There are certain books that you feel you know so well without ever having read them as a result not just of films but because they seem to form a part of society’s collective consciousness.
One of those is Frankenstein and another is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Odd choices maybe for lunchtimes reads but titles that I intend to knock-off over the next few weeks.
Starting with a £2 version of Frankenstein printed by Penguin in its cut price Popular Classics range and it starts slowly. Through a series of letters a polar explorer explains to his sister about his ambition to get to the North Pole. As his boat reaches the ice the crew is disturbed to see a man pulled by dogs on a sleigh miles from land. The next day a similar sledge is found by the boat and they save the occupant from certain death.
Once aboard it takes days for the survivor to warm up and be in a position where he will talk. When he does start his tale it is for the captain’s ears only and it begins with a life story detailing a boy with an open mind about science and a desperation to understand the laws that govern life and death.
But what of the other man on a sledge? Why does the saved traveller talk of destiny and death?