A review by ellafornsworth
Cleopatra and Frankenstein, by Coco Mellors

dark emotional funny hopeful reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Find it so hard to give this book a rating out of 5. On the one hand, the quality of the writing is absolutely phenomenal and it was so incredibly easy to read, very absorbing. I just felt that the content of it was quite strange. Mellors focuses on two quite vapid main characters who are nothing we haven’t seen before in fiction, when she has created a number of fascinating side characters who would probably make far more interesting protagonists (Eleanor, Zoe and Santiago were all far more original, compelling and realistic to read about). There is also the sneaking suspicion that Cleo is a bit of an indulgent self-insert for the writer, judging by her picture at the back of the book. Sometimes I found this book  deeply affecting and emotional, hitting universal feelings and experiences right on the head, and sometimes I found it completely out of touch, about a New York elite no one normal could ever relate to. The result is some parts of the book are absolute gold dust, but as a whole it remains lacking in some way, like it is missing its beating heart at the centre.