Frankenstein | Mary Shelley | Audiobook Review

Source: Purchased

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

In college, I took this one class twice because I failed it the first time around  (bad life choice you guys, don’t fail classes). The class was about film. The professor was super old and super boring and super cranky. He was just kind of the worst and tenured. Anyways, both times I took the class he gave the exact same lectures. THE SAME LECTURES. Kill me now. Anyways, this professor was obsessed with the 1930s Frankenstein film with Boris Karloff. We watched the film in entirety, then had to pick it apart and watch it in every other lecture that he gave. I’ve probably seen that movie 5 times at this point. Anyways, I decided that I wanted to read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley because I did NOT want that class to be the one thing that is my knowledge base for the book and also because sometimes I just get a hankering for the classics. Also, it was sitting on my phone. For the most part, I liked the audiobook of Frankenstein.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley | Good Books And Good Wine

What’s The Story Here?

In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein is a brilliant young scientist. He gets totally obsessed with creating life and so attempts to give this man, assembled from other body parts life. It works and you know the creature comes ALIVE. At first, the creature is not a monster. It is actually wide eyed and innocent LOL. But Victor Frankenstein isn’t that brilliant, he doesn’t treat his creation very well, and so, the monster goes on a rampage.

Victor then gets sick and his BFF Henry Clerval has to take care of him. Of course. In the meantime, Victor’s brother William is murdered by the monster. They blame the nanny. Of course. There is murder ALL AROUND ALL OVER THE PLACE IN Frankenstein. Seriously, do not piss monsters off, they have these huge temper tantrums.

Oh and framing the whole story is like this captain or whatever who writes these letters and when we open the book, the Captain is in Antarctica and coming across Victor. Who then tells his story. And then it goes back to the captain.

Did I Get All The Symbolism And Deeper Meaning?

In a word, no. Here is the thing, while listening to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I would often zone out and stop paying attention but then kind of snap back in. I felt okay doing this because I had seen the movie several times and because I had also read a few young adult retellings of the book. Apparently just like Victor Frankenstein I am not that brilliant, because I missed out on all the symbolism and deeper meaning and the whole life and death and science thing. Ah well, at least I tuned into the interesting thoughts.

How Is The Narration?

I will admit that Simon Vance, the narrator of the version of Frankenstein that I listened to, knows what he is doing. He has a pretty even voice and is pretty steady to listen to. However, he reads this book with an accent and I wasn’t into that. So, I kept on zoning out and being kind of the worst at listening. I am not sure how I feel about recommending this edition. It’s produced by Tantor Audio and is 8 hours and 20 minutes unabridged. I didn’t love this audiobook.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Basically this is where my attention was going the whole time.

Disclosure: Purchased My Own Copy

Other reviews of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

Living On Literary Lane – “not at all what I expected
Book Den – “I really enjoyed Frankenstein
Bookworm Diaries – “not the typical horror book

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I just cannot understand how a film instructor can be boring. I mean, aren’t the people who choose that field just at least mildly interesting by nature? Just so wrong. That really sucks because clearly any class about movies should rock. But on to the book…. I often read a classic and end the book realizing I most clearly didn’t “get it”. I honestly can’t remember how I felt about Frankenstein as it has been so long since I read it – Oddly enough I read it in college in a class on Horror and Film where we spent a lot of time talking about the relationship between novels and film adaptations, particularly Frankenstein and Beloved.

  2. First off, those classes, which should have been interesting, sound like they were torture. No movie, no matter how good, needs that level of dissection unless you’re doing it for a thesis or dissertation. Wow. And you’re really brave for returning to that story (though books vs. movies…well, we know who wins).

    Just remember…never piss off a monster ’cause MURDEROUS RAMPAGE!

  3. I HATED this book when I had to read it in high school, but I’m going to try again with audio. Not with this one, though, because I don’t like Simon Vance’s narration at the best of times. I also zone out when he talks. Nothing personal, but like certain narrators make Christina’s brain take a little vacation. Anyway, the guy who played Matthew Crawley has a version and I just bought that. WOOO, CELEB NARRATOR.

  4. Never had to study Frankenstein in school, thank goodness. But I never had any desire to read it either. I’m not sure what it is about the story that kind of turns me off.

    Also, aren’t those classes the worst? I’ve had teachers like that before and it feels like such a wasted opportunity!