cover image Frankenstein's Prescription

Frankenstein's Prescription

Tim Lees. Tartarus, $50 (278p) ISBN 978-1-905784-29-5

"Rusticated" to the German countryside to escape prosecution for a fatal duel, the narrator of this well-wrought riff on Frankenstein finds that he has stepped straight into the middle of a Gothic nightmare. It is 1901, and cocky medical student Hans Schneider discovers that Dr. Lavenza, the administrator of the asylum where he has sought refuge, is a lineal descendant of Victor Frankenstein. What's more, Lavenza is caught up in experiments to reanimate the dead, the better to serve Frankenstein's original monster, who's still alive and who has stalked and killed successive generations of Frankensteins who failed to make him a mate. With the monster shadowing them, the two men travel the breadth of the European continent, seeking to fulfill the monster's demands and escape the fate of the doctor's forebears. Lees (Gods of L.A.) takes considerable liberties with the plot of Mary Shelley's original novel, but his period evocation and his provocative treatment of Lavenza's godlike relationship to the monster harmonize to make this a philosophically insightful and literary tale of terror. (June)