Victor Frankenstein, a Swiss scientist, has a great ambition: to createintelligent life. But when his creature first stirs, he realizes he has constructed a monster. Abandoned by its maker and shunned by everyone who sees it, the monster turns on its creator and haunts Dr. Frankenstein with murder and horrors to the very ends of the earth. Artist Frazer Irving's cinematic and moving portrayal of the doctor and his creation is sympathetic and powerful.
Here is yet another adaptation of this challenging novel. I will begin this review with a confession: I do not like Shelley's novel, an overly wordy book with a truly odious main character (not The Monster). However, there is something about Frankenstein's themesguilt, cowardice, overstepping one's boundaries, and fear of childbirththat still resonates strongly today, and this graphic novel does a good job of both condensing and capturing the spirit of the novel. The artwork, done in b/w by Frazer Irving, is dark and atmospheric; it eloquently conveys the characters' anguish. Gary Reed's adaptation is well done, if a trifle sketchy. This graphic novel should not be used as a substitute for Cliffs Notes, or even for reading the book. To give an example: the murder of Frankenstein's brother by The Monster is mildly confusing, because we've never been introduced to the character (Justine, a servant) who gets blamed for the murder. Overall, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a fine choice for libraries with graphic novel collections; note that it contains violence and depictions of monsters being reanimated from the dead. KLIATT Codes: JSARecommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Penguin, Puffin Graphics, 176p. illus., Ages 12 to adult.