Saturday, September 11, 2010

Frankenstein's Monster

Imagine if you were given the task of writing the sequel to Frankenstein, one of the all-time great classics. You'd want to do several things to make sure and get it right: 1) you would need to develop a great plot that is loyal to the original and is "necessary" in order for the book to have any value to the reader, 2) you would need to provide the right style of writing, the right "voice" so that it would meld well with the original, sounding much like Mary Shelley's voice, and 3) not have the whole thing sound too classic because you don't want today's readers to be would still need a fairly quick pace to keep the reader interested. On top of all of that you would still need to do all of the things that make for a good novel; i.e. great multi-dimensional characterization, interesting settings, involved plot, etc etc.

Sound impossible? Perhaps, but Susan Heyboer O'Keefe has done remarkably well in writing Frankenstein's Monster. Especially when one considers this is her first effort for the adult market, having only published children's books before. I took a look at her website and found her to be a real hoot; I suppose you'd have to be in order to tackle this particular novel. Most of the book is told as diary entries from the monster himself. It takes place ten years after the end of the first novel but we learn everything about what happened after the first one ends. There is more than just plot and action here as the monster struggles with his very nature, trying to find his place in the world. He takes quite a journey as he is pursued by Walton who has vowed to his friend Victor Frankenstein to finish off the monster. Along the way he encounters several intriguing new characters and plenty of horrifying and desperate moments.

I felt like I was taking a chance when I began reading this one but feel very happy with the results. Highly recommended.

This novel will be published in the US in October 2010.


  1. Sounds interesting. I wrote an alternative last chapter to Frankenstein for a competition once - managed to capture Mary Shelley's narrative voice really well, I thought - but then I forgot to actually enter the story!

    Oh well...

  2. Heh, you can't win if you don't enter :) I don't think I could ever do it justice as I've never been able to capture anybody else's voice but my own, and even that sometimes proves elusive...


Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire