Frankenstein '69By Ed Martin (Olympia Press; 1972/2005)

Trashy stroke-fodder from the early seventies whose relationship to the titular FRANKENSTEIN is minimal-to-nonexistent. The fact that FRANKENSTEIN ’69 emerged from the psychedelic era isn’t hard to discern, as it reads like it was drafted under the influence of God-only-knows-what substance. I’ll say this: I really want to sample whatever the pseudonymous Ed Martin was on when he wrote this mess!

Let’s see: there’s a mad scientist residing in a seaside castle who’s looking to conduct some kind of experiment in human sexuality. This involves a virgin woman who arrives at the castle during a thunderstorm. After nearly losing her virginity to the doctor’s randy lesbian assistant, said virgin is struck by lighting. This, in conjunction with the doctor’s experiments, causes the gal to become impregnated with an amphibian creature whose impending birth is closely monitored by Triton, the immortal god of the sea(!), who happens to reside in watery caverns beneath the castle(!!).

Triton decides he wants the amphibian creature for himself, and so gets a couple of his hermaphrodite mermaid(!!!) underlings to telepathically transmit a succession of dreams intended to inspire the virgin to head down to the sea. Said dreams consist of a thoroughly ridiculous series of events involving a couple horny FCC functionaries, which are repeated (with different variations) three times. I’m sure there will be those who praise this device as an example of postmodern ingenuity (or something), but to me it seemed like mere laziness on the part of the author, who reused the same sequence in a novel that appears to have taken around a day or so to write.

There’s more silliness, of course, with the virgin eventually making her way to the sea for a fateful meeting with Triton and his minions, wherein the proceedings grow even more nonsensical and incoherent than they already were. Truthfully I wasn’t expecting much from this novel, but do think I’m justified in feeling a mite short-changed by what it delivered.