a monster’s notes


In Laurie Sheck’s novel, “A Monster’s Notes” (Alfred A. Knopf: 544 pp., $28), Victor Frankenstein’s creation is alive and well and living in New York. Mary Shelley’s creation has come unstuck in time. He lives in New York or did until recently. He passes Tower Records, a Duane Reade drugstore. He takes notes on the news, developments in science. He reads abandoned books, is privy to whole correspondences, is a historian of his own loneliness. The novel’s first part is “Ice Diary”; the second is “Dream of the Red Chamber”; the last is “Metropolis/The Ruins at Luna.” But the best parts of the book are in the “notes” — lyric essays on time, space, leprosy, art. On Albertus Magnus, on John Cage. The sinews of this odd and unwieldy creature.

more from Ed Park at the LA Times here.