Drood

Drood

3.7 159
by Dan Simmons
     
 

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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 theSee more details below

Overview

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.

Bonus ebook included: Charles Dickens classic "The Signal-Man"- the haunting tale of a train worker tormented by ghostly predictions that is referenced in the novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Simmons (The Terror) brilliantly imagines a terrifying sequence of events as the inspiration for Dickens's last, uncompleted novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in this unsettling and complex thriller. In the course of narrowly escaping death in an 1865 train wreck and trying to rescue fellow passengers, Dickens encounters a ghoulish figure named Drood, who had apparently been traveling in a coffin. Along with his real-life novelist friend Wilkie Collins, who narrates the tale, Dickens pursues the elusive Drood, an effort that leads the pair to a nightmarish world beneath London's streets. Collins begins to wonder whether the object of their quest, if indeed the man exists, is merely a cover for his colleague's own murderous inclinations. Despite the book's length, readers will race through the pages, drawn by the intricate plot and the proliferation of intriguing psychological puzzles, which will remind many of the work of Charles Palliser and Michael Cox. 4-city author tour. (Feb.)

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Library Journal

Based on the last five years of Charles Dickens's life, this thriller, narrated by friend/rival novelist Wilkie Collins, blends biography and fiction as it explores the complicated relationship between the two writers. New York Times best-selling novelist Simmons (The Terror) leads listeners into the shadowy world of Victorian London, while Audie Award nominee Simon Prebble (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) convincingly brings Dickens and Collins to life. But though full of atmosphere and suspense, the book is overlong and includes too many subplots that distract from the main story line. With its many references to Dickens and his works, this title should especially appeal to bibliophiles and enthusiasts of Victorian literature. [Audio clip available through www.hachettebookgroup.com; the Little, Brown hc received a starred review, LJ1/09.—Ed.]—Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo


—Nancy R. Ives
Kirkus Reviews
A suspenseful and spooky descent into the last days of Charles Dickens, who expired before he could complete his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Although he doesn't quite have the hang of Victorian prose and writes instead with modern matter-of-factness, Simmons (Muse of Fire, 2008, etc.) hits on a nice conceit at the outset, giving Dickens's fellow novelist Wilkie Collins the job of narrating this long, shaggy dog of a tale. Collins, known today mostly for his mystery novel The Moonstone, if known at all, plays a kind of Salieri to Dickens's Mozart, his jealousy evident: "Charles Dickens was the literary genius and I was not." The figure of Drood first turns up at the scene of a hellish train wreck from which Dickens, 53 years old and gouty, has emerged. Drood does not cut a pretty figure, "pale eyes in their sunken sockets," muttering unintelligibly amid the gore, but he is certainly memorable. A few score pages of preliminaries later, and Dickens is absorbed in ferreting out Droodian mysteries, rattled to discover that his necromantic quarry, "healer, master of Magnetic science, Christ figure, and secret mystic" late of Egypt, has in theory been dead for many years and that assorted cannibals, ghosts and spirit rappers figure into the grisly equation. Things get weirder still as narrator Collins nurses the various psychic wounds wrought by the recognition that Dickens, though slovenly ("pulling characters out of the air . . . without a thought as to how they might serve the central purpose"), will write circles around him for as long as Dickens is alive. There are, of course, remedies for that particular problem, as readers needing a quick lesson in the chemistry of thequicklime pit will discover. A lively entertainment, reminiscent of Nicholas Meyer's Seven-Percent Solution-and a worthy rejoinder to Dickens's swan song.
Julia Keller
A spellbinding tale, bold and sly and so steeped in the filigree of this era that it seems to have been written just after a séance during which both Dickens and Wilkie Collins were present.
Chicago Tribune
writer and director of The Devil's Backbone and P Guillermo del Toro
"A dazzling journey through a crooked, gaslit labyrinth and a tenebrous portraiture of the tortured minotaurs that dwell within. Genius is the true mystery, and at its edge--the abyss."
Julia Keller - Chicago Tribune
" A spellbinding tale, bold and sly and so steeped in the filigree of this era that it seems to have been written just after a séance during which both Dickens and Wilkie Collins were present."
From the Publisher
"A dazzling journey through a crooked, gaslit labyrinth and a tenebrous portraiture of the tortured minotaurs that dwell within. Genius is the true mystery, and at its edge—the abyss."—Guillermo del Toro, writer and director of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth"

A spellbinding tale, bold and sly and so steeped in the filigree of this era that it seems to have been written just after a séance during which both Dickens and Wilkie Collins were present."—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune"

Simmons has captured to a tee the high style of late Victorian melodrama: the story line is consistently engrossing and utterly unpredictable. This rip-roaring adventure is a true page-turner."—Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316040686
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
02/09/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
83,914
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Guillermo del Toro
"A dazzling journey through a crooked, gaslit labyrinth and a tenebrous portraiture of the tortured minotaurs that dwell within. Genius is the true mystery, and at its edge-the abyss."--(Guillermo del Toro, writer and director of The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth)

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