Drood: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 2011
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'I am in awe of Dan Simmons' Stephen King. 'Readers will race through the pages, drawn by the intricate plot and the proliferation of intriguing psychological puzzles' Publishers Weekly. '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, film director. 'Peopled by characters worthy of Dickens novel ... a fascinating book that adds to the speculative writings about the Victorian author's last and unfinished work. A must-read for all Dickens and Wilkie Collins admirers' Daily Mail. 'A rich and strange book... the pages fly by' Daily Telegraph. 'A manic energy that compels shock and awe' Independent. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
Dan Simmons is the award-winning author of several novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Olympos and The Terror. He lives in Colorado.
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Top Customer Reviews
"This true story shall be about my friend (or at least about the man who was once my friend) Charles Dickens and about the Staplehurst accident that took away his peace of mind, his health, and, some might whisper, his sanity."
It is 1865 and Charles Dickens is riding a train that crashes, killing nearly all aboard. As Dickens tries to help survivors, he notices a tall, thin, pale man with a 'skull like visage', wearing a heavy black cape, also among the survivors. But those the caped man is attending to seem to die despite or as a result of his attentions. This mysterious figure, who introduces himself as Drood, comes to haunt Dickens. Dickens insists that Collins accompany him into the underbelly of London, into the sewers where it is rumoured that Drood may live. It is also rumoured that Drood is responsible for many murders. But Collins begins to believe that Drood does not exist, that Dickens may himself may be Drood.
Dan Simmons' research is detailed and extensive. He has recreated the friendship and rivalry between these two esteemed authors, whose works are known and loved over 150 years later. The social life, dialogue and historical details of Victorian London are impeccably described. I love this time period and Simmons has done an amazing job bringing it to life - opium dens, lime pits, crypts, mesmerism and the slums of London. I found myself taking side trips to the computer to follow up on many pieces of knowledge presented in the novel.Read more ›
Given these challenges with which Simmons has chosen to burden himself, one would expect that Drood would be an absolute mess, but Simmons is a true master and clearly up to the task. He creates in Collins not just an erratic and often confused narrator (and he certainly is that), but a fascinating, multi-layered character with a unique and engaging voice. Collins tells his tale with an eye towards maintaining his dignity and elevating his renown, but frequently comes off as petulant, bitter and cold. Though in lesser hands, Collins would have been an irritating and unlikeable narrator, Simmons ensures that Collins' flaws are amusing and entertaining rather than annoying and abrasive. We want to hear what Simmons' Wilkie has to say because he is flawed and, of course, because the tale he tells is an intriguing one.
But what of that tale? What is the book about, exactly? Well, it's about a very real train accident in which Dickens was involved.Read more ›
Wilkie Collins is the narrator of this book, being a memoir of his life from the time of The Woman in White's end of serialization to minutes before his death. Written in an authentic Victorian sensationalist novel voice the book is incredibly brilliant. What starts off as a simple tale of Collins' life and his friendship with Dickens takes a wild turn into murder, mayhem and the supernatural. The reader is taken along for a ride through opium dens, laudanum addiction, underground catacombs and an underground city in London, cemeteries and crypts, Egyptian cults, mesmerism as a science, and well, the list is endless. More of a summary would be a disservice to future readers. You must let the plot (or should I say multiple plots) unfold for yourself.
Filled with wonderful, eccentric characters; most of whom were actual real-life figures, one becomes fascinated with them all from the highest of character to the lowest of the low. As per a Dickens novel, the characters come and go, some shining briefly as main characters only to leave rather quickly while others are around from beginning to end. The writing is superb, simply superb. The Victorian style is followed to a "T", including having certain people named Mrs. G______ and swear words printed as d___n. Never does Simmons loose beat with the style and language of original Victorian novels. I presume this book is an homage to Wilkie Collins' style, but as I have never read him I can only surmise.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I have read much of Dan Simmons' work and have enjoyed it all ... except this. Many times during the reading I wondered if I had picked up a straight history book, which says much... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert Burgess
Dan Simmons has written a compelling enough novel in Drood. The supernatural sequences, the historical backdrop, his prose, and suspense create a very readable book. Read morePublished on July 10 2011 by OpenMind
I often enjoy Dan Simmons' work, but this was a bit of a disappointment.
The story chronicles several years in the lives of the novelists Charles Dickens and Wilkie... Read more
A genuine page-turner in the purest sense, "Drood" takes as its jumping-off point the relationship between Charles Dickens and the Victorian mystery novelist Wilkie Collins,... Read morePublished on July 1 2010 by D. Stover
Dan Simmons is a masterful wordsmith. With "Drood" he has successfully re-created the gothic writing style. His prose is wonderful and flows seamlessly. Read morePublished on April 3 2010 by John M. Macphail
When I finished this book I looked around on the web for reviews. I read those of the professional reviewers and the bloggers and some from non-bloggers as well and I can tell you... Read morePublished on March 4 2010 by Myckyee
A huge book, a huge undertaking, a good bit of time ... it had better be worth it. Well, I finished this book because I started it - I'm kind of rule bound that way. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2010 by Dave and Joe