21 Jul 2014

THE FRANKENSTEIN DIARIES.

THE FRANKENSTEIN DIARIES edited by the REV. HUBERT VENABLES.

SOURCE: A charity shop buy.

THE BOOK {According to amazon.co.uk): "Unknown to fiction writers from Mary Shelley to the screenwriters of Hollywood, the personal diaries and papers of Viktor Frankenstein, creator of living beings, lay untouched and forgotten for over 150 years... The fruit of 6 years of labor by its translator and editor, this first-ever long awaited edition of the diaries at last tells the true story of the agonies & triumphs of Frankenstein" 

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: The reader is bound to view with some scepticism the publication, over 150 years after the event, of a volume purporting to contain extracts from the diaries of a figure universally considered never to have lived.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 44}: The castle stood stark against the sky, appearing only as a harsh, black outline deserving of its name, its battlements like the scaly back of some ancient monster.

MY THOUGHTS: Though a work of fiction because of the foreward in which we are led to believe that the legend that is Frankenstein is far from a legend and a prologue depicting 'the only known portrait of Frankenstein' its all too easy to believe that these are in fact the reproduction of a 'tattered bundle of ancient, decaying papers' sent to the author by a Swiss colleague ten years ago, some 150 years after the original story was penned.

Purporting to shed light onto the 1818 novel by Mary Shelley, whilst I'm still not sure where I stand with regard to the re-interpretation of classics I thought The Frankenstein Diaries anything but a lazy, unimaginative re-writing. 

Narrated by the Rev. Hubert before turning to the diary entries of Viktor and finally the observations of Viktor's brother, Eustaice, in a book I found even more macabre than the original. Everything from the sepia coloured pages to the wonderful illustrations (many of them anatomical/scientific), to the 'family photographs' and 'hand written' diary pages 'penned in a flowery script' turned what I felt was otherwise an OK (3 star) read into something rather exceptional.


13 comments:

Katniss Veronica said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tracy Terry said...

Thank you Katniss Veronica for your kind comment but sadly I have had to delete it as I do not accept comments that contain advertising.

Kelly said...

I've never read the Mary Shelley original (though I probably should), so I would have nothing to compare this to. And I sometimes take issue with fiction that purports to be "true" in the sense this does. Still... it sound awfully appealing and I really am drawn to the cover and the artwork you've shared here.

Naida said...

It looks like the illustrations kicked it up a notch.
I read a book about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein as well last year and it was pretty good.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I can see it being not brilliant but still fun. I like the sketches. Hm... I never read Shelley's book but this reminds me that I want to do that some day.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Once again, I don't think this is a book I shall be rushing out to buy, although the cover art is spine chilling and the illustrations do pique my interest to a point, as does some of the descriptive writing. As this is a relatively short book, I may give it a go, if requested to do so, but probably not otherwise.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and enjoy the rest of your week.

Yvonne.

Kelly Steel said...

The cover looks chilling.

Brian Joseph said...

I too am a little uneasy with these derivations on the classics.

This one does sound like it is clever. It reminds me just a little bit of Brian Aldiss's Frankenstein Unbound where a man travels to the past and meets Mary Shelley and the Frankenstein monster.

The cover and illustration that you posted looks fantastic.

Literary Feline said...

I know how you feel about deviating from the classics. I am often uncomfortable with the idea and hesitant.

I hope to read the original Frankenstein later this year. :-)

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

I had never heard of this book. I liked the story. Is the vocabulary very difficult? Next month I will buy some books. I need to read more in English. Now I'm reading the third Harry Potter's book.

Lady Lilith said...

That sounds like a really good book. I have not herded of it.

Melliane said...

It sounds good even if not amazing but the topic and the pictures are quite intriguing.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Probably not a book for me but I know many people who would be intrigued by it. I'm glad it ended up being and exceptional read for you!