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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: Drood by Dan Simmons


In Dan Simmons, Drood, Charles Dickens is traveling with his secret mistress when their train is in a terrible accident. Dickens is at the height of popularity, a famous and successful writer, but when the accident happens, he changes. He begins living a kind of double life, on the one hand a successful author, and happy family man, and on the other, a frequenter of the dark seamier side of life that the slums of London offers. Drood is based upon historical details of Dickens life and Simmons uses the voice of another writer, Wilke Collens as the narrator as it tries to make sense of the last mysterious years of Dickens life.

What to say about Drood? Mr. Simmons……Dan….buddy, pal, I love you, really I do. The Terror was freakin’ awesome. Summer of Night, A Winter Haunting, Darwin’s Blade…really liked them all. Drood was, well, reaaally long. I mean reaaaaallllly loooooong. The descriptions of London, in a word, marvelous, and thank God I didn’t live back then. Dear Lord, it must have stunk to high heaven! But I just couldn’t get into this book. I tried; I put it down and came back to it countless times. I made it about halfway and I finally just gave up.

Readers everywhere just love this book, so I guess my tastes are just a bit too plebian. It was sort of like a movie that everyone loves and I don’t. I think sometimes I just have to connect in some way with at least one character before I can find something to love about a book or movie. And I just found everyone in Drood to be downright unlikable. Since I just really didn’t care who Drood was, I found all the folderol about finding him weird and pointless. So pointless, in fact, that Drood has officially joined Follow Me, Life of Pi, and The Historian as wildly popular books that I did not finish. (I’m telling you, I’m a bourgeois Philistine…I know I am….)

My rating:

9 comments:

Melanie said...

I find the concept of this book intriguing. I've always wondered what Dickens' last years were like. How long was this book, exactly?

bermudaonion said...

Sorry this didn't work for you - I loved it!

DesLily said...

sorry to hear this too since I have it in my tbr pile! but of the other books you didn't like I've only read the Historian and I did like that (not loved ) but I did enjoy it. So I am holding out hope!

Marie said...

that can happen- what are you going to do? i've had a bunch of blogger hits that i haven't liked. to each her own! :-)

Jess said...

I have been trying to listen to this on audio, but have been stuck on disc 3 for 2 months. Maybe this isn't for me as well.

Sheila DeChantal said...

The book does make me curious if I would like it or not. This is the second review I have seen on it....

Toni said...

Love your review. I think reading along with a Tour helped keep me motivated in the long book. And yet, I still found it pretty masterful. I want to read Life of Pi, and the Historian. I have heard mixed reviews on both.. but mostly good. :)

Cathy said...

I'm in the boat with you, Kelly. You are not alone! In fact this is the only review I have up on Amazon that got blasted by a Simmons fanatic! LOL

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

I barely made it through the 12 page preview in the back of The Terror - I admire you for getting so far :) It's really awesome to see a review that portrays Drood as something other than sunshine, roses & fluffy kittens of awesomeness. Thanks for that!