A. S. Peterson proved himself an extraordinary storyteller with his “Fin’s Revolution” series–a master of words, imagery, and human nature.
It’s been several years since I read them but there are certain scenes from Fin’s Revolution that still stand out vivid in my memory, haunting, comforting, in their terrible beauty. Fin’s story touched parts of my soul I wouldn’t have even known how to direct someone to find.
Her story became a part of my own.
“I’ll make my pen a bow
and draw it across the blank page till it sings.
I’ll coax shapeless thoughts and feelings into words,
into my own kind of music.
My knees bend, my body sways with the rhythm.
Each note I cradle,
birthing meaning into silence.”
These words of mine, inspired, convicted, by the magic of Fin’s fiddle and the words of Bartimaeus, “Got to take the hurt’n, and turn it beautiful.”
So it was with this background of eagerness and anticipation, that I picked up A. S. Peterson’s latest work, Frankenstein: A Stage Adaptation, to read on my recent Alaskan cruise.
And my goodness, does A. S. Peterson deliver once again.
Personally, I struggled to get through the original Frankenstein book. The first half dragged for me. I was intrigued by the concepts but I found the delivery lacking. It just didn’t grip me in the way I expected it to.
A. S. Peterson has taken everything that made Frankenstein great, boiled and distilled it down to its clearest essence, and redelivered it as a concentrated and poignant elixir of insight.
The screenplay shifts the emphasis from long, meandering introspective thoughts to concise and dynamic dialogue. It fixes the pacing problem of the original work, building better suspense. The brooding lethargy of the novel gives way to breath-taking action in the screenplay.
–Yes, sometimes adaptations improve upon the original!
And lastly, Frankenstein: A Screenplay is a book of layers. It is a book to be reread and re-mined for precious gems buried deeper than a single reading could ever penetrate.