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The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein: A Novel

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Peter Ackroyd

Book Description  When two nineteenth-century Oxford students--Victor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley--form an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world's … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Peter Ackroyd
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
1 review about The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein: A Novel

Prometheus rebound (with new material)

  • Oct 28, 2009
Rating:
+3
Ackroyd retells the classic Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley from the first-person perspective of the inventor (not Doctor--he dropped out of Oxford) Frankenstein, and places him among the real-life literary luminaries who gave birth to the story. Within this setting, Ackroyd is mostly faithful to the original, so why is his account worth reading?

1). A sense of foreboding--knowing the classic and how it ends, we can see portents of impending events, most of them doomful (this is a Gothic tale, after all).

2). A knowledge of the ground--as the author of London: The Biography and Thames: The Biography, his knowledge of and feel for the surroundings become an integral part of the story. Even readers who don't know the surroundings can feel Frankenstein move about London and the Thames as both an outsider at first, then as an intimate of the dark places.

3). A bit of a twist--Ackroyd is also a novelist of some renown, so he is capable of more than just retelling the story with Mary Shelley's original open on his lap. He trusts that we know the story well enough on our own--then he plays on that and tweaks us with some twists all his own when we least expect it.

Saying more would be to say too much.

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