'Treasure Island,' 'Frankenstein' sequels
It's a tricky business mucking about with a classic novel, and sequels written by contemporary authors can be a big disappointment for devoted fans of the original. But the right premise in the hands of the right author can yield good returns. Here are two recent contenders:
SILVER: Return to Treasure Island, by Andrew Motion (Crown, $24). What about the rest of that treasure? At the end of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 adventure tale, young Jim Hawkins and his treacherous, peg-legged friend, Long John Silver, depart the titular island with but a portion of Captain Flint's copious booty. In his sequel, former U.K. poet laureate Motion skips ahead 40 years to imagine their offspring -- Jim Jr. and Silver's mixed-race daughter, Natty -- making a return voyage to retrieve it.
MONSTER: A Novel of Frankenstein, by Dave Zeltserman (Overlook, $23.95.) Mary Shelley's horror classic was all lies, and Friedrich Hoffman is here to set the record straight. This imaginative "revisionist" novel by thriller writer Zeltsersman ("A Killer's Essence") is narrated by the man who woke up on Victor Frankenstein's lab table and found himself transformed into the monster. And Frankenstein himself? Not the guilt-wracked man of science portrayed by Shelley, but an evil genius in league with the Marquis de Sade.