Fit for a Frankenstein: Reviews

halloween-seal
 
Winner, Fan Fiction
Halloween Book Festival (nat’l prize) – October 2013

 
 

Highly Recommended. When I started reading, I realized right away that these co-authors are among the ‘pure of heart’ in our classic-monsters world. Fit for a Frankenstein is a wonderfully quirky and comedic monster-movie delight. The genius of the book is how perfectly McComas and Starrett plot the story; Fit fits right into the timeline of Universal Pictures’ Frankenstein films, ‘bridging the gaps.’ Both Ygor and the Monster are totally in character, despite the story’s comic tone: Ygor’s sense of irony and roguishness are spot-on, and the stitched-together creature is brutish and unpredictable. The characters invented by the co-authors—a tailor forced by Ygor to sew and stitch the Monster’s new suit; the tailor’s lovely young daughter—are quite believable and could fit seamlessly (pun intended) into the old films. This book is highly recommended for fans of classic horror films; of Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr.; and of the highly underrated movie The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). Fit for a Frankenstein is the perfect addition to any library for fans of the classic films we love so much!”
- Monster Bash Magazine


“★★★★½
Over the course of this novella, we’re treated to an origin story for Ygor, we learn about the monster’s passion for stinky cheeses, and there’s a great homage to Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine, plus plenty of bad puns and lowbrow humor. Fans of the Universal Frankenstein films will find this to be both a loving tribute and a delightful spoof, in much the same vein as Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Also included is an in-depth “Author’s Note” that gives you insight into the creation process for this story, and there’s a bonus flash-fiction piece called “After the Fall.” The entertainment value for this fun read compares well to a DVD or a night at the movies.”
- Tales of the Talisman


“Addressing a minor plot hole in 1942’s The Ghost of Frankenstein, this humorous novella sees mad lab-assistant Ygor enlist the services of a tailor to create a new suit for his lumbering companion, the Frankenstein Monster, in order to replace the one worn by the creature when he fell into a sulphur pit. Spirited, pun-filled prose and surprise appearances by other Uni- versal characters make this a quick, fun read.”
- Rue Morgue Magazine


Highly recommended. Fit for a Frankenstein serves as an endearing love-letter to the classic Universal horror films, answering burning questions (Where did the Frankenstein Monster obtain his attire—and, more importantly, in his size?) in crafty fashion. Clever, fun, and always witty, it’s a page-turner where the laughs never cease and every word is a testament to both authors’ unquestionable affection for the source material. The countless references to the Universal Frankenstein films are welcome delights that make re-reading the novella a joy. While Fit offers a humorous take, it never ventures into the all-out parody of Young Frankenstein—and thankfully so: these authors stay true to our beloved characters. Ygor’s lines are especially dead-on—you can literally hear Lugosi saying them—and the writing is so descriptive, it feels like you’re watching the story play out in glorious black and white. This is a must-read for classic-horror fans, but those unfamiliar with the originals will find that prior knowledge is not necessary to enjoy the story. There’s little chance that Universal will ever recapture the spirit of their old franchises, but fortunately, Fit gives us the opportunity to spend some time with a couple of iconic monsters while they embark on a new adventure. It’s just like 1942 once again.”
- Shadowland Magazine, www.ShadowlandMagazine.com


“McComas’ and Starrett’s profound love for the glorious Universal horror back catalogue shines through in their effervescent writing laced with inside jokes and subtle nods to the originals. The authors stitch together a grisly mass of groan-worthy puns and a smattering of Benny Hill-type bawdiness, resulting in a novella that can stand on its own size-19 feet. Bela Lugosi’s occasionally impenetrable accent is deftly depicted via excessive use of the letters ‘v’ and ‘z’, to wonderful effect; it requires just a few paragraphs to fully embrace the rhythm of his dialogue. Ygor is a hunchback of singular determination and devious thoughts, and the authors have fleshed him out perfectly; likewise with the supporting characters, who sport a surprising amount of back story considering their scant appearances. The story’s jammed full of literary Easter eggs for horror fans, particularly a confused conversation worthy of Abbott and Costello and a wonderful dream sequence wherein Ygor sees the future fate of the Monster from its point of view, predicting the brain transplant to come. If I have one complaint, it is that the story is over far too soon.”
- Dark Discoveries/Hellnotes – full review


“I truly love this book, which is an absolute must for fans of the Universal Pictures Frankenstein series and/or classic vintage horror films. Who knew the Monster had such a taste for cheese, especially of the ‘shtinky’ variety? Ygor’s psychic dreams of the future are an especially brilliant touch. And the cover is outstanding.”
- Leonard J. Kohl, co-author of Sinister Serials of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Lon Chaney, Jr.


“This highly enjoyable book had me grinning from ear to ear the entire time I was reading it. Messieurs McComas and Starrett have nailed the ‘voice’ of Ygor, and their love for the Monster (Lon Chaney Jr. version here) is clearly evident throughout.”
- Derek Koch, Monster Kid Radio


Reviewer’s Choice. Award-winning author Paul McComas and debut co-author Greg Starrett have prepared a fresh, funny novella that’s a rambunctious riff on classic 1940s horror movies. Ygor is a body snatcher who’s survived a hanging, and his friend the Frankenstein Monster inspires fear wherever the two of them go. When they come to a small alpine town, they find themselves at odds with local tailor Klaus Hauptschmidt and his ebullient teenage daughter Gretl. A monstrously wild adventure ensues! Highly recommended.
- Midwest Book Review


“Harkens back to 1930s and ’40s cinema with a tongue-in-cheek look at an interstitial bit in the old Frankenstein movies. Very groovy and a lot of fun; give it a go!”
- Martian Drive-In Podcast


“Paul McComas’ books have garnered critical praise across the board, but despite the accolades, he likes to keep his fiction grounded and accessible, challenging the reader more with ideas than with language — and there’s nothing more accessible than a good old-fashioned monster movie. McComas’ and lifelong friend Greg Starrett’s co-authored Fit for a Frankenstein is a fun, whimsical novella that follows famous monster-minion (and sometime body-snatcher) Ygor as he attempts to find a custom-made suit for the Frankenstein Monster; hijinks and hilarity ensue. The result is a surprisingly light-hearted, joyful homage that reads like a buddy film — and a rollicking tribute to ‘Horror-wood’.”
- OnMilwaukee.com (click for full review)


“In this comedy-horror-history-movies mashup, body-snatcher Ygor stops in a small village in search of a custom-made suit for his giant friend, the Frankenstein Monster; the tailor has a beautiful daughter; and mayhem ensues. Recommended.
- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


“Mary Shelley’s idea for Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus came to her in a dream; McComas and Starrett’s version has the wry, campy, wisecracking tone of a bedtime story told to a youngster by an affectionate adult — though the scenes in which Ygor becomes physically handicapped and has other misadventures are creepy, grisly, and evocative. Also wrenching, but in a sweet way, is the nature of his relationship with the Monster. When Ygor fears he has lost his companion, ‘his withered old heart pounded in his chest.’ As the fiendish-looking giant remarks upon saving Ygor from probable death, ‘Friend….goooood.’ With poetic license, the authors have created new characters: Klaus Hauptschmidt, the tailor who makes the monster’s new 66-X-X-Long suit, a lonely, unappreciated wine-drinker in a beer-loving burg; and Hauptschmidt’s blonde-pigtailed, dirndl-wearing daughter, his liebchen Gretl. McComas and Starrett’s depiction of the age-old Frankenstein classic turns the rank Monster into a lover of cheese: he will do almost anything for a block of it. Quirky details such as this, dream sequences rendered with chilling prose, and little inside jokes (such as playing with the number thirteen) can turn any day into a frightfully fun Halloween.”
- fearlessbooks.com


“Many of us grew up watching classic black-and-white pictures set in a foggy recreation of Eastern Europe where vampires prowl by night, werewolves roam in the light of a full moon, and monsters are made by scientists careless in their pursuit of the secrets of life. And if your imagination was sufficiently stimulated by those late night classics, you probably sketched out your own scenarios for Ygor, Dr. Frankenstein, and company. That’s exactly what a pair of Milwaukee-linked authors did—years after first encountering those old movies. Fit for a Frankenstein by Paul McComas and Greg Starrett is an entertaining novella inspired by an apparent gap in 1942’s The Ghost of Frankenstein: Frankenstein’s monster, thoroughly disheveled and caked in dried sulfur, reemerges in the next scene cleaned up and in a new suit. Fit is a cheeky tale of how Ygor helped the monster spruce up, replete with Ygor’s Balkan enunciation: ‘You valk into ze vater. It vill vash you clean.’”
- Milwaukee Shepherd-Express


Hands All on Gretl

“It doesn’t all have to be about the meaning of life. As readers, it’s nice to have a breather — though silliness is hard to write. Yet McComas and Starrett have, happily, mined their childhoods and many of ours to stitch together Fit for a Frankenstein, a short, snappy joyride that manages some serious comedy. You may not learn anything about the core reasons for existence, but you may blow a fuse or two at the nonstop jokes, puns, and in-the-know shadowboxing that make up the story . . . . The authors use just about every form of humor you can imagine, with a shockingly high hit rate. They’re smart enough to know that the key to comedy is character, and so give readers a nice gallery of goofy ghouls. We know who we’re with, and the clockwork just keeps ticking. The fun is found everywhere. From “Chapter Vun” to the campy Authors’ Photo, the humor comes not just from the jokes and puns and groaners that grace most every paragraph, but as well from the in-jokes and the intense references to to just about every film incarnation of the [Frankenstein] story, good and bad — which gives the novella a fun dimension that is unique . . . . Anyone who spent childhood TV time in front of a small black-and-white screen watching ‘Chiller’ or other hosted horror-movie shows will find companion souls here. Fit for a Frankenstein is a great fit for readers: a fun book based on bad movies we nonetheless loved because they were clearly the products of people who loved what they were doing.”
- Rick Kleffel, California Public Radio (read the full review here)


“Ever wonder where the Monster got that snazzy new suit he’s wearing in The Ghost of Frankenstein? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t from the Men’s Wearhouse. I expected to get a reasonable start on Fit for a Frankenstein when I opened it, but I ended up reading it in one sitting. I’m not sure how co-authors Paul McComas and Greg Starrett managed to write a novella that reads like a black-and-white movie, but they did it, and it’s a helluva lot of fun. It’s great how the tone changes gradually, almost imperceptibly, from a somber approximation of the movie to all-stops-pulled-out silliness at the end. I also enjoyed how the authors managed to weave in the remaining sequels, and from Ygor’s point of view. (Most everyone tends to forget that the Monster really is Ygor in the later films; possibly even Ygor has forgotten!) Even minor details in the movie are explained by the events in the book (The sleeves were too short because there was no initial fitting!). The cover illustration is great, with just the right amount of punch, and the technical aspects of the book are also excellent; I don’t recall even once being snapped out of the story by a typo. Finally, it was nice to read something fun, rather than having to quote my father-in-law: ‘Bring some water, it’s pretty dry!’ Rather, as the Monster himself might say: ‘Book gooooood!’”
- The Frankenstein Page


“When Greg Starrett met his future best friend Paul McComas almost 40 years ago, they bonded over an interest in monsters and science fiction. Recently, their shared passion culminated in a book the duo co-authored, mostly via email — a novella that, thanks to its humorous twist, can be enjoyed not just by monster and SF fans, but by anyone.”
- Inside Munster [IN] Magazine


Fit for a Frankenstein is a sure fit for any reader who has fond memories of the iconic Monster—or for those meeting him for the first time. It’s obvious that the authors of this wacky novella had a barrel of fun writing it, and their glee is contagious as they bring the lumbering, sewn-together fellow back from the dead, accompanied by Ygor (who’s a real hoot here!). Share their mad journey in these fascinating pages. You’ll be glad you did!”
- William F. Nolan, author of Logan’s Run


“McComas and Starrett create a hilarious envisioning of Ygor’s and the Monster’s quest for an XXL suit ‘fit for a Frankenstein’—a tall order indeed! With elements of the gothic, the historical, and pop culture, you’ll never look at Dr. Frankenstein’s creation—nor at its trousers—the same way again.”
- Rachel Waxman, author of The Crickhowell School for the Muses


Fit for a Frankenstein is a delightful literary Rube Goldberg machine, its intricate design made to manufacture laughs and evoke memories of black-and-white movies seen on a flickering screen. Humor high and low, clever levers from which spring puns so terrifying you have to laugh, and the sound of groaning that may or may not be your own—all will keep you deep in a hypnotic state from which you will be loath to wake. It’s smart, funny, and truly goofy in the best of all possible ways.”
- “The Agony Column,” www.bookotron.com