Chilling. Marvelous choice for the tragic Gothic tone of Shelly.
A classic I had always meant to read, and well worth the listen, especially by the masterful Stevens, but I wish I had been better prepared for the story, as it has left me in a bit of a desolate emotional state of my own. I will have to find a more cheerful book to follow this with. (I wrote this review months ago, when I read this around Halloween, but somehow it never got posted. I did find a few less dismal books thereafter.)
"just in time for Halloween"
I've wanted to read this since High School, but no idea why it took me this long to finally do it. I didn't particularly like that the narrators are whiny and melodramatic but perhaps that was the style of the day? Regardless, it's a timeless piece. Humans will always be messing with science and dealing with unintended consequences. Never asking the right questions until it's too late.
"the devil is in the detail"
Although Mary Shelley weights this story with in-depth detail about how her characters are feeling and what they are thinking, the flow of the writing still holds you.
Dan Stevens expertly draws you in with his thoughtful and well paced vocal style.
the story is engaging and you genuinely feel something for the Monster
With regards to Dr Frankenstein one can't help but watch in frustration as he makes one
bad decision after another. Gaps in the story for me are - The characterizations of the family members, which are portrayed as one-dimensional paragons of virtue.
There is no explanation regarding important points such as how the Doc obtains body parts Or how he disposes of them, why he didnt just shoot the Monster when he had the chance and why wasn't he arrested for his wife's murder.
"This is NOT the original story"
Did it buy this if you wanted to read the original Frankenstein. This is an edited version. I wanted the full version not this rewrite!!
"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.
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.
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.
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!)
"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.
Outstanding use of the English Language! The story is compelling and easy to see why it has stood the test of time.
"just doesn't work"
I couldn't get into the narration. Dan was too incessantly dramatic and as the story veers between dramatic and quite descriptive it needed to be more deadpan.
"Much better than any of the films"
This book gives so much descriptive landscapes and characterisation than by shown in any of the films. Evan Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein does not compare to this book. The creature has much more character and a lot more to say than seen in any film. I really enjoyed this book.
"Fantastic, nuanced reading."
Excellent from beginning to end. Dan Stevens handles the narrative beautifully and brings Shelley's often tricky narrative alive with great deftness and skill. Highly recommended.
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