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Frankenstein's Monster

Cover of Frankenstein's Monster

Frankenstein's Monster

A Novel
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"Behind me, stiffened with frost, lie the remains of Victor Frankenstein."

What becomes of a monster without its maker?At the end of Mary Shelley's classic novel, the creator dies but his creation still lives, cursed to a life of isolation and hatred.

Frankenstein's Monster
continues the creature's story as he's compelled to discover his humanity, to escape the ship captain who vowed to the dying Frankenstein to hunt him down--and to resist the woman who would destroy them all.

This is a tale of passion, revenge, violence, and madness--and the desperate search for meaning in an often meaningless world.

"Behind me, stiffened with frost, lie the remains of Victor Frankenstein."

What becomes of a monster without its maker?At the end of Mary Shelley's classic novel, the creator dies but his creation still lives, cursed to a life of isolation and hatred.

Frankenstein's Monster
continues the creature's story as he's compelled to discover his humanity, to escape the ship captain who vowed to the dying Frankenstein to hunt him down--and to resist the woman who would destroy them all.

This is a tale of passion, revenge, violence, and madness--and the desperate search for meaning in an often meaningless world.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    RomeApril 15, 1838

    I killed my father again last night.

    It was the same dream as always, my father and myself pursuing and pursued till I no longer knew who he was, who I was; indeed, if there were any difference between us.

    In the dream my father chases me over a stretch of the Arctic, as he did in the weeks before his death. Once more I flee from his wrath and at the same time lure him on. I drive the sled dogs wildly. As the dogs pant, their spittle freezes and is swept backward by the wind to hail needles against my face. Fog rises from the ice and clings thickly to the dogs: I am pulled along by white devils from Hell.

    Devil. Was that not his very first word upon seeing me rise up? What had he wanted from his labors that I proved so poor a substitute?

    In the dream, as in life, he chases me endlessly. As it cracks wide, the ice beneath us roars like a wounded behemoth. Huge white blocks are shoved upward in nightmare architecture. At last I abandon the sled and cross the broken ice on foot. Greater and greater are the blocks I must climb, the gaps I must leap. Black water laps at the edges of ice. My father is nearby. I hear him mutter "fiend" and "abomination." His face appears, framed by white mist; it mirrors my own horror and hatred. I reach out. My fingers curl around his throat, as his reach out to mine. He laughs. I wonder if my face shows the same delight. That is all I remember before waking. I know that I have killed him. I do not know if he has killed me.

    It has taken me these ten years to be able to recognize that Victor Frankenstein was my father. If he had lived, might he have learned to call me his son?

    April 16

    Walton is coming. I feel it in my scarred flesh like an old rheumatic who aches at the coming rain. He is close by, but not here in Rome, not yet. How much time do I have?

    April 18

    I have been here in Rome so long now I almost dare think of it as home. The dream is a warning that I must never grow comfortable. Rome must be like any other city, simply one more place where Walton will track me down.

    Sometimes a city such as Rome makes me remember I am only a distant witness to life, and I wonder if I should have done as I had said long ago and rid the world of my unnatural presence. Was it cowardice that stopped me? Can I be so human as to claim that defect? No matter. I did not do it. Although I be a created thing, an artificial man, I cling to my existence.

    April 19

    My premonition spoke true: Walton has found me again. I flee Rome tonight.

    April 20

    I am safe for the moment, having taken shelter in one of the catacombs just outside the city. Tonight I shall slip away and travel north. From there I will decide my next destination. For now, I sit watch among my dead brothers. The candlelight flickers over their noble skulls and is swallowed by the blackness of their eyes. If the ratlike scratching of my pen disturbs them, they voice not their complaint. Once I was like them, peaceful and still, the life that animated my bones long forgotten and blown to dust. Then my father, seeking a frame upon which to hang his evil art, claimed me as his own.

    How many lives had I lived before being brought together as I am? As many lives as parts? Was I man, woman, animal? My two hands, my two feet, are so mismatched they clearly come from four separate people. My brain, my heart, each had separate hopes and ambitions. What had I seen? What did I know? Do I know it still even now?

    How uncannily Boethius wrote:

    For neither doth he wholly know, Nor neither doth he all forget.

    My father robbed me of more than he knew, orphaning each...

About the Author-
  • SUSAN HEYBOER O'KEEFE is the author of the novel Death by Eggplant, a Disney Adventures Kids' Choice nominee; the bestselling picture book One Hungry Monster; and the newest addition Hungry Monster ABC. Frankenstein's Monster is her adult debut.

Reviews-
  • Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child and Angels of Destruction

    "As audacious in its ambition as the original, Frankenstein's Monster patches together the remains of Mary Shelley's novel and sends the creature roaring back into the world. Susan Heyboer O'Keefe has created original monsters of her own that will frighten and fascinate and keep you up late at night."

  • Megan Chance, author of Prima Donna "Vivid, powerful, gripping and intensely moving: the pace does not relax for a second from beginning to end."--Rosalind Miles, New York Times bestselling author of I, Elizabeth "A dark, riveting read full of the most burning passions and intense, soul-searing hatreds, about a monster who longs to be a man and men who behave like monsters."--Carolyn Turgeon, author of Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story "A haunting, compassionate look at one of the most maligned and misunderstood creatures in literature."
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    Crown Publishing Group
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Susan Heyboer O'Keefe
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