New App Lets Readers Create Their Own 'Frankenstein'

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Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, "Frankenstein," has had more incarnations than a graveyard zombie. Now readers can take part in the storytelling.

Best-selling author Dave Morris has created a new interactive book, called "Frankenstein," that puts readers inside Victor Frankenstein's lab as the mad scientist attempts to create a new species of man, Homo Incusus.

A Conversation With Frankenstein

Unlike other interactive book apps, you can't completely change the outcome of the book.

"There is one section where you are actually experiencing the monster’s first days and months of life."

Dave Morris, graphic novelist

Instead, the app places the reader in conversations with Frankenstein as his story unfolds. The mad scientist acts as a guide, and readers can offer advice, comfort or condemnation.

"The characters are reacting to your choices and developing along the lines that you are influencing them," Morris explained to Here & Now's Robin Young.

Understanding Frankenstein

For most of the book, the reader tags along as Victor Frankenstein's confidante, but Morris also wants to help people understand the creature itself.

"There is one section where you are actually experiencing the monster's first days and months of life, which I did to expose you to the horrors of being a newly created creature with no idea of what was going on in the world," Morris said.

Ultimately, Morris wanted to make Frankenstein more accessible to readers than Shelley's original novel.

"It's philosophically interesting to read Frankenstein, but readers don't find it enjoyable," Morris said.

Morris tries to flesh out characters more than Shelley did to make the story more interesting.

But what really sets this "Frankenstein" apart from others is that each reader creates a new version of the novel.

"When you complete the book, you can give it to someone else and that would be your version of the novel," Morris said.

The app is only iOS right now, but Dave Morris writes "We're going to rectify that in just a few weeks. I'm putting finishing touches to the epub3 and Kindle versions, which should be out by mid-November."


  • Dave Morris, graphic novelist

This segment aired on September 24, 2012.


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