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Posted December 26, 2008
Father of Frankenstein is an intense read. It focuses on James Whale (best known for his direction of Frankenstein and Bride Of) and his slow sink into dementia. His mind wanders from his adolescence and his first homosexual experience to his time in the trenches during WWI. His mind keeps bringing back unbidden memories of his Hollywood days and ghosts from the past. Then Whale's new gardener, Clay Boone, catches his eye. Boone, slightly homophobic, feels drawn to Whale and Whale's stories of his past. Their unlikely friendship is threatened at the climax when Whale's motives are revealed. This is a great look at mental decline and the effects it has on a person. This book is the basis for the movie Gods and Monsters. I would highly recommend both the book and the movie.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2001
In ¿Father of Frankenstein¿ author Christopher Bram presents a mesmerizing account of the last days of Hollywood (and British) film director James Whale. Bram¿s book provided the basis of ¿Gods and Monsters,¿ a 1998 film which drew critical praise as well. Bram provides us with an insider¿s view of Whale¿s life--itself something of a horror story. His turbulent life--and lifestyle--haunted him until his death in 1957 (an ¿apparent¿ suicide). Of course, such things that Whale suffered were never publicized--or much acknowledged--while he was still alive. In this biography Bram seems to pull no punches, as he deftly presents the life of Whale that few outside Hollywood knew (his homosexuality, for instance), especially his background growing up in England, his experiences in World War I, and so on. Whether a fan of Whale (the classic films ¿Frankenstein¿ and ¿Bride of Frankenstein¿ still have a following!) or not, the reader can expect a mesmerizing read--something out of ¿Time¿ magazine and not the ¿National Inquirer¿! At times, however, it does resemble ¿People¿ magazine a bit, but Bram does not resort to catty sensationalism to carry the book. He gives us a very interesting--but not altogether revealing--look at Hollywood in the Thirties.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.