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Frankissstein : a love story de Jeanette…
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Frankissstein : a love story (edició 2019)

de Jeanette Winterson, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
7033931,903 (3.7)81
"Lake Geneva, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley is inspired to write a story about a scientist who creates a new life-form. In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out some experiments of his own in a vast underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with his mom again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead... but waiting to return to life. What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? In fiercely intelligent prose, Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realize. Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself"--… (més)
Membre:SidKhanooja
Títol:Frankissstein : a love story
Autors:Jeanette Winterson
Altres autors:Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Informació:London : Jonathan Cape, imprint of Vintage, 2019.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

Frankissstein de Jeanette Winterson

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Even though the name and the cover blurb might give you the feeling that you’re about to read Frankenstein fanfiction (and you might not be half-wrong), this was astounding in its scope and boldness. Taking place in two time periods – the 19th and the 21st centuries – Winterson narrates the tale of a behind-the-scenes story of the writing of Frankenstein (in the former), the rise of AI and sex-bots (in the latter), and manages to merge the disparate aspects so beautifully that you feel as if you’re not reading glorified fanfiction.

Mary and Percy Shelley are merged to form the trans protagonist Ry Shelley; Lord Byron becomes a flamboyant entrepreneur called Ron Lord, and so on – only the tragic Dr Frankenstein remains the same. The juxtaposition of characters should not have worked so well, but here we are.

To give you an idea of the sheer scope of the novel, some issues that Frankissstein tackles with aplomb are - feminism in the Victorian era compared to the modern era; how different the lives of cis and trans people are (the refrain ‘What are you’ in the 21st century used for Ry is surprising, but considering many people are of this mind-set, not that unexpected); the debate on the value of a woman as more than her body (Ron Lord’s USP for his sex-bots is that ‘they don’t say no’); and the age-old debate on automation, AI and Luddites. All of this takes place in paragraphs which are so densely packed with witty information that you have to read some twice before it strikes you how good Winterson is as an author and as a conveyor of ideas.

This is one of those stories with a premise that is as outrageous as it sounds, but it works so well that you cannot help but wait to reread it. Would highly recommend. ( )
  SidKhanooja | Sep 1, 2023 |
There was a long period when I would eagerly away each new book that Winterson published, purchase it and inhale it. At a certain point though, somewhere around Gut Symmetries, her books started feeling overly familiar and similar to each other, so I dropped off. I kept meaning to try again at some point, and this book, as a new conversation with Frankenstein seemed like the time to do it.

I had kind of a mixed reaction to this. it definitely felt familiar as a Winterson novel, and there were some AMAZING moments that I loved. So much about the set-up was fascinating -- AI, gender, sex dolls, cryogenics, scientists pushing the envelope and also a parallel story of Shelley & Byron and the creation of the original story.

BUT ALSO there is a surprise sexual assault (I'm not one who usually looks up CW for this, but I still felt blindsided) and has had some mixed reaction on its representation of its main trans character.

This is clearly a book designed to provoke thought, rather than provide easy answers. Overall I am glad that I read it, but not quite enough to put Winterson back on my auto-buy list. ( )
  greeniezona | May 8, 2023 |
Despite this being longlisted for this year’s Booker, I might have given Winterson’s latest a pass, had it not been for several people whose opinions I trust calling this “a return to form.” My relationship with Winterson’s work is both perfect and harried; during my undergraduate days, I spent a lot of time with her work, and her work from the 1990s through the early-2000s is very strong, ground-breaking, and original.



But after The PowerBook, Winterson’s work started to become derivative; I even attended three or four of her lectures, and she returned again and again to the same anecdotes and stories in the talks—likely as these were the ones that earned some guffaws. After the masterpiece that was Art & Lies, can any author surpass their own best creation?

And this is something like the main conceit in Frankissstein: the question of artificial intelligence; how wedded is our consciousness to our brains; is artistic creation the same as, or at least akin to, scientific inventions; how do the bodies we inhabit—and which change both with time and with our wills (made emphatic by one of the main characters, Ry, whose trans body is much on display and much discussed in the novel)—problematize things like being, consciousness, and desire if the promise or threat of AI is on the horizon?

I began the novel with high hopes: the early sections, told from Mary Shelley’s point-of-view, detail the genesis of Frankenstein and the conversations about gender, authorship, artistic creations, and also vivisection were some of the more interesting sections here. Given that two of Winterson’s strongest novels, The Passion and Sexing the Cherry, are historical and tackle these same questions seemed to bode well. However, the present-day sections are riddled with cliches and stereotypes, e.g., the African American woman who checks Ry into the AI conference in Memphis; Ry’s own trans body, which, as a cisgendered person, even I took some issues with: it will be interesting to see what trans readers make of Winterson’s depiction of Ry as something like the promise of the future, the making of the new self—something she pairs very haphazardly with AI.

The sections with Mary Shelley—and those of her meeting her own fictional creation in Bedlam—being the strongest, the present-day sections (dealing with sexbots and trans bodies and lots of fucking and the question of whether a disembodied brain can still house consciousness and intelligence) are a mess: Winterson fails to join them, even though one can see that the underlying themes with which Shelley grapples and with which Ry and Dr. Victor Shelley grapple in today’s Manchester are indeed united. Winterson chooses to join them by poetic repetition and the use of literary quotes—one of which is her own—and this feels more like a patchwork quilt of a book than a novel.

Still, this was a fun read overall, and I would recommend it; however, I would in no way recommend that readers new to Winterson begin here. This is an author definitely back on track after more than a decade off the mark, but Frankissstein fails to deliver a convincing narrative, despite its topical questions, and instead reads like two very different novels that have been joined together in places where they seem to “fit.” 



With thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this in exchange for my honest thoughts. 



3.5 stars ( )
  proustitute | Apr 2, 2023 |
At first I thought I was really going to love this book. It starts off with a historical fiction vibe, retelling the story of Mary Shelley and her writing of Frankenstein. Then, we are propelled into the present day where the protagonist is a transgender person (female to male), Ry Shelley, who falls in love with Victor Stein, a futurist who pontificates on how the world will be when artificial intelligence reaches its apex. The reader is also introduced to Ron, an entrepreneur selling sexbots.

At this point, it's weird, but attention grabbing. And it seemed like it might be a clever novel creating a parallel between the concept of creating life (Frankenstein) that runs amok and the idea of artificial intelligence taking over the world.

If only it was coherent.

As the story progresses it becomes more and more gratuitous and farcical . . .and unfortunately, to me, much less interesting and less entertaining. The characters flattened. I wasn't really bored, but I just didn't see the point of it all. Three stars for originality, but the execution really could have been a lot better. Not a fan. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
Jeanette Winterson’s modern take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an unusual blend of genres (literary fiction, science fiction, historical fiction). Winterson employs the familiar dual plot-line, one set in the early 1800’s and the other in contemporary times. The historical thread follows Mary Shelley’s life, starting at Lake Geneva, Switzerland, as she begins to create her famous work while married to poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and engaging in intellectual conversations with Lord Byron, his physician, Dr. Polidori, and Mary’s stepsister, Claire. The contemporary thread employs parallel characters: Ry Shelley, a transgender doctor, legally supplies body parts to Victor Stein, a scientist experimenting with cryonic reanimation and digitizing the contents of the human brain. They interact with Ron Lord, an entrepreneur in the sexbot industry, Claire, an evangelical Christian working as a guide and assistant, and Polly D, a pushy journalist in search of a story. The book opens with a technology conference, where Stein delivers a lecture on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, and Ron Lord engages in a darkly humorous regaling of the “benefits” of sexbots.

At times bizarre, and always inventive, I found this book intellectually stimulating, just thinking of all the implications of AI and how it could be used or abused. The historical storyline, a contemplative look at Mary Shelley’s life, appealed to me more than the contemporary, which read more like a fast-paced farce, complete with outlandish characters, exotic settings, and salacious humor. She uses humor to ridicule sexism, while not downplaying its destructiveness. She inserts social commentary via satire, and pokes fun at both the UK and US. While not required, a familiarity with the Shelley’s Frankenstein is helpful. It is interesting that many of the concerns of the 19th century are still relevant in the 21st: worker obsolescence through technological innovation (back then it was the loom), a woman’s place in the world, how to create a more equitable society, the mysteries of the soul, the drive for creativity, class divides, and what makes life worthwhile. I sensed the story losing a bit of its cohesion as it approaches the ending, which may be interpreted in a number of ways. Be aware that it includes a number of sexually explicit scenes, profuse profanity, and a potentially triggering scene of trans assault.

Winterson has produced an entertaining, occasionally disturbing, and thought-provoking work about the human experience. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and plan to investigate the author’s other works. This book has been longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Winterson, Jeanetteautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Dean, SuzanneDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Fries-Gedin, LenaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Martín de Dios, LauraTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sackville, JohnNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Udina, DolorsTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Weeks, PerditaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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We may lose and we may win though we will never
be here again.
                                            Eagles, ‘Take It Easy’
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Lake Geneva, 1816

Reality is water-soluble.

What we could see, the rocks, the shore, the trees, the boats on the lake, had lost their usual definition and blurred into the long grey of a week’s rain.
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Is Donald Trump getting his brain frozen? asks Ron.
Max explains that the brain has to be fully functioning at clinical death.
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"Lake Geneva, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley is inspired to write a story about a scientist who creates a new life-form. In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out some experiments of his own in a vast underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with his mom again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead... but waiting to return to life. What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet? In fiercely intelligent prose, Jeanette Winterson shows us how much closer we are to that future than we realize. Funny and furious, bold and clear-sighted, Frankissstein is a love story about life itself"--

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