I received a proof copy of this book, and was not sure whether or not I would enjoy it. In fact, I loved it!
It is a retelling of the Frankenstein story, but in this instance, the narrator is Victor Frankenstein himself. At the beginning of the tale, Frankenstein is at Oxford university with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley is actually a prominent character in the book, as his wife Mary Shelley (who of course was the author of the original novel ‘Frankenstein’). Lord Byron is also a character in the book.
So, am ambitious undertaking then – but in the hands of Peter Ackroyd, it is brilliantly executed. He manages to bring some sympathy to the character of Victor, and also the monster himself. Shelley, Mary Shelley and Lord Byron are entirely believeable characters, and the London which they inhabit is vividly brought to life.
The reader is taken on a journey with Victor, as we witness his interest in creating such a creature turn to obsession, and finally horror and despair at the consequences of his actions.
The writing is eloquent and descriptive, and I really felt able to lose myself in this novel. Highly recommended!