The legacy of Mary Shelley’s creation is powerful and enduring. Her monster and his scientist creator find their way into many aspects of our culture — including our language. A Frankenstein Monster has come to mean anything that is an amalgam of disparate parts.
A house with additions from varying eras can be called a Frankenstein creation. A wacky outfit with a mix of colors and styles can be a Frankenstein. A law with disparate amendments is definitely a Frankenstein monster. Even a poorly coordinated potluck dinner can be a Frankenstein buffet.
Yup, I’ve been to a few. You probably have too — one had five kinds of home baked cookies, one platter of fried chicken, a lot of wine and a few too many vegetarians in the group. Now that I think about it, we should have sent out for pizza or Chinese food, but that was a long time ago and I wasn’t the host. I do my best to prevent the Frankenstein menu. There was that time when three friends brought my least favorite vegetable — Brussels sprouts, the loathsome little balls of cabbage — they all said they were bringing side dishes — so much for Frankenstein prevention.
Frankenstein style genre fiction is very popular right now. Jane Austen & Zombies is definitely a combination of mismatched parts. This trend is part of our mash-up culture. It’s not new, but it is in the air. These Franken-genre books always remind me off Abbott & Costello meets — the wolfman, the invisible man, the mummy and FRANKENSTEIN.
Do you have any thoughts on these Franken-genre mash-up tales? Do you enjoy Sherlock Holmes hunting vampires? How about mysteries peppered with recipes or fashion tips? Any mixes that you thought were impossible that wound up as good books? Any mixes that you think are impossible?