I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I originally thought this was a non-fiction book about the making of Universal Studios’ 1931 horror classic, Frankenstein. However, once I began reading it, I found out it was a novel that mainly focused on Universal head of production Carl Laemmle Jr. and the decision whether to cast Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff as Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.

I do not know enough about the making of the film to tell you whether the book’s contents are truthful or fabricated, but at a ‘big picture’ level, the book is accurate – Lugosi wavered multiple times on whether or not he wanted to play the part. Karloff, virtually unknown at the time, saw the part as the role that would establish him as an actor and launch his career toward stardom. There isn’t a lot of action involved, but the plot is fast-paced.

I gave It’s Alive four stars on Goodreads. It was a quick read that held my interest well. It reveals a lot about Hollywood’s studio system during the 1920s and 30s.