Father of Frankenstein by Christopher BramJames Whale, the elegant director of such classic horror films asFrankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein, was found at his Los Angeles mansion in 1957, dead of unnatural causes. Christopher Bram, whose social insight and wit have earned him comparisons to Henry James and Gore Vidal, explores the mystery of Whales last days in this evocative and suspenseful work of fiction. Home from the hospital after a minor stroke, Whale becomes convinced that his time is nearly over. Increasingly confused and disoriented, he is overwhelmed by images from the past: his working-class childhood in Britain, lavish Hollywood premieres in the 1930s attended with a nervous lover, meeting Garbo, parties with Elsa Manchester, Charles Laughton, and Elizabeth Taylor, nightmares from his own movies. Handsome ex-marine Clayton Boone, an angry loner who is Whales gardener, becomes the focus of a fantastic plot Whale devises to provide his life with the dramatic ending it deserves. Bram juxtaposes the worlds of two very different men, James Whale and Clayton Boone, deftly shifting between the complex mind of an English exile full of experience and sardonic humor, and that of an American whose attitude toward Whale moves from disgust to fascination to a final shock of disbelief. Suggesting influences as diverse as Sunset Boulevard and the works of Christopher Isherwood, Father of Frankenstein is a rich yet cutting look at fame, mortality, and hidden desire. Often praised for his singular take on history, culture, and sex, Bram has surpassed himself with this ingenious new novel.
Gods And Monsters Review
Not even counting Broadway's ''Phantom of the Opera,'' the theater is thousands of years old, so why are there so few memorable novels about it? In little more than a century the movie industry -- that Johnny-come-lately cousin -- has spawned dozens of classic fictions, from ''The Day of the Locust'' to ''Myra Breckenridge'' to ''Pandaemonium'' Surely the stage has as much to offer the novelist in terms of extreme characters, evocative atmosphere and built-in variations on the illusion-versus-reality theme. Yet the only great theater novel I can think of leaving aside passages in Dickens and Twain is Penelope Fitzgerald's ''At Freddie's'' -- a ruthless comedy about a seedy London academy for mostly pathetic child actors. What accounts for the discrepancy? Partly it's a matter of access. Many novelists have toiled in or near Hollywood; comparatively few in the theater.
Sign in. Breakout star Erin Moriarty of " The Boys " explains how her newfound popularity is fueling Season 2 of the hit series. Watch now. Title: Gods and Monsters A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior. An old British reporter vies with a young U. The intersecting stories of three people who face difficult choices in life-changing situations are used to illustrate the theories espoused by Henri Laborit about human behavior and the relationship between the self and society.
Editorial Reviews. Review. “Witty, moving, entertaining, and enlightening one of the most Gods and Monsters: A Novel - Kindle edition by Christopher Bram. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.
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His eyes fix on Clay, the white eyebrows screwed down, until he is able to recognize the face. I absolutely refuse. Whale stands, his legs shaky. Not this lane. Not today. I never even told David.
Such success rendered even his fairly uncloseted homosexuality bearable to studio heads, who kept mum. Yet a bit of leering prankishness remains alive yet, as demonstrated when Whale makes a fawning young film student Jack Plotnick shed a clothing article for each question answered. A stronger lure is the new gardener Clayton Fraser , a muscle-bound, rootless odd-jobber living in a trailer. Though suspicious, this unsophisticated hunk is flattered by the attention. Cat-and-mouse play ensues, as the elder uses his new, vehemently heterosexual protege by turns for leering amusement, companionship and possible fatal delivery from a once-dignified life ebbing toward undignified fade-out. McKellen, on the other hand, has seldom found such an ideal role.