THE CASEBOOK OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN

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Peter Ackroyd

When two nineteenth-century Oxford students—Victor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley—form an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world’s most accomplished and prolific authors.

This haunting and atmospheric novel opens with a heated discussion, as Shelley challenges the conventionally religious Frankenstein to consider his atheistic notions of creation and life. Afterward, these concepts become an obsession for the young scientist. As Victor begins conducting anatomical experiments to reanimate the dead, he at first uses corpses supplied by the coroner.

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When two nineteenth-century Oxford students—Victor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley—form an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world’s most accomplished and prolific authors.

This haunting and atmospheric novel opens with a heated discussion, as Shelley challenges the conventionally religious Frankenstein to consider his atheistic notions of creation and life. Afterward, these concepts become an obsession for the young scientist. As Victor begins conducting anatomical experiments to reanimate the dead, he at first uses corpses supplied by the coroner. But these specimens prove imperfect for Victor’s purposes. Moving his makeshift laboratory to a deserted pottery factory in Limehouse, he makes contact with the Doomsday men—the resurrectionists—whose grisly methods put Frankenstein in great danger as he works feverishly to bring life to the terrifying creature that will bear his name for eternity.

Filled with literary lights of the day such as Bysshe Shelley, Godwin, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley herself, and penned in period-perfect prose, The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein is sure to become a classic of the twenty-first century.

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About Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd (CBE) is a master of the historical novel: The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde won the Somerset Maugham Award

Praise

and Chatterton was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent historical novel was The Lambs of London. He is also the author of Shakespeare: The Biography and the Ackroyd’s Brief Lives series.

Discussion Questions

“A brilliant riff on ideas that have informed literary, horror and science fiction for nearly two centuries…. Ackroyd laces his narrative intelligently with the Romantic ideals of Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, and deftly interweaves Victor’s fictional travails with events of the well-known 1816 meeting between the poets that inspired Mary to draft her landmark story.”—Publishers Weekly

“Ackroyd takes Mary Shelley’s hint of the doppelganger, and plays with it fascinatingly in a fast-paced thriller…. The novel leaps to its climax nimbly as a pursuing fiend, and ends suitably in fiery revelation.”—The Independent

“It takes a writer of considerable confidence, wit and skill to attempt a modern retelling of a bona fide English classic…[Ackroyd] is the man for the job…. terrifying and fascinating in equal measure…. An intelligent, creepily beautiful and haunted thing.”—The Times

“Thrilling concoction….Ackroyd’s telling of the tale is a worthy revival—I found his book so creepy I kept the bedroom light on all night.”—Daily Express