Pattyrflg's Reviews > The Last Dickens

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
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U 50x66
's review
Jan 16, 2011

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Read in January, 2011

I listened to this on CD. I have been a Dickens fan for many years, but have never read his last novel "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." This book centers around Dickens' American publisher and the search for the possible ending of the novel after his death. The book moves back and forth between the time after the death of Dickens and his last tour of the United States. It was interesting to learn that writers during that period were paid very little for their books and English authors had no protection once their books were released in the United States. Any publisher could reprint the book and the author received nothing from the sale of the book. He did have some protection because he worked with an American publisher, but the other publishing houses were ruthless and would go to any means available to get their hands on the sections of his book after he sent them to the US.

It was fast moving and interesting as some of the mysteries unraveled. Some of the characters in the book were historical, such as Dickens' American publishers, his tour promoter and members of the entourage. There was really no bad language, but the story takes you into the opium dens of London. Another interesting fact from this book--When Britain was in control of India, they allowed the production of opium and directed its distribution.

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