Pride and Prometheus
“Dark and gripping and tense and beautiful.” —Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club and Pulitzer Prize finalist for We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves
Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.
Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?
Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.
Pride and Prometheus fuses the gothic horror of Mary Shelley with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.
Kessel (The Moon and the Other) makes an ambitious attempt to cross Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but this expansion of his Nebula-winning 2008 novelette falls short. After the marriages of the older Bennet sisters, Mary Bennet is left bored at home and takes up collecting fossils. She encounters the haunted-seeming Victor Frankenstein at a London society party and is swept up into his creature's quest to force Victor to animate him a bride. Mary is more sensible and intelligent here than her original author allows, but Kessel's insistence on sticking firmly to the plot of Frankenstein ends up trampling her contribution, as she doesn't get to do anything that actually matters. Kessel has several interesting ideas, such as Dr. Frankenstein selecting the corpse of a pregnant woman to make a new creature, but he never follows through with any of them. It's unclear what he's trying to say about the Shelley side of things, and, as for the Austen commentary, the idea that Mrs. Bennet can be insufferable is not a new sentiment. The prose and characterization are neither as witty nor as clever as one would expect given the book's antecedents. Readers hoping for a provocative or transformative work will be left unsatisfied.