Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Booklist on Monster

Here's the full starred review from Booklist:

Repudiating the “outrageous fabrication” of Victor Frankenstein’s story as told by Mary Shelley is the aim of this imaginative and grotesque novel from the revisionist perspective of the monster. First off, the monster had a name, Friedrich Hoffmann. Second, he had a true love, Johanna. So that they could become unwilling participants in unholy experiments, the lovers were murdered by Dr. Frankenstein, whom Zeltserman portrays as a perverse maniac in the mold of Lovecraft's Herbert West, working in league with the Marquis de Sade. Awakening to find himself inside a hideous, patchwork body, Hoffmann’s first friend is Charlotte, a reanimated severed head in a bowl. Things get worse. Zeltserman’s monster is every bit as eloquent as Shelley’s, though his rage is more focused. He seeks to avenge Johanna, plain and simple. But the mystical rituals enacted by the doctor make insurrection difficult, and so Hoffmann wanders the countryside encountering changeling vampyrs, kindly monks, groveling Satanists, and, finally, a castle in which 200 girls have been kidnapped to be a part of Frankenstein and the Marquis’ unspeakable “drama.” This is juicy material for Franken-fans, and Zeltserman is just faithful enough to the original (he, too, ends with the fateful wedding night and the icebound ship) that his many fresh contributions feel entirely normal. Well, abnormal, to be accurate, but deliciously so. — Daniel Kraus

Monster will be released Aug. 2nd, and the book launch party for it will also be Aug. 2nd at the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA, starting at 7 pm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Angry Julius & Other Stories can now be borrowed for free by Amazon Prime customers.

Along with the latest Julius Katz story, One Angry Julius and Eleven Befuddled Jurors, this collection also has:

Some People Deserve to Die, originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

The Mentor, originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

When Death Shines Bright, originally published in Cape Cod Noir

Emma Sue, originally published in On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir

A Hostage Situation, originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, nominated for a 2012 Thriller Award

As an added bonus, the first chapter of my upcoming novel, 'Monster: A Novel of Frankenstein' has been included.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Starred review for Monster

The first review for Monster has come out. Booklist, in a starred review, says in part: "This is juicy material for Franken-fans, and Zeltserman is just faithful enough to the original that his many fresh contributions feel entirely normal. Well, abnormal, to be accurate, but deliciously so." -- Daniel Kraus

Saturday, June 16, 2012

'Man out of prison' noir trilogy in Italy

Fanucci Editore is publishing my 'man out of prison' noir trilogy (Small Crimes, Pariah, Killer) in a single hardcover volume. I find this very cool, and love the cover they came up with.

'The Caretaker of Lorne Field' has gotten a lot of love from librarians, and the Dwight Foster Public Library is the latest to recommend Caretaker, including it in their Great Summer Reads recommendations, saying:

A scary, yet funny novel about Jack Durkin, descendant of the family responsible for generations for harvesting the supposedly deadly plants in Lorne Field before they can get big enough to destroy the world. But in this modern age, who believes that stuff anymore?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How I came about writing Monster

With Monster two months away from publication, I thought I'd repeat a blog post from a year ago about how I came about writing this book:

One day when I was walking around the long since defunct Brookline Barnes & Noble, I was noticing all the vampire, dragon, zombie, Wizard of Oz & werewolf books, and was thinking what hasn't been done, and what I came up with was Frankenstein. Yeah, I know, Dean Koontz has his Frankenstein series, but that has been placed in modern times and has little in common with Mary Shelley's novel. I started thinking then of a version written by the creature and where everything a dying Victor Frankenstein tells Captain Walton is a lie to cover his own crimes and depravity. I started getting excited by this idea but also severely intimidated by it. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a great novel, and for those of you who haven't read it you should. It's very unlike any of the movie adaptations, including (especially) Kenneth Branagh's "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". It's also in it's own way a very powerful noir story. Anyway, the intimidation won out and instead of working on this I wrote another novel.

The idea, though, wouldn't leave me alone, and nine months later I started considering this more seriously. A friend of mine who's a PhD candidate in 18th Century European History and fellow Black Belt student at our Kung Fu studio, Alden Ludlow, put together a reading list so I could properly research, among other things, 18th century witchcraft, satanic cults, London sex clubs, supernatural mythology, folklore and 19th century fiction. So after 6 months of research that also included historical figures Marquise de Sade and Samuel Hahnemann, I felt ready to start it.

If you haven't read Shelley's Frankenstein, the book takes place in a lot of different locations--starting with Ingolstadt, Germany, then Geneva, French Alps, London, Scotland, Ireland, back to Geneva, and finally the Artic. What I did was layer my version over these same locations but have different reasons for this traveling, as well as make the monster in my version the hero. The Marquise de Sade and his philosophy also plays a critical role.

Overlook Press will be publishing this in two months, I can honestly say this by far the best book I've written, and will probably ever write. More than any book I've written, I'm looking forward to seeing this one in print.