Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson


From 'one of the most gifted writers working today' (New York Times) comes an audacious new novel about the bodies we live in and the bodies we desire In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love – against their better judgement – with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI.Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with Mum again, is set to make his fortune launching a new ge...

Details Frankissstein

Release DateMay 28th, 2019
PublisherVintage Digital
GenreFiction, LGBT, Science Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary

Reviews Frankissstein

  • Paromjit
    A breathtakingly brilliant re-interpretation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for our modern age of troubled political turbulence, so incredibly funny, smart, philosophical and satirical, weaving threads from the past, present and the impact of AI developments in the future. Jeanette Winterson has pulled off a scintillating and incisive retelling of the classic novel that posits that homo sapiens is far from the most intelligent force on earth, and...
  • Jenna
    Have you ever read a book where you have to keep re-reading paragraphs or even entire pages not because your mind drifted and you don't know what you just read, but because you do know what you read and it delighted you so much? I haven't come across many writers who do that for me. Jeanette Winterson is an exception and Frankissstein is one of those books. Reading this book gave my brain a fantastic jolt on just about every page, a flood of dopa...
  • Trudie
    What an unexpected mid-winter highlight. After casting aside all my "should-be" reading books I decided to bust my way out of a reading slump by picking up this new book by Jeanette Winterson - an author I have never read. This was a particularly risky undertaking given my recent tussle with another author who also decided to play with robots ( I am not saying that book spectacularly failed but it wasn't great ).Winterson's novel is a delightful ...
  • Marchpane
    4.5? Highly entertaining.
  • Gumble's Yard
    “I am what I am. But what I am is not one thin, not one gender. I live with doubleness”“What is your substance, whereof you are made,That millions of strange shadows on you tend?” The book takes place in two timelines: The first starts in 1816 and in the rainy mid-year months in Geneva – a bored group of Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, her then lover and future husband Percy Shelley, Mary’s stepsister Claire Clairmont (Byron’s lover) and...
  • Ana
    As soon as I heard about this book I knew I would love it, and I can now safely say that that was an understatement. Frankenstein is my favourite novel of all time and Mary Shelley is one of my personal heroes, so to have an author as talented as Jeanette Winterson take on a homage/retelling/whatever-you-want-to-call-it of both the novel and Shelley's own life was truly a dream come true. This novel is half a fictionalised (but seemingly accurate...
  • Linda
    I am disappointed and deeply uncomfortable. yikes. I am not trans so please take my review with a grain of salt, but dear god. at best, this book is irresponsibly and deeply clueless, and in bad taste. at worst, it's vaguely terfy. why does a cis woman who does not even understand the most basic things about gender - such as "trans men are men" "being trans and being gay is not the same" and "being trans is not inherently about feminism" - think ...
  • Chris Chapman
    Didn't really work for me. The sections from Mary Shelley's perspective were beautifully written - these worked best - particularly the parallels with the contemporary sections, reflections on creating life, mortality, death, love. Byron was - appropriately - larger than life, and believable. Percy Bysshe Shelley too - a loving, caring husband, quite the new man, until he fell from grace. But the modern day sections were a hot mess. Ron Lord, the...
  • But_i_thought_
    This book is an example of fictional instrumentalism in action — fiction written for the purpose of teaching the reader, as opposed to fiction as art. While on some level all fiction is imbued with meaning, some writing is more blunt in its messaging — and as a result, less effective in my opinion.Told in two parallel narratives, the story follows Mary Shelley in the 19th century as she grapples with the genesis of Frankenstein, as well as ...
  • Ana
    “I am what I am, but what I am is not one thing, not one gender. I live with doubleness.” 🖤
  • Christine Burns
    The reimagining of classic works is in vogue at the moment. It's a trend led by the Hogarth Shakespeare series, which includes contributions from the likes of Jo Nesbø (Macbeth), Margaret Atwood (The Tempest) and Howard Jacobsen (The Merchant of Venice). It's a tricky challenge to pull off and I'm not sure everyone can succeed. I was distinctly unimpressed by Nesbø's modern era riff on the 'Scottish Play', as the allusion was so obviously labou...
  • Chris Haak
    4,5Very intelligent novel and so much fun to read! I love the characters and I love the way Winterson lets this story interact with the Frankenstein story and with Mary Shelley's life. I guess it's time at last to start reading Frankenstein...Thank you Random House UK for the ARC.
  • Gabriela Pop
    this sure was Something
  • Siobhan
    Frankissstein is a fresh, thoughtful novel that blends a retelling of Frankenstein using AI with the story of Mary Shelley thinking about life and death. In the modern day, Ry—a young trans doctor in love with Victor Stein, professor working on AI—meets Ron Lord, businessman from Wales trying to make his range of sex robots sell. Ry met Victor at a cryonics facility in Arizona, but now Victor is working on something and Manchester and Ry, Vic...
  • Leseparatist
    I read the ARC courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I am a longtime reader of Winterson, and with the exception of some of her theatre-related output and novels for young readers, I think I may have read all of her. Some of it I loved, unconditionally, some of it left me frustrated and disappointed. Frankissstein is somewhere on this spectrum, closer to the latter.It is a novel that brings together a selection of voices and stories: Mary Shel...
  • Chrys
    A fabulous parallel timeline homage to the original Frankenstein novel, I loved the similarities between the then and now, especially the relationship between Ry and Stein.Insightful writing about the choices that make us who we are, and exploring the idea of identity without bodies. Ry's choice of a healthy mind over a healthy body and their journey was really well portrayed in my opinionA definite recommend..
  • miss.mesmerized mesmerized
    A young transgender doctor, Ry Shelly, is in the middle of the debate of artificial intelligence. What is possible, what is desirable? What makes a human being a human being and could bots be the better versions of us? AI will surely solve a lot of problems, but won’t it create new ones at the same time? Ron Lord is one of the people who will invest in the new technology and hopes to make a lot of money with it; his aim is the creation of the n...
  • Cordelia Baker Hine
    I will admit I understood very little but enjoyed it immensely.
  • Maria
    Due to Pride Month I am going to read only LGBTQ+ books, and review all of them, starting with this FANTASTIC, AMAZING, EXQUISITE book. This book haunt me, I never loved anything so much until i read this book! FranKISSStein is a book about AI and gender fludity that also harks back to themes Winterson has been writing about: love and desire, transformation and the unwritten meanings of the body. Is a book that seeks and shift our perspective on ...
  • Alan
    Fascinating historical fiction of Mary Shelley vs. often goofy modern-day parallel charactersReview of the Jonathan Cape (2019) hardcover[averaged rating between 5 and 1]I need a bit of time to unpack my thoughts on this (might even need a re-read) but this was my initial reaction. A 5-rating for the historical fiction sections and often a 1 to 2 rating for the modern day (some of that influenced by an ick-factor reaction to an overly long passag...
  • Ella Whiting
    Lake Geneva, 1816: Mary Shelley dreams of a scientist who creates a non-biological life form. When challenged by Lord Byron to write a gothic tale, she starts working on the story that will become known to the world as ‘Frankenstein’. Britain, present day: transgender doctor Ry Shelley meets Victor Stein, a celebrated professor researching the futuristic possibilities of humanity, from AI, to cryogenically preserved bodies, to digitally uploa...
  • Maggie
    Wauw. This an interesting read! You do need all your wits about you though. This is the kind o book I want to talk about with other readers, because I am sure I am missing at least half of what is going on. I will let it settle and then come back to this review.
  • Patrik Kondáš
    I love you, Jeanette are the cure for my sorrow.
  • Emma
    This was a somewhat intriguing exploration of creation and reality, using Frankenstein, AI and trans identity as vehicles for that. Having said that, I'm not entirely sure what Winterson is trying to *do* here and I'm not sure I like it, whatever it is. The 19th century parts of the book felt more rounded than then 21st century parts, where characters felt far more like caricatures - although I preferred the exploration of AI as a means of salvat...
  • Kate Wyver
    Wild, bonkers, brilliant.
  • Imogen Donato
    B a d ??? Nothing happens??? Kinda offensive to trans people???? Weirdly set in the here and now in a way that takes you away from the story (eg referencing Elon Musk etc) Also the jumping between consecutive stories was tiresome.
  • Kath
    It's going to be hard to put in words exactly why I loved this book, especially without any spoilers. Although, being as it is a retelling of an old classic I'm not sure that spoilers are even possible!Anyway, as is the vogue of the time, it's Frankenstein's turn to be reimagined. A task that I don't envy any author as it must be quite tricky to achieve a balance between old and new without alienating too many readers. Although I think the inclus...
  • BiblioPhil
    If you only read one AI novel this season, make it this one.
  • Dani
    Thanks to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.Jeanette Winterson is one of my favourite authors, so when I saw this I knew I had to request it. This book not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded it. This book is set in the past, but entwines with the present. Its set in the 1800s and focuses on Mary Shelley and her story of Frankenstein. Winterson delves into Mary Shelley's life, her miscarriages, and her marriage. It...
  • Jesseka
    In Frankisstein, Winterson explores the dichotomy between life and death, male and female, real and imaginary, human and artificial, challenging the reader by blurring lines and breaking down the binaries. Using Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as a spring board for her ideas the novel seesaws between two narratives one, following a fictional imagining of the life of the very real Mary Shelley and the Monster of her imagination. Another Ry Shelley and...