In this “ingenious interpretation of Shelley’s tale,” Dr. Frankenstein’s monster contends with vampyres, a Satanic cult, and the Marquis de Sade (Historical Novel Society).
Framed for the murder of his fiancée, Friedrich Hoffmann is sentenced to death. Broken on the wheel in front of a jeering crowd, he awakens on a lab table, transformed into an abomination. Disoriented, he begins to piece together where he is, what’s become of him, and the identity of the unholy man responsible for his monstrous plight.
Friedrich must go far to take his revenge—only to find his tormentor, Victor Frankenstein, in league with the Marquis de Sade, at work on an even more sinister creation deep in the mountains. Paranormal and gripping in the tradition of Stephen King and Justin Cronin, Monster is a gruesome parable of control and vengeance, and a tribute to one of literature’s greatest legends.
“An impressive achievement . . . You don’t get much more gothic bang for your buck.” —Los Angles Times
Zeltserman's latest (after One Angry Julius & Other Stories) is a campy but entertaining retelling of Mary Shelley's 1818 classic, Frankenstein. In 19th-century Germany, a young chemist and groom-to-be, Friedrich Hoffmann, is drugged and then framed for slaying his fianc e. After being put to death for his crime, Friedrich awakens to find himself transformed into a grotesque monster by Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a Satanist. Friedrich then embarks on a hunt for the doctor to avenge the death of his beloved encountering vampires, devil-worshippers, monks, and more along the way. Friedrich is an articulate and likable narrator (though Zelsterman's capable prose falls short of Shelley's literary register) who brings up questions of morality in response to extreme evil, but this novel is more amusing than intellectually stimulating. Zeltserman certainly doesn't shy away from the gruesome; his villains, like Frankenstein and the Marquis de Sade, are underdeveloped characters whose evil natures are made clear primarily through their perverse, sadistic sexual appetites. However, for those who can stomach such scenes, Zeltserman's book is a rich and fun response to Shelley's classic.