Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reading A to Z: F is for Frankenstein

The Mary Shelley classic book Frankenstein is another one that I had to read back in the 8th grade. I remember enjoying it somewhat at the time. But I can't tell you too much about it anymore. I do remember that it was the mad scientist who was actually named Frankenstein. People often confuse him with his monster, as he was a monster in his own right. And the book was written as a direct result of a challenge between Mary Shelley, her husband Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori to see who could come up with the scariest story.

Frankenstein's monster is probably one of the most recognizable characters in movies and TV shows. People usually think of Boris Karloff's famous portrayal in the film adaptation from 1931. It is not quite how Shelley described the monster in her book. But it is now the standard from which people design their Frankenstein-inspired characters.

Comedic interpretations of the character also came into play. Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks are two classics in their own right.

Having watched many of the classic films lately, I have been inspired to try to read Frankenstein again. I want to remember the real story and see how the film portrayals stand up to it. There is also a challenge getting underway in which a group of us will be reading one book a month from the Top 100 list. May 1st begins the month of Frankenstein. Visit Reading the Top 100 Novels Together blog to get started!

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