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Monster: A Novel of Frankenstein
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Monster: A Novel of Frankenstein

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  235 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
The supernatural, unmissable new novel by the ALA Best Horror award nominee. In nineteenth-century Germany, one young man counts down the days until he can marry his beloved . . . until she is found brutally murdered, and the young man is accused of the crime. Broken on the wheel and left for dead, he awakens on a lab table, transformed into an abomination. Friedrich must ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by The Overlook Press (first published 2012)
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retellings work best when they pinpoint a lack in the original text; a moment that is ambiguous or a lapse in action where a story could have fallen through the cracks. but for this technique to work, the source material kind of has to remain intact. wide sargasso sea lays out "what led bertha to her attic prison madness??" windward heights asks "what happened during heathcliff's three years away, oh, and what if wuthering heights had taken place somewhere much warmer?" stress of her regard, whi ...more
Oct 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Friedrich Hoffman (also known as the monster) recounts the false accusations of killing his fiancée and the other gruesome ‘crimes’ he has been accused of committing. He awoke hideously deformed on the table of Victor Frankenstein, without any real idea of what is going on. He now embarks on a single minded quest for revenge on Frankenstein for all the damage he has done.

This plot feels completely redundant; if you want to read a book from the perspective of Monster Frankenstein you read Franken
Ben Gabriel
Dave Zeltserman is no Mary Shelley. When I read the blurb on this book, it sounded like a really neat premise. I'm a huge fan of Shelley's story and I thought this would be a cool companion piece. As I read 'Monster' I slowly realized how unnecessary this book was. The idea is great but it just didn't need to be done. Also, the book was very poorly written and just as poorly edited. The first person diary perspective was also poorly done and really detached me from the story. The books only savi ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

“As I write this, I can only pray that Frankenstein’s twisted soul is rotting away in whatever crevice within Hell it has surely sunk into.”

So begins Dave Zeltserman’s electrifying novel presenting the classic story of Frankenstein’s monster, from the viewpoint of the “monster.” The monster in this instance is a man by the name of Friedrich Hoffmann, who, on the eve of his wedding to his beloved Johanna is drugged and when
Junkie for the Written Word
I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars, so-so book and good book.

It's a short story and it is filled with intense anguish that only Frankenstein's Monster can radiate, so it's got that going for it.

On the other hand, meh, Frankenstein.

It's told from the Monster's perspective and how it all went down according to him and I really enjoyed parts of it, there was even some cannibalism, yay!

I guess if you really are in love with Frankenstein's creation story then you will LOVE this book. If, however, lik
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I've been a long time fan of Zeltserman's crime fiction, and greatly enjoyed 'The Caretaker of Lorne Field, his first foray into the Horror genre. His newest novel, 'Monster', takes his fiction to a whole new level. While remaining faithful to the original in some ways, we're given a deeper, more focused monster whose motivations lead the reader through great leaps of imagination. A must read for fans of any genre.
Oct 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: h-ween

This novel is more an accompanying piece to the original, rather than one that occurs in parallel to the original plot, themes, etc.

An unreliable narrator is killed, forced to become something he does not— even in his worst nightmares—wish to become. In fact he takes an excessive amount of time trying to convince the reader that he retains some values, morals, and virtues of his former self, and in doing so does not effectively convince the reader of his morality, but to some extent convinces hi
Timothy Mayer
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave Zeltserman, author of the popular "Julius and Archie" mystery stories has unleashed his take on the Frankenstein genre. The entire book is told in the first person from the monster's point-of-view. We quickly learn that Victor Frankenstein was not the innocent scientist probing the secrets of life, but a twisted necromancer trying to create a super race. This isn't the first time someone has attempted a rewrite; Brian Aldiss did it in 1975 with Frankenstein Unbound. It's still a tale of the ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was privileged to read this book in manuscript form. It is a brilliant reimagining of Frankenstein: faithful enough to delight lovers of Mary Shelley's masterpiece, but wonderfully inventive as it takes the monster (Friedrich Hoffmann)on a bloody quest for vengeance. As he hunts Victor Frankenstein he encounters vampyrs, monks, Satanists, and (memorably)the Marquis de Sade. By far Zeltserman's best work, and that's saying something.
May 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I finished this book was to see where the author was going to take me, but it was not worth it in the end. The dialogue was stiff and the whole plot was too ridiculous and preachy for my taste. I can suspend disbelief in many cases; this story was not one of them.
The writing was good, and the premise was interesting, but introducing satanists and "vampyres" made me roll my eyes. Making Victor Frankenstein wholly evil misses the mark on one of the most interesting aspects of the original novel.
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When the Monster claims very early on that Frankenstein's account of the story (as 'popularised' by Mary Shelley) is full of falsehood, the signs are that this is not the promised flipside of the classic novel but more slipshod fanfic, full of endless angst and reiteration; starkly black-and-white characters (Monster good, Frankenstein bad) lose the ambiguity and moral tone of Shelley's novel, and the additions of De Sade and vampyres are eye-rollingly inapt, as is the too-modern gratuitousness.
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For someone who always felt sorry for franky's creation and saw frankenstien as the monster this book was really fresh and read well. There were some parts that could have been written better but on the whole it was a strange yet compelling read and well worth the time. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys gothic lit and horror but not to anyone expecting a literary read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Imelda Robinson
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing juxtapose of characters gives an entirely different treatment to this popular novel. Extremely inventive and very, very dark.
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit, while I think amateur fanfic is a harmless pursuit, I'm put off by published spinoffs. I'd rather read original thinking about original characters, rather than mere mining of good fiction that has fallen into the public domain. Lately, there seems to be an epidemic of this, and in the few books I've tried lately, it's not done well. (In fact, I'm having a hard time calling to mind any spinoff novels that ever worked for me other than Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966 and Ryman's Was, 1992.) Bu ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only is this an excellently researched companion to Shelly's original novel, it is written in a completely complementary voice. While FRANKENSTEIN is written from the Doctor's point of view and details his experience, MONSTER is told from the creature's experience, and details one that in many ways is very different. Taking the position that the Doctor lied through his teeth in his deathbed confession and storytelling, MONSTER posits that the true beast was Victor himself and the creature no ...more
Jo Butler
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I watch “Frankenstein,” the misery and longing in Boris Karloff’s eyes make me ache for the mute monster. Though it’s difficult to tell just how much the creature understands, he knows that a chasm separates him from the rest of humanity. And while Dr. Frankenstein claimed to be on a quest for knowledge, what really filled his mind beyond overwhelming pride and ambition?

Reading Mary Shelley’s masterpiece answers my questions. The doctor’s creature is both intelligent and articulate. Franken
Kim Heimbuch
Read my daughters full review of this book at

My review- This was a great horrific twist on the Frankenstein novel we all grew up on and loved. Zeltersman kept true to the Shelley story while giving it his own unique morbid twist. This retelling has Victor Frankenstein out as a twisted individual from the start and is written from the perspective of the monster, in this case, Friedrich.
Friedrich is about to marry the love of his life but instead finds her

11/4 - The only exposure I've had to Frankenstein is through Kenneth Brannagh's movie version - I've never actually read the book (it's on my list). So I can't compare Zeltserman's writing to Shelley's and from reading other reviews I get the feeling this may be of benefit to me while I'm reading it. But, I don't have to have read Shelley's writing to be able to pick up the moments of awkwardness, they'll be visible to anyone reading this. Despite a few of those moments already, within 42 pages, ...more
Nancy Groves
This reinterpretation of the classic novel is a first-person account by the man turned into a "monster" by Frankenstein. Even more than in the original, the reader, through the eyes of the creature, is forced to ask just who is the monster: the creature, or the man who created him? In this telling, Frankenstein is a thoroughly unlikeable character with only the vaguest justification for his acts having to do with wanting to continue human evolution while also showing how capable man is of cruelt ...more
Mark Jamison
Dave Zelsterman is a writer and a human being, so I don't want to be too harsh, but there are some seriously badly written sentences in this book. I started folding down pages and then just gave up. A first person narrator with(out) a bolt through his neck is no excuse for some of the sloppiness here. That said, the story itself is a fairly interesting take on the original Frankenstein. Still, it felt a little like Anne Rice Lite, and that's pretty "lite." There are some graphic ideas here, but ...more
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I like dark themed stories and that part does not disappoint. There are parts that are morbid and depraved, then there is a sweetness in some of the characters that make you remember that not everyone is sick in the head.

I would have liked this book if the ending were better. I just hate when the ending ruins the book, and that's how I felt about this one. There is a build up. QUITE a build up, and then - nothing. It left me feeling like the author was already working on his next story an
Monster is a retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The writing is good, but I didn't enjoy the story as much as I thought I would. I have never read the classic or watched the movie. So, I thought this would be a great introduction to the story. This retelling is told from the monster's perspective. I enjoyed hearing about his story and background. Although it was sad, it was also interesting to know who the monster was before the abduction and transformation. Frankenstein was so horrible, a ...more
BRiAN Johnson
There was something about this book I had a problem with...not 100% sure why or what but it was something to do with the inclusion of the Marquis de Sade and how a lot of the book dealt with him and Victor's depraved sexual atrocities and Devil worship.
Though as a Frankenstein fan I did fully enjoy the twist on my fave story. I still feel the same sympathies for Friedrich--errr I mean the Monster ad I always have but liked seeing them in a new light.
Also some of the other coincidental meetings
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you can get by the first page and you remember the old black and white Frankenstein movies of the '40's, this book will be quite an adventure. Herr Dr. Frankenstein is up to his old tricks along with his friends - a bevy of bored, wealthy, and sadistic aristocrats. Black magic, vampyres (old world spelling), disembodied heads that live on, among other Frankensteinesque characters, including a Marquis de Sade-type benefactor, are the "delightful" entities that "people" this story. There were a ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat gratifying, but forgettable and not really necessary. A truly worthy retelling offers a fresh perspective on a well-known character. This simply puts Shelley's monster in a slightly different situation, much like your average fanfic. A lot of key plot turns and details felt too hasty. (SPOILERS) One rather important character's demise felt as though the author simply forgot about him until the last minute. I'm not a fan of what I call "monster buffets", and this was not a story in which ...more
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick, enjoyable twist on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I read it in a day and a half, which speaks volumes about its suspense level (I'm an avid reader but usually not a fast one). At first, due to its length (a mere 200 pages), I thought it might be a YA book. As I read a bit, I came to the realization that I couldn't be more wrong due to the gore, language, and frequently sexuality.

Any horror fan would enjoy this book, but those who love Frankenstein would appreciate it more so.
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is disgusting and depraved.

It's also one of the most brilliant books I've read in a while and loved it. It's basically the story of Frankenstein told by the monster. I was assigned to read Frankenstein in college and now recognize the Frankenstein as the doctor and not his creation.

The book is filled with of moral gray lines and morbid details to make you think. Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, it's not entirely clear who is the hero and villain. And also like Mary Shelley's Frankenst
Enka-Candler Library
The story of Frankenstein told by the 'monster' himself. He is definitely not a monster, but a sad victim of a sadistic madman. This version delves into more supernatural aspects of the story than the original, with vampyres, satanists, and dark magics--even the Marquis de Sade. It is most certainly a 'horror' novel and is not for the squeamish. That said, I found it extremely readable and a good reimagining of a classic story.
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Author of the crime noir novel SMALL CRIMES named by NPR as the best crime and mystery novel of 2008, and by the Washington Post as one of the best novels of 2008, and made into a major film (to be released in 2017) starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Molly Parker, Gary Cole, Robert Forster, and Jacki Weaver. Shamus Award winner for JULIUS KATZ. Ellery Queen's Readers Choice Award winner for ARCHIE'S ...more
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