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Frankenstein
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Frankenstein
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On the deck of his ice-imprisoned ship, explorer Robert Walton watches from a great distance as an enormous apparition travels with much haste across the frozen shore. The next day, Walton fishes from...
On the deck of his ice-imprisoned ship, explorer Robert Walton watches from a great distance as an enormous apparition travels with much haste across the frozen shore. The next day, Walton fishes from...
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  • On the deck of his ice-imprisoned ship, explorer Robert Walton watches from a great distance as an enormous apparition travels with much haste across the frozen shore. The next day, Walton fishes from the sea a melancholy scientist named Frankenstein, who shares with Walton the horrifying account of his life and of the "hideous progeny" he set loose upon the world. Frankenstein was written while 19-year-old Mary Shelley vacationed in Geneva with poets Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. An incessantly rainy summer prompted Byron to challenge the members of the party to write a tale of the supernatural. While listening to a discussion concerning the theory of electrical reanimation, Mary Shelley was struck, almost to terror, with the idea for Frankenstein: "The idea so possessed my mind that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange the ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around." A universal classic, Mary Shelley's romantic tale of an ambitious doctor who places himself in the dangerous role of God was first published anonymously in 1818. Master narrator George Guidall skillfully brings to life the doctor and his unhappy creation.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 2, 2012
    This audio version of Shelley’s classic hits all the book’s emotional highpoints thanks to a terrific tag team of readers—a choice that is amply justified by the book’s structure: explorer Robert Walton’s correspondence with his sister; Victor Frankenstein’s narration of his life and misguided efforts to play God; and the infamous monster’s first-person account of how he made his way in the world. All three narrators are adept at modulating their tone to suit a scene’s mood—Roger May reads Walton’s sections, Daniel Philpott narrates Frankenstein’s, and Jonathan Oliver handles the monster’s sections—but the heavy lifting falls to Philpott, who conveys his character’s passion, ambition, and ultimate horror at what his creation has done, which includes an accidental killing that strikes the scientist very close to home. For any listener familiar only with filmed treatments of this seminal tale of terror, this is a good way to experience the original.

  • AudioFile Magazine Listeners who only know the movie version will be surprised by the orotund writing and convoluted plot of the original Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley. Victor Frankenstein, the Swiss who experiments with science and creates a monster, is a long-winded, angst-ridden fellow. The angst is understandable, though, given the mess he makes. The gentlemanly voiced Ralph Cosham ably communicates the tone of early nineteenth-century Europe, in which the novel was written; one can almost hear the swish of long skirts and the rumble of carriage wheels. Cosham has a precise yet fluid style of narrating that makes Shelley's elaborate writing easy to listen to. An interesting listen. A.C.S. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine This audio production gives tremendous insight into why the tale that has spawned so many others created such a sensation in its original publication in 1816. What makes it an important piece of Romantic literature is evident to listeners through George Guidall's distinguished reading. The successive narratives of "the creator" and "the wretch" himself are brilliantly done. Each voice reflects the wide range of emotions and remains distinct. No Hollywood here, but subtle haunting in elegant style. R.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine The first thing listeners will note about Shelley's seminal novel is how different it is from the more familiar Hollywood film. Truthfully, listening to the book will likely inspire a desire to watch the Boris Karloff interpretation. Narrator Richard Pasco never grunts "Fire, bad" in his performance, but, rather, portrays a more intelligent, tragic monster, as Shelley intended. Actually, the monster is a bit of a yakky whiner. Pasco goes over the top several times, making the monster speak like a tragic Shakespearian hero. The effect is not so much unsettling as unpleasant. M.S. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine

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    Recorded Books, Inc.
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