Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday's Film Adaptions: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

Author Bio:
Mary Shelley (nÊe Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley's letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published.

The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley's son and daughter-in-law to "Victorianise" her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley's works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression.

The eclipse of Mary Shelley's reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley's recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy's death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: "I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea". Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.

Amazon  /  B&N  /  Kobo  /  iTunes  /  Audible  /  Goodreads TBR

Frankenstein 1931:  Amazon  /  TCM
Bride of Frankenstein 1935:  Amazon  /  TCM
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 1948:  Amazon
The Curse of Frankenstein 1957:  Amazon  /  TCM
The Horror of Frankenstein 1970:  Amazon  /  TCM
Frankenstein 1973:  Amazon  /  TCM
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 1994:  Amazon  /  TCM

Old Radio Serial(13 Episodes) 1932:  Amazon

How do you review a classic?  What hasn't already been said?  So I'll just say that Frankenstein is a true classic horror story that touches on so many moral debates that it's a great read anytime but a perfect Halloween read.  As for the film versions I've listed, I've seen all but the 1973 Frankenstein, I've also seen dozens more that I didn't list, sequels, remakes, variety of production companies versions.  Of all of those I've seen, I can safely say that none come close to the perfection of Hollywood's 1931 Frankenstein and no one does it better than Boris Karlof.  I can also say that the 1994 remake is my least favorite that if I never see again, I won't be missing anything.  The 1948 Abbott & Costello Meets Frankenstein is one of my favorite A&C films, not only do we get the comedic duo but we also get Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, and The Invisible Man even makes an "appearance" at the end.  True classic.


Cover Reveal: Callie, Unwrapped by Amy Jo Cousins

Title: Callie, Unwrapped
Author: Amy Jo Cousins 
Publication date: November 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotica
Cover Design: Book Beautiful

Callie isn’t sure just how kinky anyone can get on a Tuesday before Christmas, but she’s willing to find out. That is, assuming this first drink at a pool hall with her ex, Gabe, and his girl, Kate, doesn’t send anyone screaming from the bar. Newly divorced after years of sleep-walking through occasional sex, she’s hoping to find her way back to the fiery confidence of her youth, when she saw what, or who, she wanted and grabbed it with both hands. It’s a Callie she barely remembers and that Gabe is convinced is buried somewhere deep inside her still. But when bystanders speculate about the trio, and Gabe and Kate make surprising demands that she be an active participant in this threesome, and not simply their plaything, Callie discovers that letting herself be sexually confident again is harder than she imagined. She’ll need to bare both her body and her heart to find out if she can still reach fearlessly for adventure.

Author Bio:
Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series. Please say hi at!

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