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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  9,536 ratings  ·  1,578 reviews
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 ni
Hardcover, 775 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2009)
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Books for 2009
96th out of 578 books — 2,388 voters
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Best Historical Fiction
434th out of 4,626 books — 18,290 voters

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Hello, Dear Readers. Wilkie Collins here. In case you’re unfamiliar with me, I was a best selling English novelist during the mid-1800s, and a friend and frequent collaborator with Charles Dickens. I’m also the narrator of this new novel Drood despite the fact that this Dan Simmons fellow is trying to claim the credit when it clearly states that I left this manuscript to be published one-hundred and twenty-five years after my death.

Something I should confess immediately is that I use laudanum an
Ben De Bono
If ever there was a book that's impossible to review (at least without major spoilers) it's this one. So instead of reviewing it, let me say a few things to anyone who might be thinking of reading it.

First off, don't approach this like a horror novel. It's not in the sense that Carrion Comfort, Summer of Night or even The Terror were horror novels. There are elements of horror in it but if you are expecting an intense fright fest you'll probably be disappointed. This is a novel about obsession,
Barbara Roden
Two years ago I read Dan Simmons's The Terror in pretty much one go, it was that good and gripping. It expertly combined several areas in which I'm interested and knowledgeable - Victorian Arctic exploration, the Franklin expedition, and supernatural fiction - and I was thrilled when I found out that his next book, Drood, promised more of the same: a doorstopper of a book modeled after the Victorian melodramas I enjoy, featuring two real-life authors whose life and works I know a lot about (Char ...more
I would have imagined that a seasoned novelist of big books steeped in historical context might have avoided the beginner's error of forgoing actual narrative for HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF EXPOSITION, but I would have been wrong.

Apparently, Mr. Simmons could not forgo even one of the trifling matters of Dickensiana he picked up in the course of his research, and furthermore, he clearly couldn't be bothered to find ways to include these details dramatically.

This is a big, baggy mess of a thing, slack
In the same way that Stephen King began to branch out of the horror genre, so it appears is Dan Simmons branching out of the sci-fi and fantasy nook. Two years ago, he blended a historic novel with elements of horror and sci-fi for "The Terror." Now he blends together historical elements with the dark trappings of a turn of the century horror novel in "Drood."

Five years before his death, author Charles Dickens was involved in a train wreck. "Drood" begins the story with that wreck and introduces

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my GIFTS AND GUILTY list.

Regardless of how many books are already queued patiently on my reading list, unexpected gifts and guilt-trips will always see unplanned additions muscling their way in at the front.

Dan Simmons is a man of many styles. His most acclaim
Overall, Drood is well paced, well researched, and a very enjoyable book. The opening lines instantly became some of my favorites. Buying the novel purely on the recommendation of on of my favorite bookstores, I hadn't read the jacket cover, so I didn't realize that Wilkie Collins is the narrator. I admit, I gave a rather embarrassing squeal of delight when I saw his name.

But even if the names Collins, Dickens, or Simmons are completely unknown to you, the book still holds up on its own. The ope
This is the first book I've read by Dan Simmons but it certainly won't be the last. I was drawn to this particular book because of my love for the works of Charles Dickens, but I knew I had to read it after attending a book signing where Mr. Simmons talked about the book and its "unreliable" narrator, Wilkie Collins. I was not disappointed!

The richness and depth of Mr. Simmons research and prose is exquisite. It is the sort of book one must immerse one's self into. I nearly felt the stays of my
A galloping, epic saga of the mysterious friendship between Wilike Collins and Charles Dickens. Part literary history and party fantastic imagination, it was a joy to read. I savored it for a while--it's not one to read in a night or a week. But enjoyed every moment I spent with it. Stick with this one and you will be glad you did.
Lori (Hellian)
I finished this several weeks ago, and it's stuck with me so much that I feel compelled to review even if it will be a brief one. Simmons takes is back to the Victorian age, and he does so with such great detail that I felt that I traveled back in time a bit. The first half is a bit slow, and yet I eagerly returned to it in what free time I had. Simmons is developing the characters until they are full dimensional. The narrator, Wilkie Collins, froths and rages about the injustices cast on him by ...more
This is an ambitious book, even by Simmons' standard - indeed, probably by anyone's standard. Like most books that try to acheive so much, it is flawed, but by setting the sights to such a long range Simmons fires his book so far ahead of the majority of perfectly realised but narrowly circumscribed books that he can be forgiven for not quite hitting the target. So what was he aiming for and how close did he get?

Drood is written as if it is a memoir written by Wilkie Collins and then sealed unti
I will preface this review with the admission that I am not a large Dickens or Wilkie Collins fan. I have read A Tale of Two Cities and know of many other Dickens works (including, of course, A Christmas Carol), but do not have much exposure beyond that. I suggest that readers first be familiar with Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend and The Pickwick Papers by Dickens and The Woman In White and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins in order to follow the story in a more in-depth way, as these works are co ...more
Drood is the epic story of the friendship and rivalry of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as told from the point of view of Collins. More than that it is either the story of an encounter with the Most successful and least known serial murderer in London's history or of Collins' opium fueled decent into madness.

This book is written from the 1st person POV of Wilkie Collins, a friend of "The Inimitable" Charles Dickens and a fellow novelist. I don't know all that much about Collins, but Dickens
Nancy Oakes
As he was returning from France, taking the train back home, Charles Dickens was involved in a railway accident in which his train derailed near Staplehurst. There were many deaths, many injuries, but Dickens and party came through pretty much unscathed. And thus this book begins, narrated by a friend and colleague of Dickens, Wilkie Collins, author of such famous works as The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The book begins in 1865 and ends in 1870.

I am not going to go over the plot, because e
I should start off by saying that I loved The Terror. I had no issues with the length of the novel; the story was completely compelling. If Drood had any of the dramatic tension present in Simmons' previous book, I would have finished it with aplomb; sadly, for me it had NO dramatic tension. My friend Jeff noted in his review that a good chunk of this book could have been excised at the editorial level and I now have to agree. I made it through 350 pages and what little Simmons would toss me in ...more

Having been very fortunate to have an arc pass through my hands many months before publication, I want to say that Drood is a literary masterpiece that may enshrine Mr. Simmons as one of the top US writers of the present.

The last 5 years of Charles Dickens' life as told in a secret journal by younger disciple, friend and secret rival Wilkie Collins after the tragic train accident that turned Dickens life upside down.

Obsession, artistic creation, addiction and the dark recesses of the human mi
Although I have a lot of criticism about Dan Simmons’ new book, “Drood,” I have to say, first and foremost, that I enjoyed this book and I commend the author for his boldness and for his artistry. “Drood” is a well-researched book that boldly re-imagines and fictionalizes the final years in the lives of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, who are being preyed upon by an otherworldly creature that goes by the name of Drood. Simmons mixes history, biography, and fantasy to tell a fascinating and g ...more
Ben Babcock
Maybe I'm just not cut out for Dan Simmons' particular brand of mysticism. I didn't like the supernatural bent of The Terror and didn't like the supernatural bent of this book. What appears to be a suspenseful Dickensian supernatural mystery is actually, beneath the surface, an incredibly long and dull tour of Victorian London and opium dreams.

The jacket copy of this edition misconstrues the book's nature, at least in my opinion. When I borrowed this book, I thought I was getting a supernatural
Well, this baby partly explains why I haven't been keeping up with Nikki in number of titles, since it weighs in at just shy of 800 pages. I'm a great fan of Charles Dickens and have read several biographies, so I'm able to say that this novelization of his last five years is expert at accurately incorporating every detail of what is known about his life. It is also a quite plausible portrayal of Dickens himself. It purports to have been written by Wilkie Collins, Dickens' protege, partner, riva ...more
May 12, 2009 Libby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Suzanne Jacobs, Shauna
This was the first book by Dan Simmons I have read. This is going to be difficult for me to review because I have mixed feelings about it. Halfway through the book, I assumed I would be giving this a full five-stars. I really enjoyed it and it had quite a few scenes that were so creepy I would be awake at 3am still reading. I don't want to say too much and ruin them, but those scenes were very very well done. I did feel this book was a wee bit too long, though. I felt like it got to a point and ...more
Heather (Capricious Reader)
From the moment I heard about Drood, I knew I had to read it. I love Charles Dickens well enough, but I adore Wilkie Collins. To have both of them, fictionalized in all their glory… well it was a no-brainer. I knew I had to read it. So thank you Miriam at Little, Brown, for sending it to me!

From the very beginning, Simmons immerses the reader in 19th Century England. It’s all very English, very Victorian, and you just know you are in for a finely crafted tale. Simmons knows exactly what he’s doi
Yes, as is many Simmons novel, Drood tends to be overlong and the author seems to be in love with his ability to research. Yet it is again a fine novel by the always interesting Simmons. The narrator is this book is Wilkie Collins, the 19th century author of The Woman In White and The Moonstone. He leaves this memoir to be read one hundred years after his death about the last years of Charles Dickens and their obsession regarding a man named Drood. Where this novel leads is the strength of this ...more
Christine Nolfi
A delicious blend of the macabre underbelly of London and literary history of Charles Dickens last years. Highly recommended.
Quite the ambitious project for Dan Simmons, his massive novel Drood blends scatterings of research and dark fantasy to give the book both a historical Victorian and Gothic, unearthly feel. Taking quite a scenic route to the major conflicts (which I didn’t mind too much), the novel focuses on sensationalist writer Wilkie Collins and novelist extraordinaire Charles Dickens final years together. A key element is the book is simply the rivalry between the two novelists. Told from Collins’ point of ...more
Scott Rhee
Part biography, part literary criticism, part Victorian mystery, and part psychological thriller, Dan Simmons's epic novel "Drood" is all-wonderful and amazing.

Like his last novel, "The Terror", Simmons incorporates actual documented historical events with extrapolated what-ifs that at first appear to be outrageous but, as the story progresses, begin to sound surprisingly plausible and believable.

Drood begins with a horrific railcar accident in Staplehurst, England in the late 1800s. Among the
as an author that writes well, i believe simmons fails in this novel because he was too in love with his research and couldn't resist cramming it in at all occasions. the characters are well-drawn but they are based on real-life people, like dickens and wilkie collins but i don't buy the characterizations. they seemed like people wearing famous literary masks. i was led to believe that this book would shed some light on the mystery of edwin drood, the unfinished dickens novel that it was inspire ...more
When I finished this book I looked around on the web for reviews. I read those of the professional reviewers and the bloggers and some from non-bloggers as well and I can tell you there’s quite a range of opinions. Some thought it too long and could use a strong editorial hand. Others said that the author fell victim to the habit of giving too much detail about the particular time period (in Drood’s case, Victorian England) as though every detail the author discovered during his research needed ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
"Do you eat human flesh at least once a month?" YEOW! :0
Okay, so don't try to eat while reading this book.

Really good story. Hybrid of a book: mystery/historical(hysterical?)fiction/horror
Well-researched, well-told, intriguing, creepy. I found myself wishing I'd read Dickens' unfinished Drood novel, but I'll be getting to it soon. Hopefully before I forget what I read in this one.

Makes you wonder how much of the stuff about Collins and Dickens is actually true. I'm assuming Collins really was

I really wanted to like this book. On paper it sounds like the book equivalent of the perfect first date. Mysteries and Victorian literature marry together so well and from the moment I opened the first few pages, I was filled with hopes and dreams of the amazing evenings we would spend together.

Alas, it was not to be.

This book could have been amazing and, by rights, should have been, yet is constantly let down by the sheer amount of facts and details thrown in at every angle. I wanted to get en

Dan Simmons' latest work of historical fiction, "Drood", is nothing short of a sheer masterpiece. To put it simply, it is everything that a gothic/horror novel should strive to be.

The novel is structured as a manuscript of the late novelist Wilkie Collins. Collins' narrative documents his friendship(and secret rivalry) with Charles Dickens in the final years of the latter authors' life. It revolves around the real-life event of Dickens surviving a horrific train wreck five years prior to his dea
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Help me out 21 151 Jun 24, 2014 03:32PM  
Gothic Literature: Drood by Dan Simmons 16 38 Nov 15, 2013 03:41PM  
Should I read the Dickens' one first? 28 192 Oct 15, 2013 06:02PM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Drood di Dan Simmons 6 17 Jun 29, 2013 01:12AM  
  • Mr. Timothy
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  • Mister Slaughter (Matthew Corbett, #3)
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  • The Minutes of the Lazarus Club
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  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
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  • Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II
  • Hide Me Among the Graves
  • Angelica
  • Emperor (Time's Tapestry, #1)
  • The Devil's Company (Benjamin Weaver, #3)
  • Texas by the Tail
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Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, ...more
More about Dan Simmons...
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2) The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4) Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3) The Terror

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“This is every writer's nightmare--the sudden breakdown of meaning in the language that sustains and supports us...” 14 likes
“...speaking as a novelist myself, I know that members of our profession live in our imaginations as much or more as we inhabit what people call 'the real world'...” 12 likes
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