There is a monster within us all – it’s how you choose to use it that counts.

Mary’s life began in shadow. Unwanted and overlooked, her desire was to make something of her existence. So how would meeting a young poet change her path forever? Scandal. Passion. Desire. Mary’s choices were clear – but would she ever be free of her loneliness? Tony Thompson’s enthralling novel explores Mary Shelley’s early life and the famous summer she spent with Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, John Polidori and her stepsister Claire Clairmont, which inspired her iconic novel Frankenstein.


Tony Thompson grew up in Toronto, Canada. He attended Trent University where he hosted his own radio show, wrote short stories and strongly identified with Shakespeare's Prince Hal. After he collected his degree, he headed overseas for a short trip that has now lasted almost 25 years. His CV includes stints as a gravedigger, a music journalist and an English teacher at a water village in Brunei Darussalam. He lives in Melbourne’s inner west with his son, his girlfriend and far too many guitars.


I was captivated by this modernization of an old story and the zest and pace of the narrative.

Summer of Monsters absolutely nails the dialogue. Thompson’s characters shine most brightly when allowed to speak for themselves, from Mary’s keen wit to Percy’s naive enthusiasm. Fans of Frankenstein will love this close look at one of literature’s most influential writers.


Readers will become engrossed in this engaging background story of their complicated dependence upon each other.

Children's Book Council of Australia

Thompson’s model of narration enables this old story to be fresh, new and zinging with an electric charge.


Tony Thompson vividly and persuasively imagines the people and events that may have inspired the youthful novelist and ends the story at the moment of her creative impulse: ‘The story was waiting for her… etc’


Summer of Monsters: The Scandalous Story of Mary Shelley are enjoyable and empowering novels for women of all ages and will be a great resource for students studying English.

Education (NSW DET Magazine)

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