Customer Reviews for

Drood

Average Rating 3.5
( 161 )
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(60)

4 Star

(36)

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(34)

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(22)

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(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

It keeps you turning the pages!

"Drood" is a novel that falls at the intersection of several genres - mystery, horror, biopic (for which I'm not sure there is a literary term), and even a little fantasy. Simmons has drawn heavily on the biographies of Wilkie Collins, the novel's narrator, and Charles...
"Drood" is a novel that falls at the intersection of several genres - mystery, horror, biopic (for which I'm not sure there is a literary term), and even a little fantasy. Simmons has drawn heavily on the biographies of Wilkie Collins, the novel's narrator, and Charles Dickens and for that reason the atmosphere of the novel is almost palpably real. Although the novel is inspired by the titular character from Dickens's unfinished final novel the driving force of the novel comes from Wilkie himself and Simmons fuels the narrative with Wilkie's awe and resentment of Dickens. Wilkie's narrative voice carries an echo of modern psychological drama but a person who has already read his novels will appreciate how remarkably well Simmons captures Wilkie's writing style within the book; readers of Simmons's previous novel "The Terror" will find that Wilkie and Dickens wrote a play based on the same ill-fated nautical expedition and Simmons takes advantage of that historical detail. Simmons also draws on Wilkie's capacity for vivid description; from Wilkie's opium dreams to the novelists' forays into the violent Undertown of London, Simmons renders it all in lurid deatail, keeping the reader going, and turning the pages as if "Ghost Wilkie" were there to do the deed personally. Although the weather during my reading was peaceful "Drood" would be a perfect book for reading during a thunderstorm. This is not a novel for the squeamish, particularly if you like domestic animals, and the description of Wilkie's opiate use is extensive.

posted by Melissa_W on March 22, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not my cup of tea!

I really wanted to like this novel. The idea sounds ingenious. It appears to be well researched. Where does it all unravel?

First the length, 775 pages. While a little disconcerting I wanted to immerse myself in the Victorian England of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Col...
I really wanted to like this novel. The idea sounds ingenious. It appears to be well researched. Where does it all unravel?

First the length, 775 pages. While a little disconcerting I wanted to immerse myself in the Victorian England of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. I realized the attention to detail of the times and the authors lives would make the story fairly long. Historical fictions usually are. However, it seems overly padded with detail that has no bearing on the story at all. And Dan Simmons regurgitates some of the same information over and over as if the reader needed constant reminders. And not once or twice, but constantly! I recognize the extensive research that went into the book but I felt that the story was bogged down by unnecessary details about Dickens' and Collins' life.

I read through the first half of the book, and kept waiting for the spark to kick the story into gear. It never came. Events that seemed to spur action (and my interest) were quickly lost in the overwhelming detail.

By the time i was 75% done, I became determined to finish this huge tome and find out what all the fuss was about. It had been suggested and recommended by Steven King in his Entertainment Weekly year end best of column. While not an absolute guarantee of literary value, I usually find that I DO enjoy the books Mr. King suggests. However this never got beyond an overblown, poorly told biography of Dickens' final five years. Ultimately, not my cup of tea...

posted by iluvvideo on February 1, 2010

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Disappointed

    This book could have been cut in half and would have probably been ok but there were long stretches of pointless passages that really took away from the overall book. I thought the book was supposed to be about Dickens not the life story and works of Wilkie Collins. If I wanted to read a Wilkie Collins novel or biography I would have....it did not need to be included in this book. As it turned out I know more than I would ever care to know about laudanum addition and think this book was a waste of my time to read as it wasn't even entertaining. It had it's moments but they were few and far between.

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    Don't bother

    I am a fan of Simmons' Hyperion and Ilium and decided I'd try one of his other genre. What a complete boor! At best it is a brave attempt at writing in a period style. But why bother when there are so many authentic period books. His characterizations are fine (if you don't mind a weak-willed blow-hard as a main character), but the story line is plodding and filled with attempts at stylization that comes across as pedantic. Way too many "dear reader"s for me. It is the first time that I have ever found myself three quarters of the way through a book and seriously considering asking the author for my money back.

    I just hope Flashback brings him back to his groove.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2009

    BORING

    This is THE most boring book I've ever read. I gave it 200 pages and it still was going NOWHERE. Now it's propping open my patio door.

    Avoid this one. Seriously, very boring; and a real insult to your intelligence the way the author tries to weave in some references to his previous work.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don't bother unless you like to waste your time

    Thinking this book might be an interesting tale of how Dickens came to choose this name/character for his writing, and that it might be one of those really interesting fictional/historical accounts of a famous person's life and experiences, I purchased it. Imagine my surprise when I kept reading and reading and reading, thinking 'where is the author going with this, and when is he going to get there'?

    Ultimately, I concluded a few things about this book: firstly, the author could have told the same story in about half the pages. Where the editor on this book was, I have no idea. He/she must have been missing in action.

    Secondly, if you expect some sort of denouement or conclusion worthy of your time spent reading this book, DON'T...there isn't one.

    Lastly, I would say that I wish I had the week I spent reading this pointless and ultimatly very disappointing book back so I could use it in more fruitful pursuits. To the author I would say this, "Please do readers everywhere a favor and learn to get to the point, if there is one, and if there isn't, don't write!"

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    If you like Dickens, Collins any great Victorian Literature, skip it.

    This is a pretty bad book. I don't know whether Charles Dickens was really a self-righteous jerk with an enormous ego, and I don't want to know. I don't know if Wilkie Collins was a slithering jealous toady in his lifetime, and I don't want to know that either. I do know that there was no ancient Egyptian cult that hypnotized the dead and kept them alive some how.

    The plot is written in a convoluted confession where Wilkie Collins lets the whole world know he secretly loved, hated and envied Charles Dickens. In the end, Collins comes off as a brat and Dickens as a petulant child.

    I stopped caring what happens to the characters about a third through and gave up entirely towards the end. I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone who is interested in learning how Dickens was inspired to write his mystery novel Edwin Drood. It's not at all about that.

    On the other hand, it's a perfectly fine mystery novel and may have done better if Wilkie were merely Bill and Charles, Chuck. Using the historical figures was just distracting.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2011

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    Posted September 7, 2010

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    Posted July 30, 2010

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    Posted December 6, 2011

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