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The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  5,527 ratings  ·  431 reviews
The Mystery of Edwin Drood as completed by a loyal Dickensian. This title is cited and recommended by Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published October 22nd 1987 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1870)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cheryl
Tomalin's biography of Charles Dickens states that THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD sold well from the start reaching 50,000 copies. Dickens, sending pages of the manuscript to the printer, put a note to tell him, 'The safety of my precious child is my sole care,' an unexpected image from the most masculine of writers. DROOD has fascinated readers because the mystery of Drood's disappearance was left unfinished and unsolved, and the tone of Dicken's last work deviated from his others with hints of hyp ...more
MJ Nicholls
An incomplete Dickens novel is like a half-finished jigsaw. How do you rate a half-finished jigsaw? This fragment, being Dickens, actually comprises about 1.5/3 of the intended work, but still isn’t enough to want to invest oneself emotionally and intellectually in the characters and plot happenings (for me, anyway). In this instance, it may be wiser to skip the book and head straight for the recent BBC adaptation (much as it pains me to recommend TV over text). Still: not without its usual char ...more
Nancy Oakes
I knew at the outset that Dickens died before he had the chance to finish this novel, but I didn't realize how incredibly frustrated I was going to be because of it! It seems that he was just getting somewhere, and that there was going to be some climactic action coming up shortly, and then poof. No more book. But on the other hand, it was so good getting to that point, and as noted, I am aware that The Mystery of Edwin Drood was unfinished, so I can't say that I was all that frustrated, really. ...more
Kyle
May 13, 2013 Kyle rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are already Dickens fans
Shelves: library-books
I only partially like Dickens, so in my continuing effort to change my ways regarding Mr. Charles, I thought I would read a Dickens book that was only partially finished.

Turns out that idea actually is as bad as it sounds.

I don't really feel like writing a more involved review, so I'll keep it short and sweet: If you already like Charles Dickens, you'll probably like this book (though likely not as much as his other, more complete, work). If you're like me and are largely ambivalent towards Ch
...more
Vanessa Wu
I don't know what made me buy this book and start reading it. The first few pages were torture. I knew the novel was unfinished. At least it would be short. But why even bother at all?

Then gradually there appeared light in the murk. Uncle and nephew, Jack and Eddy, got out their nuts and started to talk about Pussy.

No one does dialogue like Dickens. It is crisp, clear, entertaining and lifelike. Even the way the men crack their nuts adds to the drama.

Dickens is completely unafraid of sentiment.
...more
Alex
This book is a complete enigma, least of all because it remained unfinished at Dickens death and no-one knows the solution to the "mystery" of Edwin Drood's death. (As much as the clues point to Jasper being the killer, I can't help feeling it would be so much more like Dickens to have Edwin return alive ...but it's not important, we'll never know!). There are flashes of the genius writer Dickens was that I know and love, particularly in the relationship between Edwin and Rosa who just can't get ...more
Ruthie Jones
Aug 22, 2014 Ruthie Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jennifer brinkmeyer
Even his unfinished novel is brilliant! Too bad Dickens died before Edwin Drood was finished, but what better way to go than to leave a captive audience hanging and wanting more! All the speculation and wondering will never reveal what the good author intended, but what is revealed is a glimpse into a novel that is and would have been purely Dickens.

"Their way lies through strange places." ~ chapter 12

"...but no trace of Edwin Drood revisited the light of the sun." ~ chapter 15
Stacy LeVine
Yes, Dickens’ …DROOD took me a whopping 10 months to read. That kicks the ass of former record-holder, MOBY DICK, which took me 4 months. The tedium of MOBY DICK results from the actual plot amounting to little more than a short story. The remainder of the nearly 600 pages is a treatise on whales. Very trying to the patience, even for an animal-hater with a bizarre affinity for cetaceans. The tedium of …DROOD is far more complicated.

I knew going into …DROOD that it had a dead author instead of a
...more
James
Four years, many speaking engagements, and a trip to America intervened between Charles Dickens' penultimate novel and his final one, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Ever since his involvement in a train accident in 1865 on his return from France, and perhaps even before, Dickens was ailing with a variety of illnesses, some of which were at least aggravated by overwork and his refusal to reduce his schedule. It was thus in 1869 that he began writing his final novel of which the first six of the origi
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I'll tell you one thing for free-----the ending sucked! :D

I don't know how to rate a book that's only half-written due to author demise. It's not my habit to read unfinished novels. I only read this so I could see Dan Simmons' jumping-off point for his recent Drood novel. Simmons used very little from Dickens' story. There's erratic behavior by an opium user, and some of the characters are similar, but Simmons' book is really his own creation. He focused more on the lives of Charles Dickens and
...more
Jim
Dickens is at the height of his power here. Almost every paragraph is exceptional. It amazes me how he can vocalize each character in their own peculiar ways. You always know who is speaking or thinking. Unfortunately, the book is unfinished, Dickens died at about the halfway point in the story.

Some people do not approve of his characters, especially the young women, who are often portrayed as very beautiful, delicate and unable to care for themselves. The heroes are strong and handsome and of
...more
Tim
Toughest book to rate, EVER. The final novel from a master — but exactly half finished! That makes a five-star rating out of the question, but can I give it four when it isn't otherwise truly great? Well, I did. Maybe I'll change the rating daily (four, three, four, three) for the rest of my life.

"The Mystery of Edwin Drood" opens with three men and a woman sprawled across an "unseemly" bed, two of the men in a stupor, the woman smoking opium, and, emerging himself from a haze, John Jasper, a ma
...more
Paul Brogan
When Ernie produced this book at the last Gentlemen's Book Club, he took me to one side before the others could muscle in on this little gem. 'Here,' he said, 'I know you'd be interested in this.'

He was right. After all, when we first formed the club, I'd expressed a particular interest in filling the Dickens-shaped hole in my education. Of course, I'd rather had in mind something like Oliver Twist or The Pickwick Papers, but this seemed to me to be as good a place to start as any.

My knowledge o
...more
Ben Loory
Mar 04, 2009 Ben Loory rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to drive themselves insane
Recommended to Ben by: dan simmons
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tweedledum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leslie
How frustrating not to know how Dickens planned to end this! I can think of at least 3 possible ways that the plot could go...

I alternately read this on my Kindle and listened to the Librivox recording, which was excellent! I particularly liked the voices for Deputy and the old woman, but all of them were good.
Rob
There is a world weariness to Dickens' final, uncompleted novel although that one of the main characters is an opium addict and most of the action takes place away from the bustle of London would perhaps underline this. Fragments and testimonies exist to hint at what the author intended and these vary little from what we would expect having read the first 300 pages - so there is a lack of dramatic tension and too many of the characters are flagged as being good or bad within a few pages of encou ...more
Ellie
It's sort of horrifying how many books I seem to read at a time. But I started this one 35 years ago & am finally finishing it (which is, I guess, more than Dickens can say!).
Ellie NYC
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

This was not an easy reading for me, specially for this unfinished Dickens book.
Mahlon
Dickens didn't finish it, so why should I have to? ;)
Anne Hawn Smith
This book was as good as it was unsatisfying. What can I expect considering that Dickens died in the middle of the book. He stopped writing, had a stroke at dinner and never regained consciousness. At first I wondered what the point would be to reading a mystery that wasn't finished, but it was much more interesting than I thought. It appears that Dickens was half-way through the book when he died, so the scene was set, the characters developed and the major clues laid down. There is fairly wide ...more
CarolineFromConcord
Well, I stuck with this over the summer because I wanted to tell you what Dickens probably intended to do with this story had he lived. I read it years ago and have just finished reading it again. There is no spoiler in saying that Jasper killed someone and thinks it is his nephew Edwin Drood. But I don't think so. I had my eye on Mr. Grewgious's clerk Bazzard because he is so self-centered and because he watched Grewgious remove the engagement ring from the safe and give it to Edwin. My theory ...more
Nathan
I had a moment of euphoria while reading this book, around the fifth/sixth chapter...one of those great moments where you realize why you love good books. If finished I think it would've made a terrific book, as it is, it's still wonderful. The edition I read included a short introduction by G.K. Chesterton that analyzed different theories for the books end, from the murderer's identity to the strange character of Mr. Datchery to the possibility that Edwin Drood is not dead at all. I was reminde ...more
Sam
This is a superb story that is packed with intrigue and conspiracy that begins innocently enough with two orphans whose parents had arranged their marriage before their deaths and their remaining relatives and friends. However it quickly becomes apparent that all is not quite as it seems, culminating in the disappearance of Edwin and the discovering of his belonging where they should not be. Later revelations hint and uncover a few possible conclusions and motives building to what would have und ...more
Linda
The story centers around a young man, Edwin Drood, who are to be married to a young girl, Rosa Bud. They aren't in love with each other, but the marriage is an arrangement by their parents. Drood's uncle, John Jasper, is also in love with Rosa. Then, one day, Drood disappears.

What is favorable is that the characters aren't one-dimensional. John Jasper is a really interesting, layered character, struggling with his opium addiction and secret, forbidden love that can never be returned. He is not c
...more
Elizabeth
OH. MY. GOODNESS. How is it possible for a book to be so enthralling, so fascinating, yet be so intrinsically frustrating? "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" was Charles Dickens's last book, and it is an exiting, complicated, romantic, dark mystery indeed - made all the more aggravating by the fact that Dickens died halfway through writing the book, leaving the mystery unsolved! The book was published episodically, so half of the book had already been published when Dickens died, leaving his millions ...more
Thom Swennes
Many artistic geniuses continue with their art to the end. Mozart, Schubert and Dickens are just a few examples of artists that left unfinished works. Charles Dickens’ last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood could have been one of his best stories, if he could have lived long enough to complete it. This tale, as all his works, is colored with a copious number of unique characters with even more inimitable names. (Pussy) Rosa Bud, Reverend Septimus Crisparkle, Neville and Helena Landless, Princess ...more
Ericli
Feb 01, 2013 Ericli rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ericli by: Ms
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J
Unfinished works of art are often sources of great mystery. Mozart's Requiem, Fitzgerald's The Love of the Last Tycoon, a whole raft of Hemingway novels foisted upon the public post-Papa, Herge's Tintin and Alph-Art, several projects of Orson Welles, the list goes on and on. The common question is, of course, how would this have been completed, which masks the more pertinent question -- have we been cheated out of what would have been a masterpiece?

There is no mystery to that question in the cas
...more
C
Ah, the unfinished novel. Charles Dickens died a few hours after writing part of this book, about half way through his plan for 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'. Edwin Drood mysteriously disappears Christmas Eve. His timepiece is found in the river. He just broke it off with his fiance, Rosa Bud, that it seems everyone in the town is in love with. Being a mystery, the murder of Edwin Drood went unsolved when Dickens died. If there even was a murder, as they never find the body of Drood. Dickens love ...more
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A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awarenes ...more
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