Reviews for Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus


Booklist Reviews 2009 March #1
The Classics Illustrated series provides readers who haven t yet read the literary classics directly with a graphic-novel introduction to the plot, characters, action, and even the language employed in their telling. This volume is so faithful to Shelley s account of the man-made sentient being that the "monster" doesn t even appear until a third of the way through. For contemporary children who associate the name Frankenstein solely with the monster fit for a Halloween costume rather than with the guilt-plagued doctor who created him, this may be a bit of a wait. The artwork in the beginning, while richly colored and detailed with period costume and European and arctic scenery, serves as simple illustration rather than being vital to understanding the proceedings. When the mostly silent, watchful creature enters the story, however, the images become much more essentially engaged with the narrative. In the end, perhaps the best audience for this is the child who already knows the Shelley version but has a visual orientation toward the world of narrative. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Booklist Reviews 2005 March #2
Gr. 7-10. The unforeseen consequences of pride and progress come clear in this brooding graphic-novel adaptation of Shelley's much read and debated classic, the first in a new curriculum-connected series, Puffin Graphics. Reed concentrates on the emotional anguish of the story, ably capturing the rage, the hurt, and the guilt of both monster and creator. Irving, who has worked for DC and Dark Horse Comics, among others, creates a hazy, suitably murky black-and-white backdrop, never exploiting the violence inherent in the monster's quest for vengeance. At times, however, the facial expressions of his characters seem at odds with the mood; Victor's friend Henry sometimes looks more like a happy idiot than a concerned, steadfast ally. But there are also some stunning sequences, as when Victor, pictured in shadowy candlelight and surrounded by books, researches the secret to life. Back matter about Shelley is sketchy, and Irving's sample storyboards, though interesting, are less so than the cover samples. Those are small concerns, however, given the overall product, which will attract readers both younger and older than the target audience. Final art not seen. ((Reviewed March 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
These graphic novel retellings of classic tales present dialogue in modern-day English; there's some awkwardness in the conversions. The books are accessible, though, and could serve as introductions to the original texts. Jane Eyre is illustrated in staid period style, and the other volumes' pictures may appeal to readers accustomed to glossy motion-picture animation. Glos. [Review covers these Classic Graphic Novel Collection titles: Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, Henry V, Macbeth, and Frankenstein.] Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
These classic stories are presented in unabridged formats. A handful of scratchboard illustrations in addition to a repeating chapter heading spot illustration accompany each story. A ribbon bookmark is attached. The books conclude with some generic open-ended questions. [Review includes these titles: The Jungle Book, Frankenstein, Gulliver's Travels, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.] Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998
While remaining faithful to the basic structure of Mary Shelley's classic, this comic-strip-style adaptation whizzes by so quickly it's hard to get a handle on the sequence of events. The dark, vigorously lined caricatures don't help bring critical points in the story any closer to the forefront, so that even readers familiar with the original might have trouble discerning exactly what happens when.Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
These inexpensive condensed versions of classic novels are quickly paced and competently told, with occasional black-and-white illustrations adding spice. Still, one wonders why the adaptations were created in the first place. Some tales (e.g., [cf2]Gulliver's Travels[cf1]) are already suited for children; others gain their depth from complexities of material and language, which is excised here for age-appropriateness. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Weinberg retains the skeleton of Shelley's plot but sacrifices all complexity of motivation and her thoughtful exploration of what it means to be civilized or even human. Instead, this volume is a fast-paced story of terror and revenge. Barr's illustrations are, unfortunately, indebted to film visions of the monster complete with neck bolts. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1

Much of the power of Viney's adaptation of Mary Shelley's horror classic lies within the artwork. Action sequences jump off the page, while portraits of each character provide nuance and depth to the text. Running at 130 pages, the script is rather expansive, touching on nearly everything in the original. What's most effective, however, is the use of color, which subtly cues heightened emotions and offsets varied and eye-catching panels. One minor quibble: The depiction of Frankenstein's monster could stand to be more gruesome. But this version is more thoughtful and adeptly illustrated than Lloyd S. Wagner and Naresh Kumar's version (2010), though Kumar wins the gore factor. The appended glossary, like others in Lucent's series of graphic classics, includes inappropriate entries for the intended audience. In fact, much of the additional material is completely superfluous and unlikely to interest young readers (i.e., a plot diagram of the original novel). But overall, this one wins points for a masterful rendition that adds much value to the original. (Graphic classic. 10 & up)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 February #2

This classic tale of horror and obsession features an appropriately overwrought reading by three talented British actors. Dr. Victor Frankenstein becomes enslaved to the idea of reanimating the dead, spending years in a manic frenzy of scientific study and creation. But once his monster lives, Frankenstein is so horrified by the ugliness of "the demoniacal corpse" that he abandons it, never imagining that they will meet again in murderous circumstances. Daniel Philpott does most of the narration, employing a Germanic accent when he voices the good doctor's dialog. Roger May does a superb job as Capt. Robert Walton. The best performance, though, is by Jonathan Oliver as the Daemon. He makes listeners feel pity and compassion for this creature who longs only for love and intellectual stimulation; instead, he cannot help but be the personification of evil in his own mania for vengeance. VERDICT The reading is well paced, and the narrators are not afraid to sound overwrought when appropriate.--B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara P.L., Goleta Branch, CA

[Page 67]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #1

This audio version of Shelley's classic hits all the book's emotional highpoints thanks to a terrific tag team of readers--a choice that is amply justified by the book's structure: explorer Robert Walton's correspondence with his sister; Victor Frankenstein's narration of his life and misguided efforts to play God; and the infamous monster's first-person account of how he made his way in the world. All three narrators are adept at modulating their tone to suit a scene's mood--Roger May reads Walton's sections, Daniel Philpott narrates Frankenstein's, and Jonathan Oliver handles the monster's sections--but the heavy lifting falls to Philpott, who conveys his character's passion, ambition, and ultimate horror at what his creation has done, which includes an accidental killing that strikes the scientist very close to home. For any listener familiar only with filmed treatments of this seminal tale of terror, this is a good way to experience the original. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 May

Gr 4-8 -Four classic tales of horror and one original monster story are presented in this series. Styles of art and lettering are matched to the period and tone of each volume. Ho's illustrations for Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde are sepia-toned and accompanied by text in an ornate font, while Zornow's Sleepy Hollow scenes range from the bright colors of a sunlit farm to the dark, moody road late at night, all accompanied by classic comic-book lettering. Zornow's original werewolf tale pits the beast against an array of monsters commanded by a vampire in an action-packed adventure well suited to its length. Frankenstein , Jekyll & Hyde , and Mummy (based on an unspecified Bram Stoker work, but drawing heavily on The Jewel of Seven Stars ), unfortunately, all suffer from being so condensed. Still, young horror fans will enjoy these graphic (not gory) renditions.-Beth Gallego, Los Angeles Public Library, North Hollywood

[Page 154]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 August
Gr 7-Up Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's classic tale is efficiently rendered in this recording. Though Shelley wrote Frankenstein for a 19th century ghost story competition, the title still conjures up visions of murder and mayhem. Shakespearean actor Ralph Cosham reads the sometimes arcane language with steady vigor and clarity, although variations in vocal style for each character would have been helpful. Well-marked CDs are numbered and include running times. The case is durable plastic, and the contents of individual discs are listed along with the track location of each chapter. A brief biography of the author is also included on the case. Narrated in a calm, undramatic fashion, this recording could be used as an audio supplement in middle and high school libraries where Frankenstein is taught. It also would be a worthwhile purchase for public libraries where classics are in high demand.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. #

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School Library Journal Reviews 1999 May
Gr 7 Up- The name Frankenstein conjures a host of screen and cartoon images. This radio theatre presentation of Mary Shelley's horror story done by the St. Charles Players uses language compatible with the original text. The script is coupled with appropriate sound effects including some bloodcurdling screams. The combination should encourage student listeners to learn about Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation. There are contemporary issues in this classic novel's themes such as the moral implications of scientific discovery and how one person's zeal for success can affect others. Although the emotional portrayal of multiple deaths is sometimes melodramatic and the wooden speech of the monster is appropriately pathetic, overall the company moves briskly and skillfully through the story. This recording is best suited for use as a classroom aid in introducing or reviewing the book. Also, it might prove valuable to students preparing a radio theatre adaptation. The thin cardboard jacket is not sturdy enough for frequent circulation and cover art is minimal. Cassettes are clearly marked, and each side is announced. This presentation of Frankenstein is a useful but not essential purchase for school libraries.-Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT Copyright 1999 School Library Journal Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1998 August
Gr 7 Up-By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Narrated by Flo Gibson. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 September

Gr 5 Up -A comic-book version of the classic tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein's ill-fated quest to create life. Adapting a large and complex work such as Shelley's gothic masterpiece into a graphic novel for young readers is certainly no easy task, and this hit-and-miss rendition is far from successful. A by-product of the editing is the weakening of Victor's relationships, reducing the impact of the murders of Frankenstein's friends and family. Most notably, the adaptation fails to introduce or explain the character of Justine, making her wrongful hanging the first and only time readers meet her. Irving's black-and-white computer-shaded illustrations vary between perfectly moody and downright murky. The level of detail also changes: in one panel, Elizabeth's hair looks like thick squiggles, yet in one of the book's most memorable images, thin strands of hair spill elegantly across a table as the doctor looks on in horror at the monster he has created. An additional purchase.-Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada

[Page 241]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 April

Gr 3-7 -Large print, short chapters, and an abundance of white space provide an attractive, more-accessible option for readers who are not ready to handle the originals. At best, this approach works as a vehicle to deliver the basic elements of the stories while providing an entertaining, simplified version of the classic at a lower reading level. After all, many of our cultural references would be lost on readers who don't know what Jekyll and Hyde represent, or what consequences the creator of Frankenstein faced. At worst, the sometimes-stilted language reads like awkward translations. What is missing, of course, is the very language that makes these classics so evocative of their time. Victorian London, for example, is captured so much more readily with the elegant and dramatic prose of Robert Louis Stevenson. If presenting "Classic Starts," do so with a recommendation: when you are ready, read the originals. There can be no substitute.-Elizabeth Fernandez, Brunswick Middle School, Greenwich, CT

[Page 144]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2005 August
Jumping on the graphic novel bandwagon, this series launches a line of graphic novels based on classics. The text of each of these first three offerings is true to the original work but abridged. Although the format can make literature more accessible, it can also, in some cases, lend an air of hipness to a work as well. Black Beauty is a children's classic, but the gorgeous, fluid, black-and-white drawings in this version make the story more appealing to an older crowd. Frankenstein lends itself best to the format. The stylized drawings covered with washes of grey add to the atmosphere of fright and horror about what the good doctor has wrought. Red Badge of Courage is the least appealing adaptation. Although Crane's writing is elegant, it can be daunting to a middle schooler unused to nineteenth-century turns of phrase. A graphic novel could have been just the thing to make this work more accessible; instead it somehow makes Crane's story more muddled. In fact his writing was apparently too uncomplicated for the editor of this GN because in a section telling how the work was adapted, readers are shown a variation of a battle sequence that is compact and true to Crane's writing. The editorial notes tell the artist to expand it by several pages. Overall these books are fun adaptations of great literature. The black-and-white art in all three is terrific, and keeping the original text ensures high quality stories. At the end of each book, there are sections titled "The Making of . . ." where the artist explains how she or he planned the breakdown of the story and how the art layout was determined. There are also galleries of alternate covers as well as early sketches of the main characters. It is a nice look inside the process of adaptation and the creation of a graphic novel. The books would be a good choice for the library or media center both to grow a graphic novel collection and to bolster the literature collection.-Geri Diorio 4Q 3P M J G Copyright 2005 Voya Reviews.

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