Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Now with Extra Monsters): At Least One Monster Per Paragraph! This Is Our Guarantee!

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Both of my kids, several years apart, were assigned Frankenstein in high school. Both were excited to dig in, based only on what they knew of Shelley’s creation from pop osmosis. It was a book about the most famous monster of all. No, not Godzilla. Frankenstein! But for a horror novel, it sure featured a lot of travel writing. Both kids were bored and disappointed and, I suspect, might not have finished the book. The first time this happened, I just sort of nodded and waved them off, muttering the kind of vaguely commiserative thing a dad says when he just wants to get back to playing his videogames. But the second time around, I resolved to do something about it….


Now all the precious lil’ human spawn need is a version of Frankenstein with 100% more actual science, so Ms. Shelly’s horror classic reads more like an “Instructable”, complete with source lists for the various (human) parts, machine parts, contraptions, and, of course, the obligatory tesla coils and Jacob’s Ladder’s any Mad (or even Slightly-miffed) scientist worth their jar-o-brains collections would typically use to breathe life (apply electrical shocks) into their monstrous creations(pet and people parts).

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I had the same problem with Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was 8. I ordered it from an elementary school book fair and thought I was going to get 400 fat pages of gory vampire action. When it arrived, I put it down after a few pages and went back to horror comics.


It kind of sucks, doesn’t it, those old-timey writers didn’t know how to tweet.


I originally read Dracula at roughly the same age you did, but oddly enough I enjoyed it more in my youth. I re-read it later and thought it dragged.


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