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Drood by Dan Simmons
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Drood

by Dan Simmons

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4081382,580 (3.5)241
  1. 40
    The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (Jannes, amweb)
    Jannes: For obvious reasons. If you enjoyed Drood you might as well give it a try.
  2. 41
    The Alienist by Caleb Carr (bnbookgirl)
  3. 30
    What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both are Gothic 'gaslight' thrillers featuring famous authors as protagonists. Drood is a macabre story of what ostensibly inspired Dickens to write his last unfinished novella (according to his ever-unreliable friend Wilkie Collins). What Alice Knew features the James siblings (psychologist William, author Henry and their invalid sister) as they attempt to puzzle out who is responsible for the Ripper murders.… (more)
  4. 20
    The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl (suzecate)
    suzecate: They're historical mystery/thriller set in Victorian England and involving Charles Dickens.
  5. 31
    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox (shellibrary)
    shellibrary: This book has a very similar atmosphere and feel.
  6. 10
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Reysbro)
    Reysbro: Down below London...a fantasy tale taking place in London's Underworld / Undertown. Similar to the beginning of Drood with the descent beneath London's streets.
  7. 11
    The Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  8. 00
    The Quincunx by Charles Palliser (SheReadsNovels)
    SheReadsNovels: This book is also set in the 19th century and written in the style of Charles Dickens or Wilkie Collins.
  9. 11
    Mister Slaughter by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  10. 01
    The D. Case: Or The Truth About The Mystery Of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (ehines)
  11. 01
    Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  12. 01
    The Crook Factory by Dan Simmons (Runkst)
    Runkst: In both books, Simmons fictionalizes a famous writer and fits his story around the historical facts. (Drood: Charles Dickens, The Crook Factory: Ernest Hemingway)
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» See also 241 mentions

English (135)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All (141)
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
Interesting take on the last days of Dickens. Collins is an interesting fellow. Addicted to opium, jealous, and in pain. It seems as if all the accomplishments of his life ended in vain. The ending is quite open to speculation. Was it all imagined or not? Willkie does become quite depsicable. But he is right about one thing. In the far future many of us
have never heard of him. But now that I have, I will pick up some of his work. I made it a point to read "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" before reading this. And I am glad that I did. Overall a good book, long and drawn out. It took some stamina to get through. But hey... if you can read something like Melmoth the Wanderer or The Count of Monte Cristo then this should be a piece of cake. I found alot of similarities with Melmoth. ( )
  Joe73 | May 3, 2018 |
This book is well written, although not without its flaws. Dan Simmons occasionally has a tendency to be a little too pleased with himself when it comes to historical research, which results in a some additional unnecessary exposition that feels like it is there just to prove that Simmons knows the information that is being shared.

In the opening of the book, the narrator (a fictionalized Wilkie Collins) asks a question that reads like the most ridiculous example of some sort of sensationalist thesis paper. Honestly, I almost set the book down then, and probably would have if I hadn't had so many previous good experiences with Simmons' books. Also, the end was quite a disappointment. It isn't that it comes out of nowhere, as the premise is set up clearly in the preceding narrative, just that it feels cheap. It's as if Simmons had developed this fantastic story, but couldn't think of any other way of making it gel with recorded history. Others may disagree with me, but I found it to be quite a let down.

The shame of all this is that the story is fantastic. I was deeply engrossed throughout the course of the novel, and the characters were well drawn and fascinating. This is a great tale that begins and ends badly, and as such, cripples the piece as a whole. I want to love this book: the characters, atmosphere and attention to detail are compelling. However, I have a hard time recommending it to my friends for the flaws above.

If you are looking to try out a piece of historical fiction from Dan Simmons, try The Crook Factory, which I whole-heartedly loved. ( )
  andrlik | Apr 24, 2018 |
I really like most of Dan Simmons' work, but I don't know what to make of this one. Is it a historical fiction of the last few years of Charles Dickens' life, as told by his opium-addicted, friend and competitor Wilkie Collins with some fantasy aspects added? Is it meant to be more fiction than fantasy, almost entirely the opium dreams of Mr. Collins? It is really hard to tell. I thought this was well written and interesting, but way too long. I thought this should have been about 250 pages, not 750.
Good, but I'm really not sure what to think of it. Ultimately, it was too long.

if you haven't read Dan Simmons' work before, don't start with this one. Try the Hyperion series or Abominable. ( )
  Karlstar | Apr 6, 2018 |
This was far and away the creepiest book I've read (listened to) EVER. There were times when I was overjoyed to get out of the car so I could stop listening to this for a while. And yes, I consider that a good thing. The alternative history part of it was especially fun, as this book turns both Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens into less than admirable human beings. Just fantastic. The reader, John Lee, was also the finest audiobook reader I've heard in a long time, too (other than the woman who reads the Flavia de Luce books, of course). So...stinking...freaky! The only complaint is that I think it dragged on a little TOO long. But I'm still giving it 5 stars. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
From the moment I heard about Drood, I knew I had to read it. I love Charles Dickens well enough, but I adore Wilkie Collins. To have both of them, fictionalized in all their glory… well it was a no-brainer. I knew I had to read it. So thank you Miriam at Little, Brown, for sending it to me!

From the very beginning, Simmons immerses the reader in 19th Century England. It’s all very English, very Victorian, and you just know you are in for a finely crafted tale. Simmons knows exactly what he’s doing too, as he sets the stage for the mystery and suspense that builds, and builds, and builds over the many pages to the ending. Dark and stormy nights; opium dens complete with Chinese kings; dodgy (and gigantic) detectives; the fine ‘art’ of mesmerism; all and more are intricately woven into this tale of two men; once friends, collaborators, good-natured competitors and now bitter rivals.

As the tale progresses, the reader is introduced to a new, dark, dangerous London, complete with nameless Wild Boys, retched sewers, dark Cathedrals, graveyards, and the menacing, mysterious Drood. The novel is very Dickensian, with many cliffhangers and foreshadowing of the doom to come. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, the rest of this gigantic novel moves by quickly as you are caught up by the gripping and enthralling tale. Simmons has clearly done his research. I almost felt as if I were reading Collins’s (the narrator) own journal as he divulged the deepest, darkest secrets of his soul. Simmons does not always paint a flattering portrait of Collins or Dickens. Collins comes out as a drug-addicted madman who sees ghosts and his doppelganger on a regular basis. Dickens is a spoiled, self-righteous brat who discards his wife (and mother of his nine children) to have an affair with a woman many, many years his junior. However, it all merely adds up to make these two men’s lives all the more fascinating and their rivalry stuff of legend.

By the end, I hated to see it all come to a close. Despite their flaws, I had a new appreciation for Dickens (who has never been a particular favorite of mine) and I had forgiven Simmons for creating in Collins such an outrageous and ridiculous fanatic. The ending, while not what I was expecting (especially with a particularly good fake-out), was compelling and delightful and dead entertaining. ( )
  capriciousreader | Mar 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
Se documentant énormément, lisant et relisant les œuvres des deux auteurs anglais, Simmons avoue s'être immergé dans son sujet jusqu'à ressentir le lien douloureux qui unissait les deux écrivains. Drood serait-il le roman le plus personnel de son auteur ? Lorsqu'on lui pose la question, Dan Simmons reste silencieux un long moment puis finit par acquiescer. Avec une lueur de fierté dans le regard.
 
L’essentiel ne tient pas à l’enquête à la Sherlock Holmes sur Drood, avec un passage gratiné où les quinquagénaires Dickens et Collins traînent leurs guêtres dans un semblant d’Achéron nauséabond et où le second s’endort malgré tout. L’enjeu du livre passe par la voix nasillarde et risible de Collins, celle de l’auteur détruite par le laudanum et les visions, celle de l’envieux devant le génial. L’histoire fourmille de détails, le ton tient de l’époque. Et Drood force Dickens, comme Salieri Mozart, à lui écrire un roman. Drood, comme une métaphore du démon de l’écrivain.
 
"Despite the odd mistake that only an American could make (describing Sir Walter Scott as “an English writer”, for instance), Simmons has taken great pains to make his backdrop of everyday Victorian life convincing. This is a rich and strange book, and the pages fly by."
 
"Drood, though trying the reader's patience (never mind credulity) in sight of its 800th page, wears its research lightly and is written with genuine verve."
added by bookfitz | editThe Guardian, DJ Taylor (Mar 21, 2009)
 
Simmons's novel is a long, overweight gothic fantasy, stuffed with the fruits of its author's research. The fictional Dickens, Collins and their world do not quite correspond with historical reality. But the story has a manic energy that compels shock and awe, if not belief. The closer it comes to fantasy, the better it becomes.
 
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Epigraph
"What brought good Wilkie's genius nigh perdition? Some demon whispered - 'Wilkie! Have a mission.' " - A.C. Swinburne, Fortnightly Review, Nov., 1889
Dedication
First words
My name is Wilkie Collins, and my guess, since I plan to delay publication of this document for at least a century and a quarter beyond the date of my demise, is that you do not recognise my name.
Quotations
"Drood levitated."
All those thousands upon thousands of days and nights of writing--writing through unspeakable pain and intolerable loneliness and in utter dread--and you...Reader...have not read or been in the audience for any one of them.

To hell with it. To hell with you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316007021, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens' life, "Drood" explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to his final, unfinished work: "The Mystery of Edwin Drood".

» see all 8 descriptions

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