MARY SHELLEY'S MONSTER: The Story of Frankenstein by Martin Tropp

MARY SHELLEY'S MONSTER: The Story of Frankenstein

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The last bit of Frankensteiniana we saw was Radu Florescu's In Search of Frankenstein, a somewhat campy exercise that nonetheless presented a reasonable modicum of facts about Mary Shelley's creation, its stage and cinematic history, and various sites and people that played a part in its evolution. Tropp's focus is narrower: critical analysis of the book and its movie progeny by examination of imagery, psychological substrata, and sociopolitical implications (i.e., modern man's ambivalent coexistence with the technological juggernauts he has set in motion). Alas, his discussion is filled with the most tactless sort of exegetical lily-gilding; one begins to cringe at every appearance of the word ""mythic."" His search for Freudian spoors results in such top-heavy constructs as a Frankenstein who evolves a dream-projection (the Monster) to act out his suppressed jealousy of his sibling-surrogate bride. Tropp's ham-fisted pursuit of fire and water imagery recalls the more grandiose pages of The Pooh Perplex, while his account of the latest movie incarnation is not unworthy of Mel Brooks himself: ""Young Frankenstein is a cinematic Bildungsroman; Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of Victor, comes to maturity by coming to terms with his own past."" Selected filmography and bibliography.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1976
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin