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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, October 21, 2009

The Last Dickens

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (October 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0812978021

Product Description

Boston, 1870. When news of Charles Dickens’s sudden death reaches his struggling American publisher, James Osgood sends his trusted clerk, Daniel Sand, to await the arrival of Dickens’s unfinished final manuscript. But Daniel never returns, and when his body is discovered by the docks, Osgood must embark on a quest to find the missing end to the novel and unmask the killer. With Daniel’s sister Rebecca at his side, Osgood races the clock through a dangerous web of opium dens, sadistic thugs, and literary lions to solve a genius’s last mystery and save his own–and Rebecca’s–lives.

I think it's safe to say that I am officially  captivated by Dickens, and his last unfinished novel of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Of the two books, Drood by Dan Simmons and The Last Dickens, I have to say I enjoyed Drood better. 

However!........... this was a different look on Dickens and Edwin Drood. Where the first book was narrated by Wilke Collins and spoke more of each of their lives and the fictional story of how Drood became part of both their lives, this book begins in America with James Osgood and the publishing company that published Dickens books.  They were awaiting the next installment of  Edwin Drood when Dickens died and then began to wonder if he had left any notes as to the ending of the book. 

James and Rebecca go to England to try to search for any clues to the end of Dickens book and wind up in an adventure of their own.

The Last Dickens began a little slow for me (but that could well be the result of having read Drood) .  After a few chapters it took on life and the more you read the better the story was.

The fiction and thoughts about how the book would have ended fueled both of these books to enjoyable reads.  Never would I have thought myself the least bit interested in Dickens life or an unfinished book by him... yet these two authors have come up with quite creative license in what may or may not have happened!

I realize after  having read both of these books that I will eventually have to get a copy of the unfinished book by Dickens and read it for myself!  I have a feeling though that the creativeness of these two authors might make the actual book a bit of a let down! 

These two books have already led me to read Wilke Collins Woman in White and I have his book of Moonstones here to read.  I also have David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol and The Mystery of Edwin Drood is on the old wishlist... I can put all the blame to this on Carl for having gotten me into liking Gothic mysteries!  

Geez maurice... what could possibly be next??!!

This is the 9th book for RIP IV


Blogger Cath said...

Oh wow, I *love* the sound of this one. I haven't read the original book either (in fact have only read about 6 Dickens books), what a shame it was unfinished. I can't wait to start Drood - not even sure if I'll be able to wait until Jan. and the start of my historical challenge! It's a book that's really calling to me. And now this one... I need to start a wishlist on Amazon!

6:00 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I just love it when I get in those reading sprees where all the books seem to somehow relate to one another and you just sort of find yourself being drawn further and further in, with one book leading to another, then another. It's been a long time since I've been able to allow my reading to just follow a fancy that way, but I've been enjoying reading about your journey this RIP. :D

7:21 AM  
Blogger Kailana said...

I can't decide if Matthew Pearl is my type of author or not. I think I have another book by him on my TBR pile. I really need to read Drood, though. I just can't seem to find time for it!

2:45 PM  
Anonymous She said...

I tried reading The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, but I just could not get into it. I am glad you liked this though! :)

7:15 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

cath: once it got going it wasn't too bad I did enjoy it.. but Drood was better. but it did sorta add to Drood by telling another story surrunding that book.

Debi: naturally I did a search using the word Drood in Amazon in case any others wrote a story about the unfinished book lol but that's it..but it did lead to the Woman in While which tied in but only because it was mentioned so much.

Kelly & She: I didn't know the "author" before and only bought it because it was more "story" about Drood..and for that it worked ok.

5:45 AM  

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