Reviews | June 02, 2021

May I Be Frank? Further Hideous Progeny of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Kate McIntyre

Frankenstein in Bagdad by Ahmed Saadawi, Jonathan Wright trans. Penguin Books, 2018, 281 pp., $16 (paper).

Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson. Jonathan Cape, 2019, 344 pp., $27 (hardcover).

Destroyer by Victor LaValle, Dietrich Smith illus. Boom! Studios, 2018, 160 pp., $19.99 (paper).

Comemadre by Roque Larraquy, Heather Cleary trans. Coffee House Press, 2018, 129 pp., $16.95 (paper).

Concurrent with the 2018 bicentennial of the initial publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, a new crop of narratives retell, reimagine, resuscitate, and remix the urtext. These books are the latest in a long line of Shelley’s “hideous progeny” spanning nearly one hundred feature films, countless television episodes, songs, comics, toys, video games, and even a very pink (the color of the monster’s flesh?) strawberry-flavored breakfast cereal, Franken Berry. Frankenstein’s monster no longer only terrifies: he counsels us as a wise father figure, he makes us laugh, he sells us things.

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