The mystery writer, whose new novel is ''Smoke'', recently read ''Frankenstein'' for the first time : Edgar Allan Poe is often cited as the originator of both horror and science fiction. Mary Shelley beat him.''

Q.- You're organizing a literary part. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?

Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Hemingway. Hemingway hated Capote and Vidal. Capote probably hated Hemingway and Vidal. I like lively conversation.

Q.- Are there any classic novels that you recently got around to for the first time?

Mary Shelley's ''Frankenstein.'' The media versions of ''Frankenstein'' were so thoroughly ingrained in me, I had dismissed the book as dated and banal. A couple of writer friends told me I was completely wrongheaded. Sadly, not an unusual occurrence.

In 1816, the celebrated poet, London's Lord Byron, challenged his houseguests to write a ghost story. Mary Wollstonecraft [later, Shelley], the daughter of intellectual radicals, wrote ''Frankenstein'' when she was 18 years old.

Shelley's was far from the oft-seen lumbering brute. Her impossibly intelligent creation valued philosophy, social justice and natural beauty, and was influenced by Goethe's ''The Sorrows of Young Werther'' and ''Paradise Lost.'' John Milton's epic, 10,000 line poem which has intimidated anyone who ever attended a university.

Shelley blamed humans for birthing evil. She spawned a creature spawned by scientific abomination, yet innately innocent; cruelty, abuse and abandonment transforming a childlike purity into rage and retribution.

Her orphan reminded me of myself as a young man; my sorrow for the world and unresolved doubts with no expectation of everlasting comfort.

Shelley never had much use for religion, in life and her books. Her notion that a human endeavor could create life mocked the whole idea of a sole creator.

Her narrator, Walton, describes in his last letter the experience Shelley intended for her audience:

''You have read this strange and terrific story, Margaret; and do you not feel your blood congeal with horror, like that which even now curdles mine?'' Edgar Allan Poe is often cited as the originator of both horror and science fiction. Mary Shelley beat him to the punch by 20 years.

Q.- What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?

Anything by Charles Dickens. At 250 words per page, ''Great Expectations'' is 744 pages long. ''David Copperfield,'' 1,428. I need time to eat, walk my dog, live.

The Publishing of the interview, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Joe Ide.


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