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I’m still not sure how to wrap my head around this book, it’s a lot. It’s scathingly funny and philosophically rich, it’s wordy and talky in all the best ways. It’s sexy as hell too. In the first few pages you’ve got Mary Shelley in Geneva with Lord Byron, Percy Shelley et al bored and telling ghost stories; the famous origin of Mary’s book Frankenstein which I’m guessing you’ve maybe heard of. While that’s the table setter this is one of these books that is narrated across multiple timelines with a ‘back then’ and a ‘five minutes from now’ back and forth action where the characters from the different timelines map or mirror each other (so there’s a Ron Lord for a Lord Byron or a Ry for a MaRy and Claire for a, well, Claire). And it’s about a lot of things, you’ve got sex robots, cryogenics labs, immortality, transgenderism, love, creation and creators, self/other, mad scientists tinkering with AI (and the singularity nigh) and bodies, the bodies we are born with, the bodies we remake in our own image, the bodies we long to occupy, the bodies we long to leave behind. Like I said it’s a lot, and it’s really good. -Matt, Los Angeles
More of Matt's Reviews:
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.