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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Drood

Drood by Dan Simmons

Hardcover: 784 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (February 9, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316007021

 

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bestseller Simmons (The Terror) brilliantly imagines a terrifying sequence of events as the inspiration for Dickens's last, uncompleted novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in this unsettling and complex thriller. In the course of narrowly escaping death in an 1865 train wreck and trying to rescue fellow passengers, Dickens encounters a ghoulish figure named Drood, who had apparently been traveling in a coffin. Along with his real-life novelist friend Wilkie Collins, who narrates the tale, Dickens pursues the elusive Drood, an effort that leads the pair to a nightmarish world beneath London's streets. Collins begins to wonder whether the object of their quest, if indeed the man exists, is merely a cover for his colleague's own murderous inclinations.

As I write this I am only a bit over half way thru Drood but want to start talking now.. thanks to Debi who opened the idea to write while things are fresh in ones mind.

First off when I sent for this book I didn't know if I would truly like it or not...and I was a bit afraid of it.  Both the size of the book and I imagined it to be written in the language of Charles Dickens for some reason.  I've only read one Dickens book and it took me some time to read it, but I did and I'm glad and I will read another at some time.  But he is difficult to read (well, for ME he is.. others might not find him so hard to read).

Anyway... First I have to say that, although this book is fiction, I believe Dan Simmons did a lot of homework to write this story as he did, for in the lines between the fiction there seems to lie many pieces of reality and truth.

For instance the continual mention of all the different books that both Dickens and Collins wrote, and the fact the collaborated a lot, and small facts like how very popular Wilke Collins book of the Woman in White was, and that it was a  "serial" written for Dickens magazine, and how they made many of their writing into plays.

It is so well written that at times you forget you are reading a piece of fiction until something wakes you back up to the fact it is. 

This Drood fellow that is being written about is very mysterious.  You go back and forth about him.  One moment he is alive and the next you are so sure he's a real person. 

Could he be a figment of Dickens imagination?

Or an Opium dream of Wilke's??

Mr Simmons brings back all the feelings of the old England that both Dickens and Wilke wrote about in their many books, such as Oliver Twist and Copperfield and Bleak House, along with Moonstone and Lady in White.  Your mind always see's the dark England, the England with the crypts  and opium dens far beneath the streets. Dreary and unmistakably scary.  You half expect to find Jack the Ripper down an alley! Oh yes, this book has many creepy moments in it!

Being a bit over  half way thru this book I cannot imagine that I won't feel the same at the end as I do now... which is that I am really liking this book!  I am glad I bought it.  I am glad I pushed myself to begin this monstrosity of a book.. because there's something about it that keeps me picking it back up and reading "just one more chapter".....

September 15, 12:30 pm... I closed the book, Drood, for the last time!

Now I sit her wondering how to explain how I feel about the book.  If someone said to me, "Read this you'll love it," I would have laughed at them.

This is the third  year I entered Carl's RIP challenge.

The first year I discovered a little book called Gils All Fright Diner and a major discovery of a book Carl suggested called, The Thirteenth Tale.  Never would I have imagined enjoying such books and yet... I can't forget them.

Year two gave me The Historian.  Once again, I thought, "ok, I'll try it but I bet I wind up putting it down."    Like, the little boy Mikey in the cereal commercial.. I liked it!

Here comes year three. I have reread the Thirteenth Tale and Gil's All Fright Diner to much enjoyment and then decided it was time to "try" the 784 page book of Drood.

For unknown reasons, my mind told me I'd be putting this one down.  That it would be, like a Dickens novel, difficult to read and on the length alone I'd not finish it. 

But this book was NOT difficult to read and I did NOT put it down. 

In fact, I had trouble closing the book each day!  If it weren't for the fact I was falling asleep and didn't want to not remember what I was reading, I'm not sure I would have never put the book down!

It captured me. It put me in the old England of the days of Charles Dickens.

It was not all fiction.  There were many small things throughout the book that were fact.

It made me feel as if I was secretly reading the "life and times of Charles Dickens and Wilke Collins", though I do know it was fiction.

For me, this book is a keeper!  It's soooo big, I am not sure at this moment that I will ever read it again... but I will keep it in case I want to tackle it again.  Meanwhile, I want to thank Susan from, You Can Never Have Too Many Books, who I believe is at fault for my purchasing the book in the first place! (Thank you Susan!) and I want to tell anyone who has this on their tbr pile to read, that I don't think it will disappoint you! 

It is an easy read and one filled with unexpected surprises, to me.  I expected the book to be "Drood, Drood, Drood"  but it was a combination of Drood,  Dickens and Collins. 

If you are old like me you will understand the thought going through my mind is of a character from the old tv series of Laugh-in when Arte Johnson, dressed as a German soldier used the qoute that comes to my mind to describe this book...

it goes like this:   Verrry eenteresting...

 

This is the 4th book I've read for the RIP Challenge!

19 Comments:

Blogger Molly said...

Congratulations on finishing such a chunkster!

I have this book sitting on my shelf and I KNOW I will like it, but the problem for me is finding enough time to read a 780 page book.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Slapinions said...

I read and reviewed Drood, and thought he should have cut 100 pages and come up a better ending. Glad you liked it tho'

9:03 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I'm not even sure if this is out in the UK yet, not seen it in Waterstones as far as I can remember. You can bet I'll be getting it as soon as it appears though, as you've really whetted my appetite now, Pat.

10:40 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Molly: it's size is scary..but it's an easy read and you find you get a lot read each sitting.

slapinions: a few parts i was beginning to wonder if Drood was going to get mentioned again..but the atmosphere was so good and I liked reading about Collins and Dickens even if fiction so I didn't mind the length at all.

Cath: there is more than one story going on in Drood. a story of Dickens, one of Collins and then the "shared" story of Drood. I would say you have to want to read about Dickens and Collins and enjoy a mystery besides that..I know you love mystery's.. if you want to read of Dickens and Collins well, then you have it made!

10:46 AM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Love, love, love the little gif. of the title. I have the audio book of this but I haven't listened to it yet.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wow wow wow!! You've put this like right at the top of my list Pat after your review of it..but of course I can't BUY anything with my ban until I read 15 books :p So I'm waiting! I absolutely adore the picture you did at the top. This story just sounds amazing...it's everything I love in a horror novel. Really can't wait to get to it. I may read The Terror by him soon. I know Susan loved it and now I'm just dying to read anything by him!

12:52 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

tink: I hope you have a really good narrator!

Chris: I don't know that I'd call this a horror novel..? considering the size of the book and the parts that would be ummm "horror" there's much more to the book than that, though it's not without it!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I probably said before, but I really enjoy Dan Simmons' books. I am particulary fond of his science fiction books. I have read a couple of his mysteries as well. Halfway through "An Irish Country Doctor" now and will start another book soon. Not sure which of my tbr pile I will choose from, but I like to mix things up. Am waiting on a couple of books I ordered from Sporangia's place of employment. Going to try to watch the second show of Glee tonight. Am enjoying the show so far. Take care. Vala3

3:16 PM  
Blogger cj said...

This one is going on my wish list, Pat. It sounds delightful! Since we have similar tastes - I loved The Historian and The Thirteenth Tale so I feel confident I'll enjoy this one.

cjh

6:00 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

vala: where does Sporangia work??? it seems Drood and The Terror are both pretty popular dan simmons books right now.

hi cj: well if you think you'd like to read about Dickens and Collins it's a win win with Drood popped in the middle lol

6:45 PM  
Blogger Kailana said...

Congrats on finishing! I really want to read this one of these days!

8:44 PM  
OpenID overflowingbookshelf said...

Congratulations on finishing!! What an impressive feat:) I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too. I'm not sure it's something I will ever attempt, but I really enjoyed your review.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Congratulations on finishing Drood and that is GREAT that you enjoyed it so much!

4:39 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

kelly: i was VERY surprised at what an enjoyable read it is!

overflow:overall it was mostly the story of Dickins last few years with Wilke..some of the Drood stuff was creepy as only Dickens could do creepy but most of the book was not.. just in case you decide to try it someday.

thanks Kathleen: a welcome surprise for sure! I feared it would not be as enjoyable as it was.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Okay, before reading your review, I would definitely have said that this was not a book for me. You've totally changed my mind!!! The length still scares me, but it sounds well worth the investment in time.

BTW, I find Dickens hard to read, too.

8:13 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

debi: luckily Dan Simmons writes for the everyday person to read! (easy peasy!) I found it really interesting, for most of the book I felt like I was reading a biography of Dickens and Collins, with a little creepy Drood going on lol.. I am not for a lot of creepy and horror and did enjoy this a lot.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Pat! Seriously, I'm no longer afraid of this book. I'll read The Moonstone and then I'll read it, and I'll do it before the end of RIP :D

7:31 AM  
Blogger Book pusher said...

Awesome review, I have seen this book around but was intimidated by the size, I have a few other bricks on the TBR pile, but thanks to your review I am going to get it next time I am in a bookshop, it sounds greatand I don't feel so daunted by the size now. Also love the picture at the top of your post. Thanks.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

How can I not want to read this when you bring in a Laff-in anecdote!!!

5:30 PM  

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