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Drood Cover

ISBN13: 9780316007030
ISBN10: 031600703x
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

Amber Black, June 2, 2013 (view all comments by Amber Black)
I found Drood very intriguing and enjoyed it overall, but this review is not going to make it sound that way. My actual rating is more like a 3.5, but I'm rounding up because my overall impression was more positive than negative. This is one of those books that I know I enjoyed, but I'm having a problem where I keep coming up with more and more things that irked me about it. After giving it a little while to sit in my brain, my impression is that while the overarching story was great, the page-to-page reading was not as smooth.

There are a bunch of places where this book really loses momentum, which is why it took me so long to get through it. When you've read 20 pages of the narrator stating that nothing much happened and he's in so much pain and no one likes him, there is no impetus to go on, so I'd read a chapter at a time and feel drained. The factoids on Victorian England were fascinating, but not enough to buoy the melodramatic narrator (Wilkie Collins) and his whinging. On the other hand, the last 200 pages or so were so good that I read them in a single evening. At some point it just became a real pageturner. Unfortunately, at 771 pages overall, that's not much to look forward to. There were scenic gems among the previous 571 pages, but they can be far between.

I've read plenty of historical fiction before, but never have I had such difficulty deciding what was real and what was fabricated. It can be disconcerting, but since I'm fairly certain that's what the author was going for, it was extremely well-done. It has a good balance between explicit explanation and open-ended plotting, letting the reader decide for themselves what is true and what was fantasy.

Otherwise, I had serious issues with the style. I didn't mind the 1st person, although it's not my favorite, but whenever Wilkie the narrator broke the fourth wall I wanted to roll my eyes. It was trite, ridiculous, and didn't seem to fit the rest of the novel's structure. I'd be enjoying a scene and then to be directly addressed would throw me out of it. A lot of the prose seemed to fit a Victorian writing style, but this really ruined it. Additionally, when he was describing anything untoward, it is not something a Victorian novelist would write and discussing it directly with the reader didn't make it any less ridiculous.

That leads directly into my biggest issue, which was the overall feeling of pretentiousness that I got from the book. For awhile I thought it was just the narrator and that wasn't too bad, since it just showed that the author was conveying Wilkie's personality well. Then there was the line where the plot was stated (by the narrator) to be Dickensian. He's complementing himself within his own novel. While it may be that Wilkie despises Dickens and so is actually being derisive, he almost immediately comes to the conclusion that Dickens is the best author he knows. While this is one example, the pretentious overtones became prominent in other places as well.

But again, the plot is great with some interesting twists that have plenty of impact, not being too heavily foreshadowed. With some editing this could have been a 5-star, read again, love love love, recommend-to-everyone novel. Instead this is being relegated to the "read and enjoyed somewhat" shelf of my library
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Rylee, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Rylee)
I picked this up at Borders when they were having their final farewell. I do enjoy reading Dickens' novels, like most literary people, so I was attracted to this book because of that aspect. I was not prepared for a book that was such an in depth telling.

The story starts with the Staplehurst accident on 9 of June 1865. Charles Dickens was a passenger along with his pretty, young mistress when the train derailed and fell into a ravine. When Dickens starts to help the wounded and dying, he sees a fantastic man in a theatre cape. His name is Drood and he haunts the rest of the story.

The book is written in a fashion of a memoir, the narrator being a friend and contemporary of Dickens, one Wilkie Collins. He starts as a side character to entire Drood affair, but all too soon finds himself wrapped in the centre of a world of mesmerism (hypnosis) and opium. The novel covers several years, from 1865 to Dickens' death in 1870. While we watch Dickens' age we also watch the narrator, Mr Collins, fall into his own madness.

I have to give Dan Simmons applause. He wrote a novel in the modern age using language that was common to the Victorian English age. No mean feat, let me assure you. Drood is also the first Simmons novel I have ever read and was notably impressed. I was also pleased by the level of research that went into the novel. Wilkie Collins had his share of success in the 1800's, but I had never heard of him and thought the character pure fiction. Imagine my surprise when I happened upon his most famous novel, The Moonstone, in a book shop the other day.

While a mammoth novel of over nine-hundred pages, it was well worth the read. I am so glad I picked it up that day.
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5036498014, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by 5036498014)
Draws you in slowly ... inch by inch ... daring you to believe while never knowing the truth of it all.
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1agordon, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by 1agordon)
One of the creepiest books I've read in a while...Simmons keeps turning it up a notch. The tie-ins with historical events and people is an added twist.
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Dena, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Dena)
Creepy fun good read that keeps ya hooked. Historical tie ins add to the fun.
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Product Details

Simmons, Dan
Back Bay Books
Levine, Daniel
Pinborough, Sarah
Historical - General
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Fantasy - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
The Forgotten Gods Trilogy
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Biographical
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Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Sale Books
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Religion » Christianity » Creationism

Drood Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316007030 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Drood is told from the point of view of Collins, who is thought to have created the detective genre in his serialized novel The Moonstone, the writing of which is also included in Drood. Simmons takes elements of both writers' works and creates a world in which the two were writing thinly fictionalized accounts of real events. Mesmerism, opium addiction, ancient Egyptian cults, criminal undergrounds, and more are to be found." (Read the entire Powells.com review)
"Synopsis" by , While traveling by train to London with his mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens hurtled into a disaster that changes his life forever. Was the popular author living a dark double life? Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging narrative.
"Synopsis" by , A reimagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the monsters perspective, Hyde makes a hero of a villain.
"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the Washington Post’s 5 Best Thrillers of the Year


“[A] knockout debut novel . . . As dark and twisted and alluring as the night-cloaked streets of nineteenth-century London, and this book is as much a fascinating psychological query as it is a gripping narrative.” —Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon

Summoned to life by strange potions, Hyde knows not when or how long he will have control of “the body.” When dormant, he watches Dr. Jekyll from a remove, conscious of this other, high-class life but without influence. As the experiment continues, their mutual existence is threatened, not only by the uncertainties of untested science, but also by a mysterious stalker. Hyde is being taunted—possibly framed. Girls have gone missing; someone has been killed. Who stands watching in the shadows? In the blur of this shared consciousness, can Hyde ever be confident these crimes were not committed by his hand?


“A pleasure . . . Rich in gloomy, moody atmosphere (Levine’s London has a brutal steampunk quality), and its narrator’s plight is genuinely poignant.” —New York Times Book Review

"Synopsis" by ,
The author of the “diabolically clever”* A Matter of Blood returns with another gritty supernatural thriller featuring hard-boiled homicide detective Cass Jones…

A devastating terrorist attack has crippled London. To find a perpetrator who is more than human, Special Branch turns to Detective Inspector Cass Jones.

Cass is already investigating a series of student suicides, but saying no to Special Branch isnt an option—even when hes hit with a much more personal and deeply disturbing mystery: a message left for him by his murdered brother revealing that Casss nephew was stolen at birth.

Casss investigations and his search for the boy lead him down a dark labyrinth to the shadowy Mr. Bright and his otherworldly allies—and into the middle of an ancient and deadly feud, with no less than the fate of humanity hanging in the balance…

*F. Paul Wilson

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