Digital Review

The Essential Frankenstein

A prime example of what's bright and what's bogus about CD-ROMs. Bright: the complete text of the original edition of Mary Shelley's 1818 horror classic, replete with hypertext footnotes, historical background, and interview footage of Leonard Wolf, editor of the 1993 book The Essential Frankenstein. Bogus: Universal film trailers from the '30s, testimonials from famous authors that don't provide those authors' credits (fine for Camille Paglia, less so for Kim Antieau), brief computer animation of the monster taking a leak, and an unbelievably garish video game called Monster Bash that runs in DOS. This last item dispels any air of classiness, let alone essentialness, that The Essential Frankenstein might lay claim to. It's alive — but just barely. C-

Originally posted Feb 03, 1995 Published in issue #260 Feb 03, 1995 Order article reprints