The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd is one that I added to my buy list the moment I heard the title. I wasn't even sure what it was about but I was sure I wanted to read it. Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein is one of my favorite novels of all time and I wanted to see what this novel did with the story. Ackroyd, also a historian, did a commendable job of recreating the language and feel of the original Victorian novel. My only small quibble is with the pacing of the book.
This is a retelling of the Frankenstein story with the amateur medical student and scientist being a contemporary and friend of Shelley, Byron and eventually Mary Shelley herself. I don't want to give too much away because I really think that it helped me to not know much about it going in. In fact, looking at the back of the cover (of the UK edition), I was shocked to find the major twist--literally from the last page or two--mentioned in the blurb from The Independent. I HATE that. So, if you have the cover shown here, don't read the back. (Unless you're Jenny ... then read away!)
I found that this telling of the story focused more on the questions of science and religion that are brought about after the creation of the "monster" and less of the misery and pain of that creature. It was fascinating if a bit slow at times. I really liked the Shelley character who appeared mostly true to historical fact (except for obvious necessity for the plot to work). And I literally came within pages of the end and had no idea what was going to happen. This can be good and bad, depending on your point of view. Now I want to go back and read the original again and then re-read this one. Next year, I'm thinking of a classic horror focus for my RIP reads so I'll keep that idea in mind!
Avoiding the intersection of curiosity and hubris,
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