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3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,112 Ratings  ·  1,725 Reviews
Drood… is the name and nightmare that obsesses Charles Dickens for the last five years of his life.

On 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 vall
Hardcover, 775 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2009)
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Best Victorian Historical Fiction Set In Britain
23rd out of 178 books — 511 voters
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Best Historical Fiction
471st out of 5,618 books — 21,763 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 13, 2010 Kemper rated it really liked it
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
Jan 09, 2014 Ben De Bono rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 14, 2009 Barbara Roden rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2009 Libby rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009-misses
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
Apr 02, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
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
It's been some years since I read this book, but it's still one of those that I remember quite well because I liked the story so much. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens was never finished and this book tells about how Charles Dickens become obsessed with the mysterious being called Drood. It's a thick book, but well-written and fascinating to read. Simmons capture the atmosphere of the late 1900-centery very well. The story is dark and mysterious and keeps you captivated.

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
Dec 27, 2008 Miriam rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 01, 2009 Jeanne rated it really liked it
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
Mar 15, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily by: Sam @ MG
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
Oct 01, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
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
Nov 09, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
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
Feb 20, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I have a confession. I have never read any Charles Dickens. I have never wanted to read any Charles Dickens. I have seen several versions of A Christmas Carol. So, I can say that I know nothing of Charles Dickens. I suspect this is why I liked this book. I do not have him on some kind a pedestal only to be disappointed by his being human. I had never heard of Wilkie Collins either. I imagine he does not share that same pedestal as his dear friend Charles.

I can say that this was an amazing blend

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
Mar 04, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
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
Kyle Warner
Drood is a literary historical horror novel that revolves around the relationship between two authors: Charles Dickens and our narrator Wilkie Collins. It begins with the famed Staplehurst train accident, which Dickens survived (and would later die on the anniversary of). In this telling of the story, Dickens claims to have met a strange man (if indeed he is a man) named Drood, who seemed to steal life away from the wounded survivors of the derailment. Dickens tells these things to his friend an ...more
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
Ed [Redacted]
Dec 03, 2011 Ed [Redacted] rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Renee M
There are many things to like about this novel. The premise is interesting. The research thorough. The way factual and fictional details are brilliantly laced together. Unfortunately, it's about 300 pages too long, so all the delight I found in the writing (I'm a HUGE fan of the 19th Century novel and have read nearly everything referenced.) was beaten to a pulp before the entirely expected ending. My suggestion is that you read the first third, because it really was engaging, but skim the rest.
The book really is misnamed and misleading. "Drood" is really a novelized biography of Dickens and Collins' relationship.

While I loved the attention to atmosphere and details of both Collins' and Dickens' lives, I was burning for the book to have a point & eventually felt as disappointed as I was with another long epic with a wimpy, pointless conclusion: The Stand by Stephen King. For most of the book, I had the sense that Simmons was trying to imitate the long-winded expository style of the
I love Dan Simmons' books and have said a lot of good things about them, both on this site and in the everyday world. That said, the highest praise I can give the man is that he wrote an 800-page epistolary novel consisting of Victorian author/playwright Wilkie Collins' fictional memoirs on his relationship with Charles Dickens and their shared fascination with the mysterious creature named Drood--and I really dug it! This is no mean feat, as I have not really successfully vibed with any Victori ...more
Jan 11, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it
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
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
Coleccionista  de finales tristes
Leí este libro porque me gusta mucho Dickens y lo encontré a buen precio en el remate del auditorio.

El autor nos habla en forma de novela de la vida de Dickens, de su amistad con Wilkie Collins (otro autor que también me agrada) y de Londres.

Si bien es un buen libro, creo solo es de interés para fans de Dickens o personas interesadas en Londres.
Mar 23, 2009 Jon rated it liked it
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
this book is, above all else, weird. i love simmons' Hyperion to death, and i could still see his style throughout the book... however, however. i will out myself as a bad english major by saying i am not a fan of mr. dickens at all. i find him ponderous; ironically, the narrator of 'drood' says at one point that dickens' failing as a writer is that he has excellent characters but no skill with plot, and i can't help but agree.

i started 'drood' hoping that simmons' take on dickens would make me
Sep 02, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it
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
May 12, 2016 Kerrie rated it did not like it
Even while captive on the elliptical, I couldn't give 2 shits about continuing with this.

There are Immutable Truths Of The Universe, and one of them is this:

Dan Simmons cannot write a short book.

Of course he was imitating the long, elaborate, meandering, convoluted style of Victorian novels (at least I hope so) but I was 30% through and still waiting for The Point of the Whole Fucking Thing. Way too many side trips and scenic detours that maybe, just maybe, would payoff 300 pages down the road,
Wendy Darling
Boy did this book draaaag. It's absurdly long, was not engaging, and it's beyond annoying when characters turn to address the reader directly with winking comments, especially when it interrupts the flow/action of a supposedly moody historical piece.
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Dan Simmons 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, journalism and art.

Dan received his Master
More about Dan Simmons...

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“The beauty of that June day was almost staggering. After the wet spring, everything that could turn green had outdone itself in greenness and everything that could even dream of blooming or blossoming was in bloom and blossom. The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing.” 21 likes
“This is every writer's nightmare--the sudden breakdown of meaning in the language that sustains and supports us...” 19 likes
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