Friday, February 27, 2009

Review and Blog Tour: Drood

I am pleased to be able to participate in this blog tour organized by Miriam Parker with Hatchette Book Group . For a complete list of participants please see the bottom of this post.

Author: Dan Simmons
Rating: 4.5/5
Grade: D - 18 and up (drug use, violence, disturbing images, language)

Description from the publisher:
"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."

My Thoughts:
Having long been a fan of Charles Dickens, I found this book to be extremely fascinating. Even during the first half of the book--hundreds of pages--before the action begins, which some people found to be a bit long with no real action, I was so interested and delighted to see this almost living portrait of Dickens. From what I have heard of Dickens, the pompous, energetic man Simmons paints is accurate. Though I have never read a biography of Dickens, this book has inspired me to do so. Simmons also manages some great critiques of Dickens' works, through the eyes of fellow writer Wilkie Collins. Which inspired me to read a couple of the books of Dickens which I have missed.

As far as the narrator of the book, Wilkie Collins, I am completely unfamiliar with his work, and so I cannot vouch for the authenticity of his voice as written by Dan Simmons. I am able to say, however, that I felt totally transported in time while reading this book. Simmons is very well able to pull of the phraseology and writing style of the mid-1800's, and I could easily believe that I was reading a book written at this time.

I love long books, but I have to admit when I was sent this book and saw that it could be used as a doorstop, and looked at the stack of books that are waiting for my review, I gave a little sigh. But, after beginning the book, I found myself pulled into the story very quickly, and the time and pages flew by. The book was at once thrilling, entertaining, and educational. I could very easily believe the most fantastical elements of the plot, and was not even disappointed in the rather fizzling ending. I was very impressed with Dan Simmons' writing ability, and plan to read more of his works.

Video of author on tour in Seattle:

Visit the author at his website:

See More reviews by visiting the other blog tour participants:


Toni February 27, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

Good Morning! Great Review. I too am inspired to read Dickens. I am a Dickens Neophyte!! But I do have the whole collection.... and this has prompted me to read more! Happy Blog Tour Day!!!!

avisannschild February 27, 2009 at 10:00 AM  

For an interesting look at Dickens' relationship with Nelly Ternan, I recommend The Invisible Woman: The Story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin.

Serena February 27, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

I have not yet finished this, but I wanted to stop by and say I loved your review...especially the comment about Drood being big enough to be a Doorstop!

bermudaonion February 27, 2009 at 12:31 PM  

This book pulled me in from the start too. I almost hated for it to end.

Miriam February 27, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

Great post, Lisa. I too was pulled in partially against my will. And then I couldn't stop!!!

shelburns February 27, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

I was impressed with Simmons' writing too!

Allison February 27, 2009 at 5:48 PM  

Great review...glad you liked it!!

Luanne February 27, 2009 at 5:52 PM  

I too was incredibly impressed by Simmons' research and talen!

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