By Dan Simmons
Little, Brown and Company
Did Not Finish
I was looking forward to reading Drood. I thought The Terror was fabulous and when I got my hands on this one I was so excited.
Unfortunately, I did not finish this book. I wanted to. I tried to. It just didn’t happen. It went back to the library without completion of the final page.
Normally, I love a long book and this one, at 771 pages, checked that box for me. I have to admit that I really like Simmons’ writing style. It flows easily and he creates some magnificent characters. In this book, I couldn’t get into it. There is one small thing that annoyed me and I think this is what stopped me on this one — the characters go off on tangents. They will be talking about one thing and then remember something else, talk about it for a few pages, pull an anyway, and move you back to the story. I think there is a place for this. We all need important background information, but something here threw me off. Maybe I’ll try it again next year and see how I feel then.
For anyone interested, here is the information from the cover:
Drood is the name and nightmare that obsesses Charles Dickens for the last five years of his life.
One June 9, 1865, Dickens and his mistress are secretly returning to London, when their express train hurtles over a gap in a trestle. All of the first-class carriages except the one carrying Dickens are smashed to bits in the valley below. When Dickens descends into that valley to comfort the dead and dying, his life will be changed forever. And at the core of that ensuing five-year nightmare is…Drood.
Drood…the name that Dickens whispers to his friend Wilkie Collins. A laudanum addict and lesser novelist, Collins flouts Victorian sensibilities by living with one mistress while having a child with another, but he may be the only man on Earth with whom Dickens can share the secret of …Drood.
Increasingly obsessed with crypts, cemeteries, and the precise length of time it would take for a corpse to dissolve in a lime pit, Dickens ceases writing for four years and wanders the worst slums and catacombs of London at night while staging public reading during the day, gruesome readings that leave this audience horrified. Finally he begins writing what would have been the world’s first great mystery masterpiece, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, only to be interrupted forever by…Drood.