Tag: Monster

Monster by Dave Zeltserman

Posted October 25, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Horror / 0 Comments

Monster by Dave ZeltsermanTitle: Monster (Goodreads)
Author: Dave Zeltserman
Published: Duckworth Overlook, 2012
Pages: 222
Genres: Horror
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

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 Frankenstein; this is nothing new, not interesting, and just cashing in on the same story. Sure this novel is different but there is nothing interesting about it, it is full of the typical horror tropes and doesn’t really offer an interesting perceptive. I cannot help but think of this as something like fanfic and I struggle to work out why I read this one; I seem to pick up all novels that try to do something with the Frankenstein story.

I will admit there were parts of the novel that really fit the Frankenstein plot, tiny little points to prove that the author had indeed read and been heavily influenced by this masterpiece. I am just not sure why this would be published; a re-imagining, change in perspective (assuming it wasn’t covered in the original book), prequel/sequel or modernisation I can understand but this was the exact same story with minor differences. This feels like the author loved Frankenstein so much that he rewrote the book in his own words, like a writing exercise that is never meant to be published. He has a good style even if he follows a very formulaic horror or gothic theme but the novel did indicate his talent. In an original novel he might have better luck but for me this was just ripping off a classic piece of literature.

When it comes to using classic literature as the basis of your own novel, I am normally a tough judge; you better do something unique and interesting or I will hate the novel. If you are trying to retell Frankenstein then I will be strict, this is my all-time favourite; I have read this multiple times and will be reading it many more, and I am more likely to notice every flaw. Monster and This Dark Endeavour have probably been the two novels that I’ve judged the harshest, since starting this blog and you can see the similarities.

When you look at something like The Machine which isn’t really a Frankenstein reimagining but rather you can see the influence. Some themes and messages are the same and I loved this book, it is in my top five for the year. I guess you are better off reading a book like Machine; I really wish I knew why I keep going for Frankenstein remakes. I think people should read Frankenstein and not bother with this book, but I am curious so see how Dave Zeltserman is as a novelist in something original; I hear Small Crimes is good.