The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781435141544
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 03/20/2012
Series: Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 129,740
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Portsmouth, England. After a difficult childhood, he became a court reporter in London. He had early success in the writing of comic sketches, and followed up with a virtually unbroken string of highly popular and well-regarded novels, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities. These earned him unparalleled international fame. Dickens died of a stroke, following a strenuous day’s work on The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1812

Date of Death:

June 18, 1870

Place of Birth:

Portsmouth, England

Place of Death:

Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Education:

Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

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The mystery of Edwin Drood 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Two years ago, my school put the musical versoin of it on. It was really cool. Each night the audience choose the ending or what happens next. I fell in love with the story so I bought the book and read it cover to cover. You sohuld read it. It is fun to think and pretend what happens after the writing stops. What was the ending going to be? *****************
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dickens's last, half finished novel. This is reasonably fast paced compared to some of the author's works. It is a great shame he died before this could be completed as the elements of a good mystery are there and it leaves off at what feels like the threshold of a fairly significant revelation. As ever, some colourful characters and great language. But why is it written in the present tense?Other stories in this collection not yet read.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I knew at the outset that Dickens died before he had the chance to finish this novel, but I didn't realize how incredibly eager I was going to be to have it solved! It seems that he was just getting somewhere, and that there was going to be some climactic action coming up shortly, and then poof. No more book. But on the other hand, it was so good getting to that point, and as noted, I am aware that The Mystery of Edwin Drood was unfinished, so I can't say that I was all that frustrated, really. It's the getting to the end (or the leave-off point) that mattered, and it was a great ride. I won't go over the story/plot here; it is very well known. Movies have been made; I believe there was a stage production or two as well, and there are (as I saw written somewhere) entire websites and pundits devoted to solving the mystery.This edition has a preface by Peter Ackroyd, a Dickens biographer, and an appendix by GK Chesterton. Chesterton provides several theories about what may have followed if Dickens had been alive to finish his work. One more thing: I read this on the heels of Dan Simmons' most excellent novel "Drood," and it puts a lot into perspective.I would definitely recommend it -- if you MUST have an ending, then don't read it, but as I said above...the getting there is most of the fun. Most excellent.
Laurenbdavis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dickens died before he finished it, and the female lead is described in terms that would make any feminist snarl, however, even with those frustrations, it's a heck of a read. Dickens descriptions of the opium addicts alone are worth the book's effort. It's all classic Dickens - the names, "Rosa Bud," (with the unfortunate nickname of "Pussy") "Grewgious," "Rev. Crisparkle," "Durdles," "Dick Datchery," "Princess Puffer" (the opium seller), and a boy known as Deputy who is consistently described as "a hideous boy. There is allusion to class prejudice, as well as racial prejudice, and Dickens' famous sense of injustice is well evident. Suspenseful and at times laugh-out-loud funny, I recommend it. However, if the idea of reading an unfinished novel is discouraging, the intrigued reader can find some hints as to the murderer's identity in the work of Dicken's biographer and friend, John Forster, (The Life of Charles Dickens, 1876 in two volume II: p. 451-452). Forster tells of correspondence he received on the subject from Dickens:"...was to be that of the murder of a nephew by his uncle; the originality of which was to consist in the review of the murderer's career by himself at the close, when its temptations were to be dwelt upon as if, not he the culprit, but some other man, were the tempted. The last chapters were to be written in the condemned cell, to which his wickedness, all elaborately elicited from him as if told of another, had brought him. Discovery by the murderer of the utter needlessness of the murder for its object, was to follow hard upon commission of the deed; but all discovery of the murderer was to be baffled till towards the close, when, by means of a gold ring which had resisted the corrosive effects of the lime into which he had thrown the body, not only the person murdered was to be identified but the locality of the crime and the man who committed it. So much was told to me before any of the book was written; and it will be recollected that the ring, taken by Drood to be given to his betrothed only if their engagement went on, was brought away with him from their last interview. Rosa was to marry Tartar, and Crisparkle the sister of Landless, who was himself, I think, to have perished in assisting Tartar finally to unmask and seize the murderer."
upstairsgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you'd told me 20 years ago I'd find a Dickens that I didn't want to end, I'd have laughed myself sick, but here it is. Dickens's final, unfinished novel centers around the mysterious disappearance of a young man who's recently both broken up with his fiance and fought with one of her other admirers. The Penguin Classics edition has extensive introductory material and appendices that go into exhaustive detail about what Dickens's plans for the novel are known to have been, using his own notes and reports of conversations he had with his illustrator. There's a helpful appendix on opium usage in England as well that explains some of what Dickens is likely to have been thinking about when creating the character of Jasper Johns. The half-novel itself is, as always, very funny and very tightly plotted; it's a pity that Dickens did not live long enough to finish the story, because it would undoubtedly have been excellent, and I'd love to know how he meant to tie all of the pieces of the mystery together in the end. (The extra material in the Penguin edition hints at how this might have been done; as usual I wish I'd left the introductory material for after I read the story, as Penguin introductions tend to give away too much.)
jwhenderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Four years, many speaking engagements, and a trip to America intervened between Charles Dickens' penultimate novel and his final one, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.Ever since his involvement in a train accident in 1865 on his return from France, and perhaps even before, Dickens was ailing with a variety of illnesses, some of which were at least aggravated by overwork and his refusal to reduce his schedule. It was thus in 1869 that he began writing his final novel of which the first six of the originally intended twelve monthly parts were published in 1870. He died in June of that year with the mystery unfinished.Edwin Drood begins in an opium den and the air of mystery that surrounds that venue grows as the story progresses. At the center of the story is Edwin Drood, his fiancee Rosa Budd, his uncle John Jasper, Canon Crisparkle, and the Landless twins, with others to numerous (as was Dickens' way) to mention. The style is fresh and new for Dickens, especially when contrasted with the heavier more convoluted style of Our Mutual Friend which immediately preceded it. The first half of the story introduces conflict and doubt for the young Drood and we see glimmers of danger headed his way in the remaining finished sections. Although incomplete, the novel has appeal and is well worth reading.
jasonlf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once again presumptuous to rate the book. But even by Dickens' standards this would merit five stars. Perhaps the biggest frustration is the title, wishing to know whether or not it is actually a mystery -- with my reasonably strong money being on the fact that it is not. I think it was Our Mutual Friend with the preface saying something like don't congratulate yourself on solving the mystery -- it's not supposed to be one. Either way, John Jasper is a worthwhile addition to the canon of characters, as are about a half dozen others in this novel that begins and essentially ends in an opium den.
samfsmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Dickens¿ last unfinished novel. My cunning plan is to read this, then read some of the many novels that attempt to finish the novel for Dickens, or deal with the end of Dickens life. Any excuse to read more books!Actually, even though the novel is unfinished, it¿s a satisfying read. Edwin Drood disappears. He is a young, happy-go-lucky, man who was engaged in an arranged marriage. Just as Edwin and his fiance break off their engagement, he disappears. Public suspicion falls on a friend of his, another young man. But all clues tend to point to his uncle Jasper, who seems obsessed with Edwin¿s fiance. Jasper is also a secret opium addict, smoking it in the opening scene in a den in London.No one knows where Dickens intended to take the novel. Is Edwin really dead? Or has he just disappeared because of the termination of his engagement? We¿ll never know, but that hasn¿t stopped other writers from speculating.
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