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Poor Things cover art

Poor Things

By: Alasdair Gray
Narrated by: Russ Bain,Kathryn Drysdale
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Whitbread Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize

A life without freedom to choose is not worth having.

Godwin Baxter's scientific ambition to create the perfect companion is realized when he finds the drowned body of the beautiful Bella, who he brings back to life in a Frankenstein-esque feat. But his dream is thwarted by Dr. Archibald McCandless's jealous love for his creation...

But what does Bella think?

This story of true love and scientific daring whirls the listeners from the private operating-theatres of late-Victorian Glasgow through aristocratic casinos, low-life Alexandria and a Parisian bordello, reaching an interrupted climax in a Scottish church.

'A magnificently brisk, funny, dirty, brainy book' London Review of Books

'Visionary, ornate and outrageous' The Independent

'Witty and delightfully written' New York Times

'A brilliant marriage of technique, intelligence, and art.' Kirkus Reviews

©1992 Alasdair Gray (P)2023 W. F. Howes Ltd

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  • Chris Reich
  • 22-12-2023

Not Particularly Great

I got through it but found this book disappointing. Perhaps a second read will bring more out. The movie must take a lot of liberties as the book is not too amusing. There is a dark side which is somewhat interesting. Your mileage may vary.

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-12-2023

2 books or more in one

One was a dry history, another a socialist soap box and another is a mashup of various tales.

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5 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah B.
  • 04-12-2023

A magnificent tale, true or false!

Poor Things is a masterpiece of contemporary literature in a suit of Victorian science fiction. There is a simplicity to Alasdair Gray's story that is often lacking in today's, yet meaningful like no other. I'll admit, I went into it knowing next to nothing, expecting nothing, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much.

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5 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley Morgan
  • 18-01-2024

Fiction or Nonfiction I must know!

I found this book because I don’t think I will get to see the movie. I have enjoyed the book. I want to know if it’s fiction or nonfiction but do not know. It takes twists I did not expect which is rare for me. I love that they have a female and male voice. It helps to know who is speaking. The book is no where near what I was expecting from the trailer to the movie. The book is way better than I feel the movie can be. Spoiler alert: it gives off “Fight Club” vibes that is funny in how they twisted it.

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4 people found this helpful

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  • BKH
  • 29-12-2023

I seldom give bad reviews.

I listened to this because I thought I might see the movie. Unlike almost all my other books, I did not look forward to getting in my car with this one. I abandoned it with 4 hours to go. is it just me? Read Our Hideous Progeny instead if you want a great book in the Frankenstein family!

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4 people found this helpful

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  • JoAna
  • 16-01-2024

The honesty and beauty in which the narrator perceived each tidbit that makes up this story. Thank You

I wasn't super fond of how Bella completely changed the whole story in a couple of end chapters.
After the story being told one way for 27 chapters, it was quite jarring. It felt as if this beautifully cohesive story was unraveled and dark, instead of exciting, surprising, a love story of many types( ie: romantic love, intimate love w/o sex,love between parent and child, love of animals and passions re: career, fetish, travel, and truly living.
All of that gone with a cold dark shadow cast upon the characters, with a couple of momentary spots of warmth.

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  • Carrie
  • 07-01-2024

the intelligence, knowledge, humor

This is a wonderfully compelling, dark, delicious story with twists and turns, drama, pathos and humor. I'm inblove with Glasgow now.

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  • Dan
  • 01-01-2024

Great Fun

At first I thought this was just a reworking of Frankenstein with a kinder Dr.
However as the story progressed there was more at play here. While Frankie explores science unfettered and God and man, Poor Things explores gender roles, parenthood, perspective (Think Roshomon) and a variety of other things. Well worth your time and with some unusual surprises.

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3 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole B.
  • 01-01-2024

The voices were calming and clear, the Story was amazing!

Fantastic story! Incredibly immersive, the narrator brings the story to life! A new favorite that will be a classic story now!

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3 people found this helpful

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  • Justine Seymour
  • 01-12-2023

Originality

I enjoyed the liberated thought and freedom physically and mentally that Bell demanded. The combination of women’s lib and love

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3 people found this helpful

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  • RAZZAMAJAZZ
  • 23-11-2023

A truly memorable morality tale

I found this to be an intriguing combination of the Frankenstein story and the history of an admirable Scottish woman physician.
The narration was brilliantly convincing

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  • Pinkystan
  • 08-02-2024

Intriguing, hilarious and incredibly clever

I really enjoyed this book on terms of the story and format. It's unlike anything else I've read/ listened to, and I thought it was brilliant. The narration wasn't as good as the story deserved.

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  • MR KEITH M HOGAN
  • 02-02-2024

Such great details in people

Such great book it a shame there a very few books written but the author

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  • jason fallon
  • 26-01-2024

Great book

Listen to this before watching the movie if you can, it's depth is surprising and shows how little has changed in the world.

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  • Solbjorg Solversdottir
  • 25-01-2024

I wish I loved this book!

I watched the film, disliked it immensely and so the next day I bought this book hoping to find something to love about this story but alas it just was not meant to be!
But still I don't quite understand what I dislike so much about it.
It was a brisk and comfortable read and the performances really elevated it for me!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-01-2024

Absolutely wonderful

A wonderful novel, delightfully told. One of the best listening from Audible I have, would highly recommend this one.

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  • Mrs. Karen Proctor
  • 19-01-2024

Unique

I loved the conflicting stories. At first I thought oh dear a Frankenstein rip off but that was a red herring, or was it? Great fun read.

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  • Graham Reid
  • 14-01-2024

what the actual ????

oh dear god.A case of the empowers new clothes.The reputation of this book is based god knows what, because I certainly heard lot of twaddle not a literary masterpiece

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  • Mr. B. Peacock
  • 08-01-2024

Thought provoking tale

Great tale that keeps you guessing as to where it goes next, looking forward to the film.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-01-2024

An Astounding Achievement

This audio-book will please most and may challenge all. Its central narrative is compelling and is well performed by both narrators set the wonderful task of giving this book life. They breathe life into the book, just as Godwin Baxter does the same for Bella. It is easy to see why this book was a Whitbread Award winner and Guardian Fiction Prize winner. Those who come to this audio-book before seeing the film of the same name will be best placed to enjoy the book's contrasting narratives. The book is certainly one to ponder. Those who listen with the printed book close to them will also be able to enjoy the art work by the author who is also a visual artist. Even the notes at the end of the audio-book and printed copy are full of teases that will amuse many readers. 'Poor Things' as a book and audio-book deserve the interest that will be generated by the film.

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