Kin Platt Nancy Steinbeck - Essay

Nancy Steinbeck

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Who should follow Dracula (Dracula, Go Home) but Frankenstein? Kin Platt's fantastic slapstick version [Frank and Stein and Me] of the classic merely changes the names and plot "to protect the innocent."

Thanks to his sister's mumps, Jack Hook, basketball player, is awarded Glop Oil's contest trip to Paris. Armed with his trusty basketball, Jack agrees to carry the mysterious stranger's birthday cake for his dear old mom in Paris. When the "cake" proves to be grass, Jack, on the run from customs agents and in search of comedic smugglers, Alphonse and Gaston, is rescued by black-bearded Dr. Stein who looks like Freud and acts like Frankenstein. Dr. Stein's horrifying "baby" Frank, created out of an ex-circus strongman and assorted concrete and iron, helps Jack capture the smugglers atop the Eiffel Tower and ends up with both a Glop Oil commercial contract and its beautiful representative.

I admire Kin Platt's talent for telling an interesting, even exciting tale with simple, not simple-minded vocabulary—and with wit….

Frank and Stein is a silly spoof (second cousin to Get Smart) based on common, garden-variety Frankenstein lore. But the cardboard characters are so inept as to be engaging. The contrived ending is appropriate; Jack has won another free trip—this time to Slobovia. Though designed for high/lows, the novel will amuse anyone with an appreciation of the ridiculous.

Nancy Steinbeck, in her review of "Frank and Stein and Me," in The High/Low Report, Vol. 4, No. 1, September, 1982, p. 3.