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….)