Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Author, Daniel Philpott, Read by, Roger May, Read by, Jonathan Oliver, Read by
Mary Shelley, read by Daniel Philpott, Roger May, and Jonathan Oliver. Naxos Audiobooks, unabridged, seven CDs, 9 hrs., $47.98 ISBN 978-1-84379-449-3
Reviewed on: 01/02/2012
Release date: 10/01/2011
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. (Oct.)
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