- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted November 27, 2012
Excellent, page turningly good book and it might be the truth
The latest novel by John Paulits, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, is a fascinating and easy read. It speculates on the real reason of Dickens’ early death. Obviously, after all these years there is no easy way to determine the reason. Paulits says that he has evidence of his findings. However, the narrative of the book reads like a good detective novel, and the final unfolding is still full of tension.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book held my interest from Chapter 1 to the end. However, for some reason I did not like the writing style of the Prologue. The illness of Augusta de la Rue and Dickens’ cure took up much of the book but remained interesting. I loved the characterization of Dickens and those around him. One got a real feel for Catherine, who had far too many children to care for, and who felt frustrated by her being an inferior to Dickens in status. Where he had freedom to occupy his time in the entertainment of his choosing, it was improper for Catherine to act in the same way.
Augusta appeared to have some form of nervous or mental disorder. According to the novel, Dickens decided to work on curing her through mesmerism. The whole interplay, as she begins in her subconscious to unveil what has terrified her since the second week of her marriage to the banker Emile de la Rue, is page turningly captivating. Dickens had a good grasp of how to do the procedure, and at first Dickens and Emile de la Rue become good friends.
What is fascinating about this book is the way in which it ties in Dickens’ own novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the story around Emile and Augusta de la Rue. It seems to the reader that Paulits has solved 2 murders, one contained in the Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the other the suspicion that Dickens did not die of natural causes.
This book is thoroughly enjoyable. I love the many extra details of Dickens’ daily life that creep into this novel. It feels historically accurate, and is a written in such a way that one can hardly wait to keep on reading it. As next summer both GRAD (Great Riverside Area Dickens) and the Dickens Universe in Santa Cruz will be concentrating on the Dickens novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, it has even more appeal. It adds possibilities to Edwin Drood that are new and thought provoking. Reading The Mystery of Charles Dickens was a very pleasurable experience.
Posted August 15, 2012
This 180 "page turner" book is quite an accomplishment
This 180 "page turner" book is quite an accomplishment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Paulits has brilliantly dovetailed events of the 1840s when Dickens
performed a mesmerism "cure" while residing in Italy upon Mme
de la Rue who was having horrific nightmares--with Dickens' final novel
of 1870, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." Paulits' plot
"reveals" that Dickens was actually murdered before completing
his novel. The characterizations of Dickens in his last, debilitated
days and of his friend John Forster are masterful. Dickens fans will
certainly enjoy this unique "Drood" spin-off.