Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
Published by: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones (originally)
Published on: March 11, 1818
Page Count: 280
Genre: Gothic Fiction
My Reading Format: Audiobook downloaded free during a Tantor Audio promotion
Audiobook Published by: Tantor Audio
Narrator: Simon Vance
Audiobook Length: 8 hours 30 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook
When Tantor Audio offered Frankenstein as a free digital download in October, I didn’t hesitate taking advantage of the opportunity to hear Simon Vance read this classic. Having never read it before, I learned quickly that what I’ve seen in movies and in pop culture is vastly different from the book itself. I had been expecting spooky mad scientist’s mansion and villagers chasing after the monster with torches blazing. While Frankenstein did create his monster through science, the actual process was downplayed as it wasn’t the point. In his quest for knowledge, Frankenstein unleashed a beast into the world. The aftermath, both physical and psychological, is the story.
The first half of this novel had me glued to my car seat. You have the family tragedy followed by the story of how the monster acquired language and morality. While I enjoyed the novel as a whole, the second half was not as strong for me. Frankenstein spent so much time inside his head going over how he was the victim in this tragedy that I grew impatient with him. I think the way the story played out was for the best because he could never have been the husband and father his own father was. When one is constantly justifying oneself, there is little room left for love or sacrifice.
This audiobook was nothing short of incredible. Simon Vance brought his A game to this recording. He infused the novel with the perfect amount of emotion. While narrating the letter from Frankenstein’s father there was a point where I knew that if there was even another slight hint of a crack in his voice that I would start crying. I may sound like a broken record when it comes to reviewing Simon Vance’s narration, but what can I say? The man is talented. Happy are those who recognize and appreciate it.
I thank Tantor Audio for providing this delightful freebie during the month of October. What made this download even better was the eBook that accompanied it. I enjoy reading along from time to time and a copy in print always helps with spelling and reviewing what you’ve read.
I enjoyed Frankenstein more than I had imagined. It wasn’t just the stuff of monster movies and science fiction. While the nature of good and evil played a role, this novel played in the spaces in between: tenderness versus revenge and selfishness versus sacrifice. I fully understand why people love this story. It was a perfect fit for October, but anytime would be a good time to sit down and have a listen.