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Summary

For fans of Modern Lovers and Conversations with Friends, an addictive, humorous and poignant debut novel about the shock waves caused by one couple's impulsive marriage. 

New York is slipping from Cleo’s grasp. Sure, she’s at a different party every other night, but she barely knows anyone. Her student visa is running out, and she doesn’t even have money for cigarettes. But then she meets Frank. Twenty years older, Frank's life is full of all the success and excess that Cleo's lacks. He offers her the chance to be happy, the freedom to paint and the opportunity to apply for a green card. She offers him a life imbued with beauty and art - and, hopefully, a reason to cut back on his drinking. He is everything she needs right now. 

Cleo and Frank run head-first into a romance that neither of them can quite keep up with. It reshapes their lives and the lives of those around them, whether that’s Cleo's best friend struggling to embrace his gender identity in the wake of her marriage or Frank's financially dependent sister arranging sugar-daddy dates after being cut off. Ultimately, this chance meeting between two strangers outside of a New Year’s Eve party changes everything, for better or worse. 

Cleopatra and Frankenstein is an astounding and painfully relatable debut novel about the spontaneous decisions that shape our entire lives and those imperfect relationships born of unexpectedly perfect evenings.

©2022 Coco Mellors (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A tender, devastating and funny exploration of love and friendship and the yearning for self-evisceration. Coco Mellors is an elegant and exciting new voice." (Pandora Sykes, author of How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right)

"Cleopatra and Frankenstein, the luminous debut novel from Coco Mellors, is a book about many things: It's a great, swooning love story; a shattering depiction of how addiction and mental illness warp our lives; and a perceptive, witty portrait of globalized New York. But most of all, Mellors has written a devastatingly human book, at turns sharp and tender, that marks her as the rare writer whose sentences are as beautiful as they are wise. An unforgettable read." (Sam Lansky, author of The Gilded Razor and Broken People)

"A character driven epic thoroughly engrossing and entirely magnificent. It is thrilling to read a book that articles with nuance and compassion the way gender impacts every part of our lives. Sometimes you can just tell that a debut novel has been percolating and perfecting inside an author's mind until it is ready to leap into - and ultimately change - the world." (Adam Eli, author of The Queer Conscience)

What listeners say about Cleopatra and Frankenstein

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Brilliant in every way.

What a beautiful, thoughtful, story, brilliantly narrated, funny, poignant and so incredibly insightful of the human condition.
Loved every minute. I’m a new fan.

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Depressing

Messed up modern lives and destructive relationships . intense and evocative. Glad it's over but some clever lines

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Great book

I really enjoyed the way the writer wrote about the difficulties in modern relationships. Great book. Would. Listen to again

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Absolutely loved this modern tale of love and loss.

Beautifully written, wonderful narration. I adored everything about the book. Listened to it over the course of a few days. Can’t wait to see what the author does next.

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Breath taking

Beautifully narrated one of the most captivating stories I had listened to. Just amazing

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Sooo boring!

God, how much hard work was this? Takes ages to get going. Narrator's voice was super irritating
The worst thing is that most of the conversation is punctuated by 'he said', 'she said'.
We get it, it's a dialogue between two people!
I'm not sure if I can stand to finish this, it's so bland. Awful in every way.

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Honest and real

I loved this book. Not only was the performance wonderful, but the story held me completely.
There was so much in the story that resonated. Some of it was difficult to listen to because it said out loud feelings I have struggled with myself. Some of the events were very true to my own life, and I felt that the author wrote about then in a way that demonstrated a deep understanding of depression. It was brutal and sensitive in equal measures.
The characters throughout remained true and the author never felt the need to romanticise relationships. It told a story of real people who had real arguments who made real love!
I did struggle at times with empathy for Cleo, particularly when she was attacking Frank, but I don't think I was suppose to. The author didn't ask you to take sides, or imply that one was right and the other was wrong. Your were observing both parties and seeing both perspectives.

I loved this story, and feel sure I will replay this again. Passionate, heartbreaking and honest.
Thank you Coco

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A happy surprise

I downloaded this audiobook when it had only three 5-star ratings and no reviews without knowing anything about the book or the author, and I am so glad that I did so.

The characters are complex and developed, I appreciated the time taken by the author to let you get to know each and everyone one of them. The story, although very sad, was moving and positive in its own way. It was dark, sexy, emotive, and relatable all at once.

I also wanted to note how amazing the narrator Kit Griffiths was! This is my first time writing a review on Audible and their performance was one of the main reasons I was compelled to do so. They delivered this book so beautifully, and I felt their compassion and consideration for each character.

If you’re in two minds — do it!