This novel--the basis for the critically acclaimed 1998 film Gods and Monsters
--re-creates the last days of film director James Whale, who was found dead in his swimming pool, an apparent suicide, in 1957. Bram offers sharp insights into the darkly comic sensibility that infuses Whale's two most famous films, Frankenstein
and Bride of Frankenstein
, as memories of an impoverished English childhood, the trenches of World War I, and Hollywood studios compete for space in a mind whose defenses have been weakened by a stroke. Written in the fluid present tense of a cinematic treatment, Father of Frankenstein
is a powerful evocation of an era before Hollywood celebrities could proclaim anything but domestic heterosexuality to the outside world.
From Publishers Weekly
In this ingeniously imagined novel, Bram (Hold Tight) makes fiction out of the aged expatriate British filmmaker James Whale's last days. Whale, living in Hollywood and recovering from a minor stroke, finds life grotesquely refracted through his greatest creation, Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff, and its campy sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein. His mind is a cutting room-floor jumble of olfactory hallucinations, nightmares and flashbacks to his working-class childhood, the sets of his horror movies and the gore-muddied trenches of WWI. Meanwhile, like unwitting furies, a sycophantic film student and Whale's ex-Marine gardener, Clay Boone, churn up his past and impel him to scheme a suitable grand finale for himself. In a wickedly disconcerting series of scenes, Whale directs a mad plot around the short-fused Clay, who, attracted by Whale's old Hollywood glamour but creeped out by his homosexuality, vaguely wants to extract the experience of a lifetime out of the famous figure?"combat, a love affair, a harrowing adventure, even a crime." With amusing cameos by Elsa Lanchester, Greta Garbo and George Cukor, Bram cleverly mines his material's potential from nostalgia and comedy to the grimmer secrets of carnal and charnel knowledge.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.