THE CASEBOOK OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN by PETER ACKROYD.
Victor Frankenstein begins his anatomy experiments in a barn in the secluded village of Headington, near Oxford.
The coroner's office provides the corpses he needs - but they have often died by violent means and are damaged and putrefying. So he moves his coils and jars of electrical fluids to a deserted poetry manufactury in Limehouse. And from Limehouse, makes contact with the Doomsday Men - the ressurectionists.
Victor pays better than any hospital for the bodies of the very recently dead. Even so, perfect specimens are hard to come by .... until that Thames-side dawn when Victor, waiting, wrapped in his greatcoat on his wooden jetty, hears the splashing of oars and sees in the half-light that slung into the stern of the approaching boat is a corpse of a handsome young man, one hand trailing in the water.
....... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): I was born in the Alpine region of Switzerland, my father owning much territory between Geneva and the village of Chamonix where my family resided.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 71): Once the principle of life had left them they became vacant rooms, more devoid of animation than any waxwork or mannequin. You could imagine a waxwork to be capable of breath and movement, but no act of sympathetic imagination could grant these cold limbs life.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Bought for me as a Christmas gift I feel I should keep this.
Yeah, my first read of 2012 - shame it was such a disappointment.
To be honest with you if it wasn't for my stubborn streak that dictates that once started a book must be finished I would never have read beyond the first 50 or so pages.
A bit of a hit and miss affair throughout, the author I felt did not bring anything new to the original Frankenstein story written by Mary Shelley but instead seemed to piece together bits of just about every adaptation there was.
That said, it was great fun that Ackroyd chose to combine fictional characters with real life historical people including Mary Shelley herself, poet, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.
It's the ending though that has me in a quandary as I can't quite decide if it was a touch of genius or the ultimate disappointment. In danger of including a spoiler here I'll say no more except ..........
For much of the book my mind kept wandering, wondering just where the story was going, just how it would end. Totally unexpectedly I can tell you, it did provide much food for thought about the nature of man though.