Tuesday, March 10, 2015

REVIEW: Frankenstein REC

Frankenstein REC
Costas Zapas

Genre: Horror, Young Adult
Publisher: Column Books
Publication date: 6.25.2014
Pages: 416

Recommended by: Read 2 Review
Date read: 3.9.2015

"The souls of men do not grow old."

This is a really interesting story that kept my attention, with a different kind of look at the story of Frankenstein.  At times it reads like a biography, or like a journal a reporter is keeping on a particular subject.  At other times, it read like a documentary, following a young reporter through her life, as she searches out the mysteries of her nightmares and Frankenstein.  There is a lot of history on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as well as conspiracy theories regarding the events that took place in her book.

The story begins with the young reporter (the author doesn't really use names, instead choosing to call people by their professions) having a horrible nightmare and, when waking up, being unaware of whether she's awake or still dreaming.  Her doctor tells her that these are "narcoleptic fits" (a phrase WAY overused in this story).  As the story goes on, you see her evolve as she learns more about herself, her illness, and the people that were involved in the original story.

Things begin to change in her small town when a theater troupe comes to town to do one showing of the Frankenstein play.  Her interviews are pretty weird, but at the same time, pretty awesome.  

My favorite character is the one she thinks of as Victor.  I love the way he's described in the book: "There was something unique about him.  With a uniqueness that penetrates his soul.  It gave him alternately the air of a noble aristocrat and of some kind of beast."  He was just really interesting from the very first meeting.

I loved the writing, and was irritated by the writing, all at the same time.  The author seems to ramble quite a bit, and some of it is repetitive.  It could have used an editor to fix some of the grammatical and punctuation issues, as well as fix the monotonous descriptions (i.e. when she first meets Viktor in the basement: his looks, his attire, the basement; the bag she has that's covered in skulls; the cheapness of the video camera).

About the book:
A theatre troupe comes to town performing "Frankenstein."  A young female reporter, who is investigating the legend, believes that the novel is not fiction, but the true story of a group of alchemists, founded by the young doctor Victor Frankenstein.
            In 1817, they managed to defeat mortality and return fro the dead.  Interviewing the theatre troupe members, the reporter is confronted with the dark heroes of the novel, who appear in the city more alive than ever.  Her investigations lead her to a universe of monsters and finally to a revelation about the secret of an eternal love that defies even death.
            But what is real and what is just her imagination?  Who are these "actors"?  Why have they come to her town?  And who even is this young reporter?

About the author:
Costas Zapas is an author and film director, born in Athens, Greece.  Named by Cineuropa as "one of the most outstanding directors of contemporary auteur cinema" and by the Guardians as "one of the main protagonists of the burgeoning Greek new cinema wave," he is one of the most original auteur directors in Europe.  His feature film "Minor Freedoms" was financed and coproduced by Lars von Trier's production company Zentropa.  His first novel was published in 2001 to critical acclaim in Greece.  "Frankenstein REC" is soon to become a feature film by Minus Pictures.

No comments: