Sunday, September 11, 2016

Monstrous Progeny: A History of the Frankenstein Narratives by Lester D. Friedman & Allison B. Kavey

Monstrous Progeny: A History of the Frankenstein Narratives by Lester D. Friedman & Allison B. Kavey
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2016 by Rutgers University Press
Source: egalley via edelweiss

This didn't turn out to be exactly what I had expected but I did end up enjoying what it actually was. This is an academic volume for those interested in film studies or literature criticism. Or like myself, Frankenstein aficionados. The last couple of years I have re-read Shelley's Frankenstein and read some books on the author, the book and the pop culture becoming a very minor expert :-) This book starts off with a few chapters of academic literary criticism and study of the book, it's themes, and the author. Then it briefly examines pre-1930s Frankenstein culture such as plays and literary references. Then a meaty portion of the book study's first Universal's 1930s/40s Frankenstein movie canon and then 1960/70s Hammer Films' Frankenstein canon continuation. This was the best part of the book for me as I've seen all these movies. The Universals with commentary on DVD and the Hammer films throughout my life on TV and DVD. Next, the book introduces four different types of "Frankenstein" films, ones that either retell the tale or only use one of the themes. This part gets pretty heavy duty towards academia blow-out for me as my interest waned having seen probably only about half of the movies discussed. The book is incredibly interesting but is not an easy read and more for the cerebral rather than armchair reader. I'm glad to have read it and will continue my personal study of the author, book, and the Universal movies in particular.



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