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Monster: A Novel of Frankenstein [Kindle Edition]

Dave Zeltserman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The supernatural, unmissable new novel by the ALA Best Horror award nominee. In nineteenth-century Germany, one young man counts down the days until he can marry his beloved . . . until she is found brutally murdered, and the young man is accused of the crime. Broken on the wheel and left for dead, he awakens on a lab table, transformed into an abomination. Friedrich must go far to take his revenge --only to find his tormentor, Victor Frankenstein, in league with the Marquis de Sade, creating something much more sinister deep in the mountains. Paranormal and gripping in the tradition of the best work of Stephen King and Justin Cronin, Monster is a gruesome parable of control and vengeance, and an ingenious tribute to one of literature's greatest

Editorial Reviews


Chosen by WBUR (NPR Boston) as one of the best books of 2012

"Zeltserman's monster is every bit as eloquent as Shelley's, though his rage is more focused. This is juicy material for Franken-fans, and Zeltserman is just faithful enough to the original that his many fresh contributions feel entirely normal. Well, abnormal, to be accurate, but deliciously so." Daniel Kraus, Booklist (*Starred Review*)

"This reworking of Frankenstein is chilling and captivating! A tale of justice, true love, and ultimate forgiveness, this gruesome novel is perfect for fans of Stephen King and similar horror stories."  ForeWord Magazine (*Pick of the Week*)

"Monster is Gothic horror that pulls no punches -- a brutal ride through a hellish tale...likely one of the best books of 2012"  Bruce Grossman, Bookgasm

"Zeltserman keeps the action moving relentlessly forward with minimal padding, either in terms of plot or prose. The action is tight and there's no shade of purple in his style, but there's plenty going on thematically." Ed Siegel, WBUR

"Dave Zeltserman's Monster is an ingenious interpretation of Shelley's tale...[his] highly readable style harmonizes beautifully with its 19th century European setting. Monster is a must-read for anyone who enjoys horror stories, and shivers when Boris Karloff's pale fingers twitch back into life." Historical Novels Review

"A graphic, brutal story with heart and soul" Crimespree Magazine

"A masterpiece of originality, beauty, ugliness, eloquence, wisdom and power" Ed Gorman, author of Ticket to Ride

"When award season rolls around, this one's going to be a major contender" Bill Crider, author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series

About the Author

Dave Zeltserman was born in Boston and educated at the University of Colorado. A former software engineer, he is the author of nine horror and crime novels including The Caretaker of Lorne Field and a Killer's Essence, also published by Overlook. He and his wife live in the Boston area. Visit

Product Details

  • File Size: 312 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0715645099
  • Publisher: Overlook (August 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007T8YGTW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,888 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitch perfect addition to the Frankenstein mythos August 16, 2012
"As I write this, I can only pray that Frankenstein's twisted soul is rotting away in whatever crevice within Hell it has surely sunk into."

So begins Dave Zeltserman's electrifying novel presenting the classic story of Frankenstein's monster, from the viewpoint of the "monster." The monster in this instance is a man by the name of Friedrich Hoffmann, who, on the eve of his wedding to his beloved Johanna is drugged and when he comes to, in an alleyway, he is covered in blood and has Johanna's locket in his coat. He soon understands that she is dead, murdered in a most heinous way, and he has been blamed for the crime. Broken, tortured, and set to die on the executioner's wheel, Friedrich can only hope that he will be joining his true love soon. Little does he know that a fate worse than death awaits him.

Monster is told from Friedrich's point of view, and as he takes you from the wheel, into death, and back to a sort of unlife as the creation of the wicked, diabolical Dr. Frankenstein, you won't be able to look away, although you may want to. I found myself pausing to cover my eyes for a moment every now and then, not only as I processed the horror that Friedrich is experiencing, but also at the moments of beauty that he manages to find in the midst of this nearly inconceivable ordeal. And there is beauty, in the most unexpected of places. When Friedrich first "awakens" and finds that he cannot move, cannot speak, and can barely keep his eyes open, he is soon introduced to Charlotte, who is only a head, in a bowl of milky liquid. At first, Charlotte repels him, but soon he realizes that she too, is a victim of Dr.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Monster Speaks August 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not only is this an excellently researched companion to Shelly's original novel, it is written in a completely complementary voice. While FRANKENSTEIN is written from the Doctor's point of view and details his experience, MONSTER is told from the creature's experience, and details one that in many ways is very different. Taking the position that the Doctor lied through his teeth in his deathbed confession and storytelling, MONSTER posits that the true beast was Victor himself and the creature nothing more than a victim of the most obscene horrors.

While this is not an entirely new concept (THE DRACULA FILES and WICKED both come to mind), Zeltserman does an excellent job with it. His style of prose dovetails well with the original FRANKENSTEIN... and that's is where I begin my critical comments. For me, as with that original novel, this one suffers a little from that style of prose. There is a slightly distancing effect in that 19th Century diary-style narration that kept me from becoming as emotionally involved with the creature. Likewise, a decision to involve some clearly supernatural elements diminished things for me; rather than the Doctor being a horrific example of the coldly detached scientist, as I first expected, his villainy is hot, emotional and yes - sorcerous. Some of the message, warning of the dangers of science without care and morality, are lost.

Despite these small complaints, I very much enjoyed the book as a story and as what I take to be a passionate project of the author's. I applaud the excellent use of the original FRANKENSTEIN material and inspiration. MONSTER is an excellent read from a unique crime writer with a tendency towards the bizarre, indulging a personal passion. Worthwhile!

Then, go read Zeltserman's unmatched THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD, to see him really stretch his horror muscles!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reimagining of a horror classic... September 6, 2012
Unless you're one of the Big Names in the genre, e.g. King, Koontz, et al - horror doesn't seem to provide as much respect as crime fiction, and that's a real shame, because between this and CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD (my favorite of all of Zeltserman's works and, in fact, one of my favorite books of all time), Zeltserman's talent really shines in the horror genre. Much like Ed Gorman and a few other select authors, he has the talent to be able to leapfrog from genre to genre and have each book be outstanding -- so it's a shame if market realities temper any more work in this genre, as it could use more exemplary works like MONSTER and CARETAKER. `Course, if I just have to settle for fantastic crime novels like PARIAH, KILLER, et al, I guess I can handle that. ;-)

MONSTER is one of the better books I've read in quite some time. Very compelling - poignant, thrilling and chilling all at once, and the voice of the monster was just Victorian and just modern enough to be both appropriate (to the time) and accessible (to the modern reader). An excellent book through and through...Mary Shelley would be pleased.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I was a bit hesitant to order Monster when I realised it wasn't another badass out of jail, a crime or even a vengeance novel, but was instead a retelling of the classic Frankenstein tale. Even though I am a huge Zeltserman fan, and he has fast become one of my favourite authors, I have to admit I have never managed to stick with Mary Shelley's classic tale all the way to the end. But then I remembered how good Zeltserman was the last time he tackled the horror genre with his masterpiece The Caretaker of Lorne Field so decided to give Monster a go. Surprisingly Monster actually was a crime novel and a vengeance novel as well, both of those aspects to a larger level than most of Zeltserman's novels in those two genres. I think most of us are familiar with the basic plot of Shelley's classic novel, even if it's just from popular culture references, and that's all you need to appreciate what Zeltserman has written here. Even if you had never heard of Dr Frankenstein or his monster before opening this, you'd still enjoy this as the story makes sense on its own. But if you're familiar with Shelley's basic plot the thing to realise here is that this tale parallels the major events in that one, but instead of being told from the Dr Frankenstein's point of view, Monster is written from his creation's. There is a lot of stuff Dr Frankenstein didn't tell the ship captain whose account Mary Shelley based her tale upon. According to the monster or Friederich Hoffman as he claims he really is, Dr Frankenstein wasn't a nice guy at all who brought life to a bunch of already dead body parts. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting concept
Interesting concept, but the writing seems labored. Would have been better without vampires. Some gaps in the story which would have been interesting, other details that were not... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard L Rimkunas Jr
1.0 out of 5 stars " I loved the sample - well-written
Before purchasing an entire novel on the Kindle, I always order a "sample." I loved the sample - well-written, true to the original novel in style and theme, and seamless... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lit Teacher
5.0 out of 5 stars The monster strikes back.
I had my doubts going in to this book, despite Zeltserman being one of my favorite authors. What I was concerned about was that in writing a revisionist tale of Shelley's classic,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lily Courthope
1.0 out of 5 stars Where do I begin?
I notice most of the praising reviews for this novel seem to have no clue about the events of the original novel and just assume that the various film adaptations are correct. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amanda Pike
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea
11/4 - The only exposure I've had to Frankenstein is through Kenneth Brannagh's movie version - I've never actually read the book (it's on my list). Read more
Published 14 months ago by Sarah Frost
4.0 out of 5 stars morbidly horrific
"You have done well so far, my magnificent creature. Soon you will be with me."

Frankenstein in a morbidly horrific twist on the original Mary Shelley version, taking on... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The tale of three monsters
Anybody can breathe new life and interpretation into classical works of literature. That's why we have zombies terrorizing the characters of Pride and Prejudice. Read more
Published 21 months ago by msockol
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
This is the story of Frankenstein from the monster's point of view. It was very interesting and I enjoyed the character very much. He is likeable although ugly from the get go. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mercedes
2.0 out of 5 stars Monstrously Bad...
My Grandfather taught me that to put a book down unfinished was a sin.

Forgive me Grandfather, for I have sinned... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lorne D. Gilsig
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your ordinary Monster!
Zeltserman is an unconventional writer and I've been a big fan of his for a long time. The Monster is one of his best works. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Vinod
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More About the Author

Dave Zeltserman is the Boston-based author of the award-winning Julius Katz mystery series. His crime novels have been selected by NPR and the Washington Post as best novels of the year. His first novel, The Caretaker of Lorne Field, was short listed by the ALA for best horror novel of 2010, was nominated for a Black Quill Award for best dark genre novel of the year, and was named a Horror Gem by Library Journal. His most recent horror novel, Monster, was named one of the best books of the year by WBUR and made Booklist Magazine's 2013 list of top 10 horror novels. His crime novels Outsourced and A Killer's Essence have both been optioned for film.

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