Frankenstein: How a Monster Became an Icon; The Science and Enduring Allure of Mary Shelley's Creation

Pegasus. Jan. 2018. 384p. ed. by Sidney Perkowitz & . photos. filmog. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781681776293. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681776972. LIT
Perkowitz (physics emeritus, Emory Univ; Empire of Light) and Von Mueller (film studies, Emory Univ.), the editors of this title, feel Mary Shelley's Frankenstein deserves new attention on the occasion of its 200th birthday. To that end, they've marshaled an array of essays and interviews from various luminaries and organized them into three main areas: "The Roots and Themes of Frankenstein"; "The Monster, the Media, and the Marketplace"; and "The Challenges of Frankenstein: Science and Ethics." The roots/themes section gives a well-rounded grounding, delving into literary analysis as well as scientific context, while the science/ethics section bookends the volume with grounded speculation regarding future research. The meat of the volume is in the middle, the monster in the media and marketplace, and the jewel in this very enjoyable read is an interview with Mel Brooks about the making of Young Frankenstein.
VERDICT Readers fond of Shelley's original work, as well as those who enjoy consuming the culture it's spawned and influenced, will find this a book to savor, and despite edited compilations not being the usual choice for book groups, this could be a stellar choice for any pop-culture savvy group that's recently worked with Shelley's title. Recommended.

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