The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

Book - 2008
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"It was at Oxford that I first met Bysshe. We arrived at our college on the same day; confusing to a mere foreigner, it is called University College. I had seen him from my window and had been struck by his auburn locks." The long-haired poet - 'Mad Shelley' - and the serious-minded student from Switzerland spark each other's animated interest in the new philosophy of science which is over-turning long-cherished beliefs. Perhaps there is no God. In which case, where is the divine spark, the soul? Can it be found in the human brain? the heart? the eyes?

Victor Frankenstein begins his anatomy experiments in a barn in the secluded village of Headington, near Oxford. The coroner's office in Clarendon Street provides corpses - but they have often died of violence and drowning: they are damaged and putrifying. Victor moves his coils and jars and electrical fluids to a deserted pottery manufactury in Limehouse. And, from Limehouse, makes contact with the Doomesday Men - the resurrectionists.

He 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 the corpse of a handsome young man, one hand trailing in the water....

Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2008.
ISBN: 9780701182953
9780701183509
Branch Call Number: FIC ACKR
Characteristics: 296 p. ; 24 cm.

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bstudent
Jan 12, 2011

I liked this one very much, especially in the way of which it is written.

k
kalio
Dec 18, 2009

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein more or less on a dare. Mary and her soon-to-be-husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, were staying at Lord Byron?s house. Late at night around the fire, they got to talking about supernatural tales and decided to write a few spooky stories of their own. Young Mary?s short story (she was only eighteen years old) became the masterpiece known today as Frankenstein, the woeful tale of a slightly mad scientist who reanimates dead matter and brings life to a hybrid selection of body parts in the form of an unnamed, unloved, and misunderstood ?monster.? In author Peter Ackroyd?s version of events, real life and fiction merge when Percy Bysshe Shelley and Victor Frankenstein are classmates at Oxford. Shelley is a romantic and free-spirited poet; Frankenstein is a moody med student obsessed with ?the spark of life.? Frankenstein?s experiments with electrocuting corpses get carried away, and just like in the original, the good doctor is soon horrified when his grotesque creation is actually brought to life. The poor monster is understandably bitter about being so quickly reviled, dismissed, and abandoned, and the creature is not one to let matters lie. For the rest of his life, Frankenstein is shadowed by the man he made, who puts a new spin on many of the events in Frankenstein?s life and in the lives of those around him, including Shelley and his smart young love interest Mary. Ackroyd is a noted author of historical fiction and it?s his level of period research and detail that makes The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein such an appealing and compelling read, as well as the mixing of a well-known work of fiction with the real historical figures who had a hand in its creation. Atmospheric and with just the right touch of things supernatural, horrific, scientific, and historical, this is another classic re-created that?s really got a mind of its own.

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