by Jeanette Winterson


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Since her astonishing debut at twenty-five with Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit , Jeanette Winterson has achieved worldwide critical and commercial success as “one of the most daring and inventive writers of our time” ( Elle ). Her new novel, Frankissstein , is an audacious love story that weaves together disparate lives into an exploration of transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and queer love.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802129499
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 25,901
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jeanette Winterson CBE was born in Manchester, England. After graduating from Oxford University she published her first novel at 25, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit , to widespread acclaim and a BAFTA for her BBC TV adaption. Twenty-seven years later she revisited that material in the bestselling memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She has written 10 novels for adults, as well as children’s books, non-fiction and screenplays. She is Professor of New Writing at the University of Manchester. She believes that art is for everyone and it is her mission to prove it.

Read an Excerpt

Naming is power, I say to Claire.

It sure is. Adam’s task in the Garden of Eden.

Yes, indeed, to name everything after its kind.

Sexbot . . .

Pardon me, sir?

Do you think Adam would have thought of that? Dog, cat, snake, figtree, sexbot?

I am thankful he didn’t have to, Dr Shelley.

Yes, I am sure you are right. So tell me, Claire, why did they call this place Memphis?

You mean back in 1819? When it was founded?

As she speaks I see in my mind a young woman looking out of a sodden window across the lake.

I say to Claire, Yes. 1819. Frankenstein was a year old.

She frowns. I am not following you, sir.

The novel Frankenstein – it was published in 1818.

The guy with the bolt through his neck?

More or less . . .

I saw the TV show.

It’s why we are here today. (There was a look of confusion on Claire’s face as I said this, so I explained.) I don’t mean existentially Why We Are Here Today – I mean why the Tec-X-Po is here. In Memphis. It’s the kind of thing organisers like; a tie-in between a city and an idea. Memphis and Frankenstein are both two hundred years old.

Your point, Dr Shelley?

Tech. AI. Artificial Intelligence. Frankenstein was a vision of how life might be created – the first non-human intelligence.

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Frankissstein 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 12 days ago
I requested this book because I am a big fan of Mary Shelley , her Gothic style and writing sensibilities . But , unfortunately I couldn't get into this book . I enjoy offbeat and quirky books but this one turn out to be just just weird and a bit confusing ... plus I have difficulties connecting with it. I might be , it's me not the book , situation here. I just reviewed #Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson courtesy of #NetGalley
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads 14 days ago
I really wish that I had read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein prior to this reimagination of that classic. I struggled a bit to fully engage with the story here but the writing is wickedly smart and funny. Frankissstein is a thoroughly modern story. It is satirical and funny, smart and analytical. Winterson pulled together stories taking place in modern-day London, modern-day America and in the late 19th century. She tied together the story of a transgender person falling in love, a cryogenic company in America, the use of artificial intelligence and then she mixed in the original author's social life. Somehow these disparate threads tied together to create a story about love, politics, intelligence, compassion. From what I understand, in the original novel the creature is smarter and kinder and better than the human. And here Winterson did the same, showing AI as surpassing the humans that created them. In this book we meet Ron Lord, a divorced man who lives with his mother in Wales. He creates and sells female sexbots who are programed to never say no to a man. The idea is there will be a male utopia because the bots do not cause men the problems they face with real women. Ron Lord claims that his bots solve issues of rape, assault and abuse. Dr Ry Shelley is a transgender man who is in love with a famous doctor named Victor Stein. And across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics company is preparing to bring people back to life. This book is complex and complicated. At times it felt inaccessible, then I would read one of Winterson's beautifully crafted, sardonic, thought-provoking sentences... The aspect of the book that I most enjoyed though, dealt with gender roles and norms, gender fluidity, sexism and those expectations placed upon women. I found this storyline timely in this era of the #metoo movement. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
JillB1 14 days ago
I have read all of Jeanette Winterson’s work and re-read many of them several times, including some passages I just read again and again for the sheer joy and power of her words, the way you would listen to one of your favorite songs. Frankissstein is no exception, I am about to read it again, a few hours after finishing my first lap. Do I fully understand it yet? absolutely not, Did I thoroughly immerse myself in it? absolutely yes. Do I feel changed, different, wiser, confused? Hell yes, That’s what this brilliant woman does, her words and stories change you and nothing can be better than that.
Reader4102 14 days ago
This is a brilliantly conceived novel that will take hold of you from the first pages to the last. As a reader, you may often feel like you’re a part of the group as you listen to the interactions between the characters. This feeling is not often found in novels today, so when it happens for you, savor the words and enjoy the journey.
Anonymous 14 days ago
I thought this was a brilliant book, astonishing in its ideas and originality. It explores profound ideas, including the future of mankind with possible biological and technological changes, the development of robotics incorporating future strides in artificial intelligence, the melding of human biology with artificial intelligence, the limits of cryogenics to preserve and resurrect the recently dead, the idea of uploading human thought and memories for future recovery into new bodies or robots. This is a compelling book exploring issues which are thought-provoking, and some ideas we would probably prefer not to think about. There are serious issues such as misogyny, prejudice against transgender people and the direction in which technology is headed. Will the advances in artificial intelligence surpass human thought and wisdom? There are topics that need to be addressed not only by scientists but also by philosophers and morality panels. But remember the book is also hilariously laugh-out-loud funny! There is a dig at Trump which is still causing me to laugh. Going back in time to the early 1800s, we meet the young Mary Shelly travelling with her husband, Percy Shelly, Lord Byron, and others. They considered themselves members of the intelligentsia and social rebels. Mary conceives the story of a man-made creature created by Dr. Victor Frankenstein. I liked the story of this group, and their restlessness travelling through Europe and the plight of women. I did not understand the reason that her story kept alternating with the contemporary characters, and felt it detracted from the book’s structure. In modern times we are introduced to Ry(short for Mary), a transgendered female to male doctor. He is is a romantic relationship with Dr. Victor Stein, a prominent scientist and lecturer in the field of artificial intelligence. In Arizona, there is a facility where another scientist, Max, is in charge of suspending people by freezing at the time of death. The hope is that they can be scientifically resurrected when technology and medicine have progressed to the point where this is possible. There is also Ron Lord, doing a thriving business selling and renting sex bots for lonely men everywhere. He is misogynistic and crude, having no filter and blurts out whichever ridiculous thing entering his mind. He provides much hilarity. He sees great opportunities to become wealthier due to Brexit. He is a great character I enjoyed the nods to actual pioneers in computer technology. Mentioned is Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter. A brilliant mathematician, she is credited with writing the first computer program. There are references to Alan Turing, a British mathematician, computer scientist and code breaker whose Enigma program translated German secret codes during WW2, which gave the allies an advantage. Many thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for this smart and unique book. I am not sure how to classify it. There is much sex, but it is not really erotic, and I would call it Science Speculation rather than SciFi. It may be a prediction of what human life forms will be like and how we will interact with inteligent robots.