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Gris Grimly's Frankenstein

Overview

"Grimly enlivens the prose while retaining its power to both frighten and engage sympathy for the monster-creator Victor Frankenstein. This is a richly morose nightmare of a book, a primer for young readers on the pleasures and dangers of decadent languidness."—New York Times Book Review

Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is a twisted, fresh, and utterly original full-length, full-color graphic-novel adaptation of Mary Shelley's original text, brought to life by acclaimed illustrator ...

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Overview

"Grimly enlivens the prose while retaining its power to both frighten and engage sympathy for the monster-creator Victor Frankenstein. This is a richly morose nightmare of a book, a primer for young readers on the pleasures and dangers of decadent languidness."—New York Times Book Review

Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is a twisted, fresh, and utterly original full-length, full-color graphic-novel adaptation of Mary Shelley's original text, brought to life by acclaimed illustrator Gris Grimly. The first fully illustrated version to use the original 1818 text, this handsome volume is destined to capture the imagination of those new to the story as well as those who know it well.

New York Times bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly has long considered Frankenstein to be one of his chief inspirations. From the bones and flesh of the original, he has cut and stitched Mary Shelley's text to his own artwork, creating something entirely new: a stunningly original remix, both classic and contemporary, sinister and seductive, heart-stopping and heartbreaking.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
“Grimly enlivens the prose while retaining its power to both frighten and engage sympathy for the monster-creator Victor Frankenstein. This is a richly morose nightmare of a book, a primer for young readers on the pleasures and dangers of decadent languidness.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“Grimly proves himself a more adept assembler of parts than his subject proved to be; his product is no monster, but a pastiche of style and substance that will reanimate the original for yet another generation of readers.”
Guillermo del Toro
“Gris has a natural empathy with the disfranchised, the lost. His line work becomes more elegant and precise with each book but it also becomes more and more emotional and expressive. Gris is a fabulist with the soul of a graveyard poet.”
The New York Times Book Review - Ken Tucker
…less a graphic novel than an illustrated version of Shelley's book that enlivens the prose while retaining its power to both frighten and engage sympathy for the monster-creator Victor Frankenstein…Many of us grew up with the James Whale-directed Boris Karloff horror-film version of Frankenstein in our heads; Grimly provides a new generation with fresh images. This is a richly morose nightmare of a book, a primer for young readers on the pleasures and dangers of decadent languidness…
Publishers Weekly
Grimly’s fans have been awaiting this reworking of Shelley’s 1818 classic for four years, and they will rejoice in the end result. Spidery ink lines and a palette of jaundiced yellows and faded sepias plumb the darkness of the writer’s imaginings. Frankenstein’s bone-embellished military jacket and pop-star shock of hair turn him into a sort of anachronistic punk scientist, but other elements of the work are more circumspect. Crabbed, tense portraits of Frankenstein’s friends and family combine historical detail with theatrical emotion. The images of the dissections that lead to the monster’s creation dwell on flesh and bone, yet show, for Grimly, a certain restraint. Even more notable is Grimly’s refusal to capitalize on the horror of the iconic scenes for which the movie versions of the story are remembered. The monster’s crimes are shown mostly in b&w thumbnails, as if Grimly were hastening through them to probe more carefully the monster’s self-loathing and Frankenstein’s ruin. Fans will return to these pages obsessively; readers encountering the story for the first time may find Grimly’s images rise to view whenever they think of it. Ages 13–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)¦
VOYA - Stacy Holbrook
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is an illustrated version of the original 1818 work by Mary Shelley. In this classic tale, Victor Frankenstein becomes consumed in a quest to create life from death. He does so in the creation of a pieced-together man. Instantly terrified and guilt ridden over his monster, Frankenstein seeks the company of family and friends. In doing so, he discovers that the monster—driven mad by a world that shuns him—seeks to punish Frankenstein by killing his loved ones. With his family gone, both creature and creator are left completely alone, leaving the reader to ponder the moral decisions of the creation and destruction of life. Using most of Shelley's original text, Grimly breathes life into this classic by telling the tale simultaneously through his gothic illustrations. Any text omitted from the original work is instead told through comic-style panels; though no text appears in these panels, the artwork stands on its own to represent the story. Grimly's haunting illustrations dramatically show the range of human emotion connected with Frankenstein and his monster—rage, despair, hurt, lament, and even joy and excitement. Though often dark, Grimly's version has a whimsical quality that will draw teens in and allow them to better access this classic novel. This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries, as it will appeal to fans of Grimly, graphic novels, and Richard Yancey's Monstrumologist (Simon & Schuster, 2009/Voya February 2010). Reviewer: Stacy Holbrook
Kirkus Reviews
A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist's most inveterate fans. Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson's introductory comments about Grimly's "wonderfully sly stylization" and the "twinkle" in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein's narrative will find it--lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels--in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures. Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley's. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061862984
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/17/2015
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,194,170
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.62 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born on August 30, 1797, into a life of personal tragedy. In 1816, she married the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and that summer traveled with him and a host of other Romantic intellectuals to Geneva. Her greatest achievement was piecing together one of the most terrifying and renowned stories of all time: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Shelley conceived Frankenstein in, according to her, “a waking dream.” This vision was simply of a student kneeling before a corpse brought to life. Yet this tale of a mad creator and his abomination has inspired a multitude of storytellers and artists. She died on February 1, 1851.

Gris Grimly is a children's book illustrator who moonlights in painting and filmmaking. Some of his best-known works include Gris Grimly's Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness and Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Death and Dementia, and Neil Gaiman's bestselling picture book The Dangerous Alphabet. He lives in Los Angeles.

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