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The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles…
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The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)

by Charles Dickens

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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I love Dickens more than perhaps any other author that has ever existed. The first Dickens I ever read was David Copperfield. I know from that experience, that it is in my nature to struggle with Dickens love of slow-building plots. It wasn't until almost page 400 of Copperfield that something had clicked with me, and by the end it was my favorite book of all-time.

So the downside of Edwin Drood is that it is unfinished. Not that the blame can really be laid on Dickens himself, it's not as if he just up and decided to push off this mortal coil before finishing his story. Unfortunately, he left behind the slow-build. The endless character introductions and the beginning of plot-weaving. Due to it being a mystery novel, many, MANY characters are introduced and at one time I considered drawing a chart just to keep it straight.

The afterword of my edition reflects upon other writers that have written about - or even tried to finish - Edwin Drood. The question you would ask is who was the murderer. The consensus seems to be it is John Jasper, which to me is highly unfortunate as the entire set up of Mr. Jasper is basically "this guy is a creep and he probably did it". In my dream ending, Rosa would have been the murderer - content to not be married to Edwin but not willing to let him marry anyone else either.

Overall, I had a very difficult time reading the build-up knowing there would be no payoff. I considered not finishing the book a number of times. This work is for hard-core Dickens lovers only. ( )
  sixteendays | Mar 25, 2014 |
I love Dickens. I even love Dickens when he writes in a new genre (mystery) and couldn't finish the book. The man was a master of characters and plotting, and he makes me laugh out loud. That said, I really want to know what he intended to do with his characters and the plot and mourn his early death, leaving this book hanging. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Oct 28, 2013 |
Dickens! Even when he is infuriatingly verbose, he is still eminently readable. There were so many wonderful characters -- Mr. Crisparkle, Miss Twinkleton, Durdles, Helena Landless, Mr. Grewgious, the Billiken. I was even fond of Rosa and poor Edwin, who were probably the most boring of the lot.

Is it strange that I was oddly attracted and sympathetic to John Jasper? He is only 26 years old and he's has been given guardianship over his 21 year old nephew -- who wants that kind of responsibility? Edwin has his whole life ahead of him -- an exciting career, travel abroad, and marriage to Rosa -- while poor Jasper is the music master stuck in ancient Cloisterham, hanging out with idiots like Mr. Sapsea. To add insult to injury, Edwin doesn't even appreciate Rosa. I know he's a jerk and maybe a murderer, but I couldn't help being moved: he describes his life as wasted and desolate, he knows he repulses Rosa, and he recognizes the sheer madness of what he is willing to do for her. He just made me terribly sad. Or maybe I just have sympathy for poor, misunderstood Victorian villains.

It is a bit frustrating not to know the ending. What sort of mischief were Dick Datchery and Princess Puffer up to? Will Rosa be able to tolerate a month living with Miss Twinkleton and the Billiken? Will poor Neville's name be cleared, or did he really murder Edwin? Or did Jasper? OR IS EDWIN STILL ALIVE?

But in a way I don't mind the incomplete ending because it allows me to arrange matters as I please: Edwin is alive and triumphantly returns and marries Helena. Clearly having the hots for Mr. Tartar, Rosa eventually marries him and the couple sails around the world on his yacht. Putting aside their differences (and the framing him for Edwin's murder / swearing vengeance thing), Jasper and Neville channel their negative energy and misplaced passion into starring roles in Mr. Bazzard's critically acclaimed play. Mr. Crisparkle and Mr. Grewgious continue being delightful and decide to solve mysteries together. Miss Twinkleton pens a series of responsible and sensible romance novels.
1 vote amy_marie26 | Oct 25, 2013 |
Dickens last novel is quite unfinished, yet apparently still published, read, and commented on. Edwin Drood is a young student, ready to explore the world and work on an engineering project in Egypt with his bride, Rosebud. He and Rose have been engaged since childhood - a dying wish of their parents and is being dutifully carried out by their guardians, although the two don't get along. Edwin comes to Clositerham to visit his uncle and fiancee and has a falling out with the rector's new young ward who has taken a fancy to Rosebud. And before we know it --- Edwin Drood has disappeared. . .

Most of this unfinished Victorian wordfest is spent alluding to the guilt of Drood's uncle and Guardian John Jasper who, while on this surface seems to worship his nephew, behind the scenes nurses an opium addiction as well as some dark longings. The writing is at times so overly verbose as to become skimmable. For me this was not written as tightly and as compellingly as his best darker works; i.e. Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities. And of course, it is no where near finished.

In many ways, I am surprised it was published as it clearly ends mid-story. Some of the commentary at the end re: What really is the mystery? It seems clear who killed him, but was there to have been a twist? There was never a body -- is he really dead? There is a strange detective-like character who comes to town -- who is this person? And what of the love triangles that are developing? I guess we will never know - therefore why read this book? Good question - and the only reason I did was to read the Dan Simmons novel 'Drood' as I really like that author and have a hankering for the modern gothic yarn every now and then.

Again, OK but so unfinished to give a higher rating is impossible. ( )
  jhowell | Oct 13, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cardwell, MargaretEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collins, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Filders, LukeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmusoksa, RistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paroissien, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, Sydney CastleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
I am greatly indebted to Grace Hogarth whose idea this was and who gave constant encouragement; to Andre Deutsch for his patience; and most of all to Russell Hoban who, with his characteristic generosity provided me with a most shrewd and penetrating essay that was of the utmost value.
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An ancient English Cathedral Tower?
Original manuscript: An ancient English Cathedral Town?
Quotations
A drowsy city, Cloisterham, whose inhabitants seem to suppose, with an inconsistency more strange than rare, that all its changes lie behind it, and that there are no more to come. A queer moral to derive from antiquity, yet older than any traceable antiquity.
"Is there anything new down in the crypt, Durdles?" asks John Jasper.

"Anything old, I think you mean," growls Durdles. "It ain't a spot for novelty."
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Disambiguation notice
PLEASE NOTE: The D. Case: The Truth About The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a separate book and should not be combined with The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

The D. Case is a completion of Dickens' incomplete novel, and was collaborated on by two other writers. This is not the same as Charles Dickens' book. Although Dickens' entire text is included, the additional material is more than Dickens' contribution. Please do not combine these two works.
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Book description
Who killed Edwin Drood? Was it his opium-addict uncle, John Jasper, or the brooding Neville Landless? Was it an act of jealous passion or was it prompted by a darker, more onimous evil? Or was the vanished young man actually dead at all? When Charles Dickens died in 1870, The Mystery of Edwin Drood became doubly mysterious, and questions left unanswered in his tantalizing last manuscript have tortured readers ever since.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140439269, Paperback)

Edwin Drood is contracted to marry Orphan Rosa, but they break the engagement off-and soon afterwards Edwin disappears. Is it murder? And is his jealous uncle-a sinister choirmaster with a double life and designs on Rosa-the killer? Dickens died before completing the story, leaving the mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective. In addition to its tantalizing crime, the novel also offers a characteristically Dickensian mix of the fantastical world of the imagination and a vibrantly journalistic depiction of gritty reality.

This edition features a new critical introduction that assesses the evidence to show whether the mystery can truly be solved, as well as a chronology, illustrations, appendixes (including one on opium use in the nineteenth century).

Edited with an introduction and notes by David Paroissien.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:59 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Dickens died before completing his last novel, leaving its mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to try and work out what happened next. This book contains a chronology, notes and Dickens's plans for the story.

» see all 9 descriptions

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Audible.com

Seven editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439269, 014119992X

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