The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd

18 Oct

I have absolutely no idea why I picked this book up in the library. I didn’t enjoy Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so why would I enjoy any type of spin off? I suppose when I read a classic I expect to be enthralled and because I wasn’t I felt let down and disappointed by the author. I also always feel if I dislike a popular book that it is possible I did not give it a fair chance or I somehow didn’t see what was so special about it. Sometimes I am justified in my distaste though . I was especially annoyed about not liking Shelleys Frankenstein because it had all the elements of a book that would usually keep me enthralled. It didn’t however.

Ackroyd’s version is somewhat better but I still didn’t love it. I expected that it was going to be a lot more different from the original than it actually was. It told the same story but was basically a lot more detailed and the writing was obviously a lot more modern. I did enjoy seeing how Victor went about his experiments in a little more detail and I thought he was a lot more likeable a character in this book compared to the original. He was still quite selfish but you could understand him better in this version.

I especially loved the introduction of some side characters such as Fred, Bysshe and of course Ms Shelley herself. They made the book a lot more interesting because you were always interested in what they had got up to as well as everything that was going on with Frankenstein and his creation.

The monster in this novel was also a lot more understandable and I felt you could empathise with him and his actions a lot better. However people really need to stop judging a book by its cover. Poor monster, one look at him and people were throwing themselves into rivers. But dramatic I thought.

The twist though…


How do I feel about that twist? I wish it had happened a chapter or two before the end just so we could learn a little more about how it came to be. It seemed a bit too close to the “Oh it was just a dream” ending that nobody wants to see happen. However I will admit it put a different spin on the whole story and I had to sit back and think for awhile at the end about the story throughout.

Surprisingly better than the original which isn’t a phrase used often and especially not by me.


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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


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