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The casebook of Victor Frankenstein : a novel
Peter Ackroyd
Adult Fiction ACKROYD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Medical student Victor Frankenstein imbibes fellow student "Bysshe" Shelley's belief in "the perfectability of mankind" and strives "to create a being of infinite benevolence" in this recasting of Mary Shelley's horror classic from Ackroyd (First Light). When Victor reanimates the body of acquaintance Jack Keat, he's so horrified at the implications of his Promethean feat that he abandons his creation. Outraged, the Keat creature shadows Victor as an avenging doppelg%nger, bringing misery and death to those dearest to him. Ackroyd laces his narrative intelligently with the Romantic ideals of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, and deftly interweaves Victor's fictional travails with events of the well-known 1816 meeting between the poets that inspired Mary to draft her landmark story. His hasty surprise ending may strike some readers as a cheat, though most will agree that his novel is a brilliant riff on ideas that have informed literary, horror and science fiction for nearly two centuries. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In Ackroyd's new page-turner, readers are taken on a heart-stopping journey through early 19th-century England, where, at Oxford, a young Victor Frankenstein is befriended by budding poet/atheist Shelley. Both men must experiment-Shelley with his revolutionary lyrics and ideas and Frankenstein with theories about the creation of life from electricity. Writing in beautiful prose with a voice appropriate to the era, Ackroyd allows Frankenstein to narrate the tale of his experiment gone horrendously awry. As the body count mounts, Frankenstein tries to undo his work, all the while mingling with the likes of Lord Byron, Shelley's wives, and other notables. And when the reader comes to the end of the novel, the question remains: was there actually a monster, or was it all a function of the creator's dementia? Verdict Noted novelist/biographer Ackroyd specializes in speculative novels (e.g., Chatterton) in which historical figures, supernatural beings, and madmen mingle together on the streets of London. As in Laurie Sheck's recent A Monster's Notes, the reader is here encouraged to sympathize with the monster. Essential for Ackroyd fans and readers who can't get enough of Frankenstein's monster. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/09.]-Andrea Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib. Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Victor Frankenstein
Male
Obsessed with electricity; trying to reanimate the dead; has fresh bodies delivered to his secret lab; creates a monster he calls Frankenstein.

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Male
Radical
Became friends with Victor at Oxford.
Poet



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