Saturday, October 23, 2010

Frankenstein: The True Story

Frankenstein: The True Story
by Christopher Isherwood [812 Ish]

I stumbled across this rare little treasure in the stage play collections at the downtown library. Numerous friends have highly recommended the filmed version of this story, an intriguing alternate take on the legendary Frankenstein story by Mary Shelley. Unfortunately, the film version of Frankenstein: The True Story is rather rare, and quite hard to come by. So, this small paperback, which is the script to the filmed production, serves as a quirky yet highly readable replacement to the video. This novelization-in-script-form features an opening framing sequence of author Mary Shelley sharing the origins of her story with the other writers whose mutual challenge inspired the tale. The story incorporates Shelley's fellow writer Polidori as a character in Frankenstein's tale (not actually in Shelley's story), and plays a bit fast and loose with other elements of the well-known story. But this is still a fascinating and entertaining version of the Frankenstein tale. I still recommend getting your hands on the video version (try our InterLibrary Loan service), but in the meantime, this is a fun and intriguing read. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try to borrow the film through InterLibrary Loan.] -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Wikipedia page for Frankenstein the True Story ] | [ Wikipedia page for the late Christopher Isherwood ]

Have you read (or seen) this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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Susan Tyler Hitchcock said...

I have a special fondness for the Isherwood version of Frankenstein. I like to point out that Isherwood did not appreciate the title given to his work, but there is something very true in his interpretation, in which the created being begins beautiful and turns grotesque as society shuns him. -- Susan Tyler Hitchcock, author of Frankenstein: A Cultural History (W.W.Norton, 2005).

BookGuide said...

Thanks for the comment, Susan. Just out of curiosity, did Isherwood have some other title in mind? Or was he just planning to call it merely "Frankenstein" (or the more full "Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus")? I'm happy to see that our library system has your book in our system!