I’ve never known any trouble
that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.
--Charles De Secondat (1689 - 1755)

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8 stars

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel

AR: 3.5
by Gary Reed     Illus. by Frazer Irving
Short Graphic Novel
Genre: Horror Fiction

Victor Frankenstein was a scientist who dared to dream that he could help mankind with his amazing new discovery. Instead of a dream, he created a nightmare. The giant body that he reanimates is a hideous creature, more monster than man. Frankenstein runs away in horror. The monster disappears and ends up killing Victor's brother and causing the death of a family servant. When Victor finds the monster, the monster explains why he did what he did and asks Victor to create a bride for him. Will Victor do it? If he does not, what will the monster do to him?

If the only thing you know about the Frankenstein story is the movie with the green guy with the flat-top and bolts in his neck, then you should read this book. It's like they are not even about the same people. In this adaptation, based on the classic original 19th century story, Victor is found in the arctic snow at the beginning of the book. He is taken aboard an explorer ship where he tells his story to the captain. About a third of the way through, the monster, through Victor, tells his side of the story. It's actually pretty sad. At the end, the book returns to the ship where Victor ends his story and a surprise awaits the captain.

I really liked this adaptation. It kept the original structure and, because of that, it read more like a story than a comic. Sometimes, graphic novel adaptations are over-simplified and not as "story-like" because of all the dialogue. This one was able to avoid that trap. The art was well-done. The images were very dark and some of the detail was lost because of the newsprint paper it's printed on, but it actually kind of added to the creepiness factor. This is a classic story that is a lot more moving than people realize. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be inspired to pick up the original later on.

(Last modified:04/11/2008)


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