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Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is a lavishly illustrated abridgement of Mary Shelley's classic novel. It uses portions of the original 1818 text and incorporates Grimly's distinctive drawings, which are by turns grotesque, whimsical, and surreal. Although there's plenty of violence (including strangulations, an unjust execution, and murder by arson), much of it happens "offstage," and any depicted bloodiness is undercut by the cartoonish nature of the accompanying illustrations. Gris Grimly's Frankenstein may serve as a welcoming gateway to a deep and rich literary tradition for adventurous teen readers.
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What's the story?
Victor Frankenstein is determined to unlock the secrets of life and death, and his experiments lead him to create a gigantic, terrifying creature out of dug-up body parts. Everybody views the Creature as an abomination, but all he wants is to live in peace somewhere with a female version of himself. The Creature promises to exact a terrible vengeance on Frankenstein unless the scientist creates another monster to serve as his soul mate. But is Frankenstein willing to loose another Creature upon the world?
Is it any good?
Mary Shelley's original novel is a classic of Gothic horror, still enthralling after two centuries. Its language and narrative structure can be daunting for young modern readers, however, and GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN finds a way to make the story accessible without tossing Shelley's distinctive prose aside. The tension between the florid, archaic writing and Grimly's stylized, grotesque, and somehow whimsical illustrations creates a unique and engaging reading experience. It won't be to the tastes of purists, but Gris Grimly's Frankenstein may serve as a welcoming gateway to a deep and rich literary tradition for adventurous teen readers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about about Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, and how it remains so powerful after almost two centuries. Why do you think it's been adapted so many times in books, movies, and TV shows?
Is it possible to both fear and pity Frankenstein's Creature? Are his violent actions understandable in any way?
Do you think there are subjects that scientists should not investigate, for fear of upsetting some kind of "natural order"?
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