Customer Reviews for

Drood

Average Rating 3.5
( 161 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(60)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(9)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted March 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is an excellent historical thriller

    As novelist Wilkie Collins narrates on 9 June 1865, fifty three years old Charles Dickens accompanied by his secret mistress takes the train from Folkestone to London. In their car were three people, Charles, Ellen Tiernan and her mother. However, near the Stapelhurst railroad viaduct, a human error leads to the destruction where a bridge was under repair. Dickens and the Tiernan female pair survive.<BR/><BR/>Dickens tries to help others though it looks hopeless. Amidst the carnage, he meets another apparent survivor, morbid Edwin Drood, who survived the ordeal due to his traveling inside a coffin. Drood vanishes while Dickens follows his trail to the nastiest decadent side of London. As Collins continues his account, he wonder if Drood ever existed and whether Dickens made him to cover nefarious dealings.<BR/><BR/>This is an excellent historical thriller that looks closely at the last few years of Dickens¿ life using the unfinished final novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and other historical facts as a basis for this wonderful account. The story line grips the audience from Collins¿ opening monologue and never slows down with readers scrutinizing clues throughout as to whether Dickens¿ lost his mind, concealed his activities with the invention of Drood as the narrator believes, or if Drood lived. Dan Simmons is at his best with this insightful psychological Victorian thriller.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Superb!

    Drood is a fictional account of the last five years of Charles Dickens' life. Little is known about Dickens at that time, so Simmons was able to take excellent creative license.


    The story is narrated by author Wilkie Collins ( The Woman in White, The Moonstone) and the story is as much about his life as it is Dickens'. Wilkie and Dickens were long time friends, collaborators and competitors.


    The book starts out with a train accident at Staplehurst involving Dickens and in retelling the story to Wilkie, we first hear of the horrific looking man named Drood. Dickens becomes obssessed with finding Drood and drags Wilkie along to late night excursions into Undertown; a city of catacombs and home to those too wretched to live among the poor in above ground London. There are also opium dens and a myriad of crypts.


    On the night Wilkie and Dickens go to Undertown, they find a river of sewage that they can not cross. It is here that a boat pulls up to take Dickens, and only Dickens to meet with Drood. Wilkie does not hear of the story until later and has only Dickens word of what transpired. A former inspector, Fields then tries to blackmail Wilkie into sharing all the Dickens will tell him about Drood, as Fields states that Drood has been responsible for hundreds of murders in the last several years. Collins feels like a pawn between the inspector and Dickens and does not know what to believe.


    my review:

    I thought this book was excellent and addictive and I barely noticed that it was almost 800 pages long. Wilkie is fascinating; he is an opium addict and his jealousy of Dickens grows pathalogical. As he is so unreliable as narrator, the reader is uncertain if parts are true or figments of Wilkie's opium dreams or envious nature. Though I think one can appreciate the book on another level if well-read with Dickens and Collins' novels, I had not yet read anything by Collins and did not feel that I missed anything. However, it does take us through Collins' writing of The Moonstone and spoiled the mystery for me. I still want to read it though.


    This was an amazing mix of historical fiction, mystery, and psychological terror. I also really appreciate all of the research that must have gone into this novel and to still make a page turner is quite feat. I also felt that Simmons captured the atmosphere and writing of the period. I can not recommend this enough, it is a must read.


    my rating 5/5
    http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The best book I've read in 2009

    I've seen a lot of mixed reviews about this book. Some people say that the description on the dust jacket is misleading to the author rambles. Well I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

    This was my first novel of Dan Simmons that I've read and I loved every minute of it. The book has a 19th century Gothic feel that I haven't seen done since "The Poe Shadow". Yes the story of Drood is buried among the life story of the protagonist Wilkie Collins but to me it draws you into his decaying mind due to his abuse of laudanum.

    This story has some great imagery. What's not to like about Green skinned women with tusks for teeth, doppelgangers, secret Chinese opium dens...etc. It's a journey into the underbelly of Victorian society.

    I liked it from the start but it really picks up after the first 30 pages. I say give it a chance if you like the idea of a haunting journey into the mind of an addict.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2012

    HISTORY, HORROR, SUSPENSE, MYSTERY !!!! This book has it all, I

    HISTORY, HORROR, SUSPENSE, MYSTERY !!!!
    This book has it all, I found myself lost in the Dickens era, furiously turning pages, huddled in the recliner in the middle of the night with my little book light illuminating the pages. I couldn't wait to see how the story ended and once I read the last pages I found myself wanting the story to go on. This was the first Dan Simmons novel I have read but I assure you it will not be my last.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2009

    Tremendous book!

    A wonderful historical novel about the last five years of Charles Dickens's live that lovers of Dickens, historical novels, murder mysteries, occult, romance, thrillers, and fine literature won't want to miss! Historical facts are blended with incredibly creative fiction concerning characters both in Dickens's life and his last and unfinished book "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Blew Me Away!

    This wonderful novel by Dan Simmons blew me away. I was expecting Drood to be good, and it was! Simmon's is a master at alterative historical fiction; Proof: The Terror and Drood. Strongly recommended for historical fiction fans or any one looking for a good, consuming read. Don't let the length scare you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful!!!

    Dan Simmons repeats the excellence of The Terror. Well researched and worthy of Dickens himself. This book is masterful and maintains the same graceful style that transported me in The Terror. The characters are full-bodied. Wilkie is the epitome of self-deluded vanity. The pacing of the story is great, a gradual progression and digression as the tension builds. Well, I loved it. I hope he continues to write in this vein in the future. I will happily wait.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Riviting

    This is the book that caused me to say to myself, "How could I love this book as much as I do" I said the same about "The Terror". It does not have the charm of other books that I loved with real life identification. "Drood" is is a violent, death-loving tale told by a brilliant writer dazed by drugs and a haunted imagination; haunted by Charles Dickens and by Drood, the evil presence that structures the tale. As in the Terror, Simmons finds a creature that is beyond belief but does not apologize for its creation. In fact, the creature has the lead role and all other characters react to this abnormal lead. If Wilkie Collins were not dead, I'd say to him, give me more of this story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    A tour of Dickensien history

    Drood is a supernatural thriller: part mystery, part historical authority on Charles Dickens, part suspense thriller. Very heavy on the Dickens facts - you will be a Dickens authority after reading this book! But running throughout the book is an undercurrent of supernatural thriller. Wilkie Collins, friend of Dickens and narrator to our tale, is drunk with laudanum throughout the entire book, but manages to take us along on a wild ride through the steaming hovels of London in order to find our Drood, only to find that Drood is a fictional character in one of Dickens fantasies? Or that he is a resurrected Egyptian priest who controls his subjects through mesmerism? The mystery will keep you turning the pages. The incessant mention of Dickens' history will bother you just a little. Overall, a very good book and I am on my second read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2010

    The Best Book of 2009.

    This tale, "penned" by Wilkie Collins, recounts the last few years of Dickens' life. Like a newly discovered Sherlock Holmes story, the Drood manuscript has been withheld from publication so that the involved parties will have shuffled off the mortal coil. It starts with a train wreck, ends with the death of an author, and, in between, chronicles a descent into madness, drug abuse, jealousy, and paranoia that never fails to be compelling reading.

    Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens were friends and frequent collaborators. Dan Simmons writes about that friendship and places the two men in a tale of mystery tinged with the supernatural. Drood is populated with characters taken from the lives and works of both men; many of the characters from The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Dicken's unfinished novel) have analogues in Drood.

    In the opening chapters, Dickens and Collins are, to my eyes, parallels to Holmes and Watson. Dickens, the energetic, highly observant guide, takes long walks, makes Holmes-like deductions, and appears puzzled when Collins, overweight and suffering from gout, fails to be interested by these observations. As the story progresses, Collins becomes increasingly jealous over Dickens' success (Collins repeatedly writes that in the future Dickens's works will still be read but he dobuts his own will even be remembered). Dickens, as seen through Colllins eyes, also undergoes severe character changes as he boots his wife from his house and tries to be happy with his mistress.

    Into this mix is added the seemingly supernatural character of Drood, a mysterious, gruesome man of the east, who is a master of mesmerism (more powerful than Dickens as Dickens himself mentions). Drood first appears in the novel's opening when Dickens survives a train wreck and meets the figure hovering over bodies like an embodiment of death. Drood places Dickens under a spell and Collins tries to understand what is happening to his friend.

    Through over 800 pages of compelling prose, Simmons takes the reader to a secret London underworld, to opimum dens, to graveyards and to the London theater. Collins resorts to heavier doses of opium and ultimately, morphine injections, as he tries to comprehend who Drood is. Eventually he, too, becomes Drood's slave. As his dependence on the drug increases, so does his paranoia and he concludes that his only chance at freedom is to murder his friend, Charles Dickens.

    I read this novel in a little over a week. My interest never flagged and there were times when I was completely shocked. In fact, when I finished Chapter 47, I lowered the book and probably had a stunned look on my face because the person sitting next to me on the bus said, "What's are you reading? I'm always looking for a story that will do that to me."

    Some readers have complained about the ending, but I feel that it was exactly what the story required. Clues have been planted throughout and the ending does not seem forced or false. To say more would be to give it away. Trust me, it's worth the ride.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Drood by Dan Simmons

    Absolutely brilliant!

    Dan Simmons weaves a hell of a story with a stunningly written "Drood." Starring Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and the mysterious Edwin Drood (among other real and fictional Victorian characters) the story explores the labyrinth of the London Underworld, the friendship and collaboration of two well-known and gifted writers, the unfinished last work of Charles Dickens ("The Mystery of Edwin Drood"), and a purely fictional story of murder, mayhem, and misogyny.

    Impeccably researched and filled with fast-paced prose I honestly felt like I was transported to Victorian England as I waited for the serialization of the next Dickens's or Collins's novel to appear on the newsstands. When Simmons walks us through the dark passages that conceal the underground cemeteries, opium dens, and catacombs of London we follow along. When he reports the train wreck at Staplehurst we experience the loss of life and limb on a personal level and we feel the victim's pain. When he depicts the lives of the novelists we gain a sense of what life must have been like in their households.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced, page-turning phenomenon. You should too!

    5 out of 5 stars

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    AWESOME Book!!!!

    Wonderful plot, intriguing characters. Portrayed like a gem among stones. Not at all boring, riveting and true literature. I highly recommend. You will not be disappointed!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    If you LOVE DICKENS.....

    This contemporary book is fascinating. Simmons captures the style of the Victorian writers far better than they did themselves! It is long and luxurious, however, you could read aloud each sentence with one breath! (I have seen Dickens take half a page to finish one thought.) This book is for readers who love to escape into another time and place and love the Classics. Details and plot galore, it got a little creepy in the middle but it moved on and my nightmres lessened accordingly. I found it to be a real page turner and have ordered more Collins and Simmons books. REMEMBER, this is historical FICTION and a PERIOD piece. The ending leaves room for much discussion, however, it is a long book for a book club and not for everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    a must for fans of dickens and Collins

    It's a little slow-but really fun. If you love the books of Dickens and Wilkie Collins you will get a kick out of getting to get to "know" them through a different venue. I'm enjoying it throughly!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Read

    I have that feeling of regret that this book is finished. I thought it was a wonderful "historical fiction" which I think a lot of the other reviewers are forgetting. It is a fiction... and I loved it and highly recommend it. It was wonderfully written and definetly held my attention. I stayed up late last night to finish it because I could not put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3