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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.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Drood

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(Book 5  for RIP)

Drood by Dan Simmons.

Paperback: 800 pages (paperback version)
Publisher: Back Bay Books; (February 8, 2010)
ISBN-10: 031600703X

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Book Description

On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever.
Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?
Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens's life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens's friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), DROOD explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, DROOD is Dan Simmons at his powerful best.

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My first reading of Drood was a few years ago, and  it was read for RIP. (I even amazed myself by rereading a book of nearly 800 pages!)(the link is to my first review)

When I first read this book I knew one thing.. I loved it!  The book somehow perked my interest in Wilkie Collins (who was telling the story) and of course in Charles Dickens.  If you knew me when I was young you would be positive I would not be a person to read Collins or Dickens or many other classics!  But here I am, old and more than late for the game, and I sit reading books about them both (both fiction and real) and then reading books they wrote!

Drood is a marvel of a book!  It’s narrated by Wilkie Collins, and is to be about he and his close friend Charles Dickens during the last few years of Dickens life and how Dickens came about to be writing a book called, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which Dickens never finished before he died.

One knows before they begin to read that this book is pure fiction… but maybe the word “pure” should not be used.  Most  all (but not all) of the characters in the book, Wilkie’s family and Dickens family, were all real people.   The mention of many books the two men wrote and plays that they wrote and put on were, again, all real.  There is so much reality in the book that many times you have to stop and say, “ok.. this is NOT true!”

The book is written sooooo well, that one tends to forget that it’s a fiction story.  I know many others have read some of Dan Simmons books and may feel similar about other books …but it you have any interest at all in Wilkie Collins or Charles Dickens or England in the 1800’s or finding the *life under the streets with the Opium dens * or if you just plain like gothic mysteries…  Then don’t let the size of this book deter you!  You will enjoy the book very much!

I have to admit the book left me with some questions.. but mostly just personal questions about Wilkie and Charles.  I’ve read a very large biography on Charles Dickens which surprisingly enough I found very interesting.  But there is little written about Wilkie Collins. A few smaller books but nothing as well written as Biographies on Dickens.

If you have this book sitting in your tbr pile… you might want to push it closer to the top of the pile! 

Drood sits on top, along side of The Thirteenth Tale, as a most favorite book to read, most especially during the month of October when gothic mysteries are a favorite genre to read.

12 Comments:

Blogger Becky said...

I really need to read this!

9:38 AM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

You write so wonderfully about this book---you make it a "must read"...!

3rd try with Word Verification!!!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I sort of didn't really know what Drood is about and now I do a bit more thanks to your review, Pat. I want to read a couple of library books next week and then I think I might give Drood a go. I have a feeling I would love it given the Victorian subject matter.

5:53 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

becky: yes you do! lol

naomi:I took the word thing off but for how long I don't know

cath: I do think you will like it when you get to it... we all have books on our shelves for years!

7:58 AM  
Blogger Geranium Cat said...

I think I tried to read this at the wrong time, and it was from the library, so I felt rushed. I need to buy a copy and start over when I'm feeling just right about it, I think.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Rachel Bradford said...

I love Dan Simmons! Thanks for the review!

8:03 PM  
OpenID merlin513 said...

I'm impressed with you Deslily! you've not only read it once but, read it again!

I've picked it up several times and haven't managed to get past the 2nd chapter...I finally gave up and just picked up a paperback copy at a flea market (it's roughly the same size and weight as a brick). I had the same problem getting into his book about the ill-fated arctic expedition that i've forgotten the name of.

I'm glad you liked it so well tho. Maybe, one of these days i'll have the time and inclination to pick it up and try again! :D

1:02 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

geranium cat: many people don't like when "real people" are used in a fictional story..it's not for everyone

Rachel: I do love Drood

merlin513: if you have no interest in Dickens or Collins I doubt you'd like the book even if it is fiction

1:08 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I was reading your review and thinking 'isn't this the unfinished book' - purely because I've read a novel which is about this book and Dickens. So, and I'm sure this is probably the most stupid question ever, but, is there actually an ending of sorts then - or did somebody else complete it?
I have only read a few Dickens and should really read more - especially as I love Wilkie Collins! I must try and pick up a paperback copy - I have a hardback book but it's a bit unwieldy to be honest.
Lynn :D

3:21 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I have to read my copy which I have had for 4 years now! lol I really do, I just need a block of time I can give to it. It's hardcover, and I've been meaning to pick up the paperback size (which is lovely and mass market so I can carry it) so I can carry it everywhere while I read it.

I love your review, and I think this would be perfect for RIP....I also have Claire Tomalin's biography of Charles Dickens for Christmas, in my Christmas box, so if I read Drood, then I can go to the bio! I have to read more Dickens too....I have several now.

I'll let you know if I do start reading this, I do want to. I'm delighted that it held up to a second reading too, that you like it as much as ever. That's saying something too about how much you enjoy this one.

12:55 PM  
Blogger samantha.1020 said...

I was kind of overwhelmed by the size of this book but just reading your review made me want to pick it up. And if it warrants a reread then it is just a must :) I'm definitely going to have to grab this chunkster when I'm at the library next!

8:20 PM  
Anonymous sakura said...

I've been meaning to read this one for SO long because it's by Simmons (I love his Hyperion Cantos) and it's about Dickens and Collins. I have to admit that the size is overwhelming but I do like big books so hopefully soon. Your enthusiasm is catching!

11:15 AM  

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