The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

  • by Peter Ackroyd
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When two 19th-century Oxford students - Victor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley - form an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world's most accomplished and prolific authors.This haunting and atmospheric novel opens with a heated discussion, as Shelley challenges the conventionally religious Frankenstein to consider his atheistic notions of creation and life. Afterward, these concepts become an obsession for the young scientist.As Victor begins conducting anatomical experiments to reanimate the dead, he at first uses corpses supplied by the coroner. But these specimens prove imperfect for Victor's purposes. Moving his makeshift laboratory to a deserted pottery factory in Limehouse, he makes contact with the Doomsday men - the resurrectionists - whose grisly methods put Frankenstein in great danger as he works feverishly to bring life to the terrifying creature that will bear his name for eternity.Filled with literary lights of the day such as Bysshe Shelley, Godwin, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley herself, and penned in period-perfect prose, The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein is sure to become a classic of the 21st century.


What the Critics Say

"It takes a writer of considerable confidence, wit and skill to attempt a modern retelling of a bona fide English classic...[Ackroyd] is the man for the job.... terrifying and fascinating in equal measure.... An intelligent, creepily beautiful and haunted thing." (The Times, London)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting fantasia

Peter Ackroyd pretty much rips up the original and pastes it back together again. It's an interesting fantasia that doesn't quite work, mostly because of the ending; I didn't feel as strongly about it as some people did, but the ending is VERY abrupt.

The book is the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster transplanted to the England of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley. The rough outlines of the plot are still here, but Ackroyd fills in a lot of the details: where Mary Shelley coyly avoided describing the life-giving process Frankenstein developed, Ackroyd explains it all, chapter and verse.

It doesn't matter that much of the biography and history recorded here are inaccurate. It doesn't matter that bits of the novel are mixed in with doses of scientific nonsense. It's all in fun: it's a bit like "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" in that respect.

Ackroyd had me up to the last couple of pages. But I enjoyed the rest of it so much I can't bring myself to downgrade it too badly on that account. And John Lee's narration is as buoyant and energetic as always.
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- Tad Davis

Literary Monster

Nothing of the story here is too different if you know of the infamous night Percy Bysshe Shelley,Mary Shelly and others decided to have a "ghost story" contest.Out of that night came Mary Shelly's classic book "Frankenstein:Or the Modern Prohetmus".In this story Peter Ackroyd makes Dr.Frankenstein an contempory of the Shelly's and influences their lives with his experiments to reanimate life.Lots of other famous historical figures turn up alsoand add to the plot. The story moves briskly throughout several locations in Europe ,the mystery and chase of the story plays out well this way. I wasn't bored ever listening John Lee is perfect he does all his characters and accents well.I recommend this book it's not hard to listen to and it has good suspense.
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- Kisha

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-06-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio