The Frankenstein Bicentennial | Book Pulse

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018. Expect to see plenty of stories that mention the two editions Shelley wrote: the first in 1818 and the second in 1831. Libraries in need of copies might look to Frankenstein: The 1818 Text by Mary Shelley, with an introduction by Charlotte Gordon (Penguin Classics) and Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, edited by M.K. Joseph (Oxford UP) (which is pulled from the 1831 text). There are other books timed for the anniversary as well, including In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein by Fiona Sampson (Pegasus: W.W. Norton), Classics Reimagined, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, with illustrations by David Plunkert (Rockport), and Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by Kathryn Harkup (Bloomsbury Sigma: Macmillan).

Briefly Noted

The NYT reviews Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates (Picador), calling it “a whydunnit that delves deep into the secrets linking the main characters” and writing that it is a “winding road Yates sends us down, and the drive is full of pleasantly unpleasant surprises.” The paper also reviews King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich (MCD: Macmillan), saying it is “ambitious and metaphorically dense” and looks at the “meticulousOff the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies by Ann Hulbert (Knopf).

Ron Charles reviews Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Little, Brown; LJ stars) for The Washington Post, writing “This provocative exploration of female longing, frustration and determination couldn’t be more timely, and yet there’s nothing fleeting about it…Zumas has written a novel that’s political without being doctrinaire, that expands the dimensions of our most pressing social debate.”

Vanity Fair talks with Thomas Pierce, author of The Afterlives (Riverhead: LJ stars).

The South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile has died.

Authors on Air:

David Simon (The Wire, Treme, The Deuce) is adapting Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America into a six-part television miniseries; it is still being shopped to a studio.

Hulu has bought George Clooney’s adaptation of Catch-22.

The Shannara Chronicles, based on the books by Terry Brooks, gets cancelled but its creators are trying to shop it to other media sites. It played first on MTV, then Spike.

Variety has a cover story on Keira Knightley and her new film based on the French novelist Colette. It is premiering at Sundance.

Amazon releases a first look trailer for Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, based on the memoir by John Callahan.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at

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