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Drood

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  12,927 Ratings  ·  1,915 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
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Hardcover, 775 pages
Published February 9th 2009 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2009)
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Afa The Moonstone will be majorly spoiled if you haven't read it yet. The Woman in White is not discussed in much detail, although there are some hints as…moreThe Moonstone will be majorly spoiled if you haven't read it yet. The Woman in White is not discussed in much detail, although there are some hints as to the ending of the book, but they probably won't make much sense until after you have read it.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kemper
Mar 05, 2010 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
...more
Ben De Bono
Feb 16, 2009 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,
...more
Barbara Roden
Feb 14, 2009 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
Edward Lorn
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Charles Dicken, Wilkie Collins, and opium.
Shelves: hardcover
I hesitate to recommend this book because there are bound to be people who buy this doorstop, read it, hate it, and blame me for their life choices. But I also want people to read it. So, let's try this...

You, Dear Reader, will likely hate this fucking book. It has piss poor human beings being piss poor human beings. Charles Dickens was an asshat who banished the mother of his ten children. Wilkie Collins was a womanizing prick who was no doubt syphilitic (rheumatic gout my flabby ass). Women ar
...more
Libby
Jan 13, 2009 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
...more
Michael
Mar 19, 2009 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
...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
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.
Clouds

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
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Simona Bartolotta
“Unintelligible.”

This book is huge—for more reasons than just its length. I believe Dan Simmons to be an incredible writer, but he and I just don't connect, as Ilium exhaustively proved long before I found out about Drood or my obsession with anything Drood-related, (which I find very appropriate—those who have read Simmons's Drood will understand) manifested itself. I felt this novel to be too long, and not even because of the long biographical passages abut both Dickens and Collins, which I
...more
Miriam
Oct 03, 2008 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.
The Face of Your Father
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dan Simmons is an author who will remembered in nearly every genre he has written in. He changed the horror genre with his 1989 epic ‘Carrion Comfort’. He brilliantly portrayed the coming of age concept with his 1991 small town tale ‘Summer of Night’. He immortalized himself in the science-fiction genre with his mind-bending 1989 novel ‘Hyperion’. In 2007, he entered historical-fiction with his novel ‘The Terror’, now a hit show on AMC. He wrote the ultra-violent Joe Kurtz series, officially ent ...more
Robert
Aug 11, 2009 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
...more
Emily
Mar 09, 2009 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
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Jeanne
Feb 09, 2009 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
...more
Tristram
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Give the Dickens His Due!

In the end, Wilkie Collins grudgingly has to do this when, leafing through his late friend Dickens’s Bleak House, he is struck with the superior genius that lies in Dickens’s use of language. “The book was the style and the style was the man. And the man was – had been – Charles Dickens.” With these words not only Collins, but seemingly also Dan Simmons, author of the novel Drood, himself offers homage to the novelist Charles Dickens.

And yet it is a strange tribute that
...more
Trin
GAH.

This book is almost 800 pages long. I knew after the first fifty, definitely after the first hundred, that I wasn’t enjoying it, but I kept reading because 1) I’m a stubborn bitch, 2) Dan Simmons has written good books in the past, and 3) I just felt like it had to get better, right? RIGHT?

Not so much. If you want to read a book about an unlikeable narrator—in this case, supposedly Wilkie Collins—bitch about his likewise unlikeable friend/rival/whatever—supposedly Charles Dickens—for 800 pag
...more
Lori
Mar 02, 2009 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
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
...more
William
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I suspect DROOD is the Marmite of novels set in the Victorian era. Like all Simmons' recent work, it is meticulously researched, but there also lies the problem, for he cannot stop himself from showing us that research on the page - not only the bits that are pertinent to the story, but too many of the bits that are merely interesting, but flow-stopping. As in another Simmons exploration of a literary figure, that of Henry James, in THE FIFTH HEART, we get details of dinner parties, lists of fam ...more
Jennifer
Dec 15, 2014 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
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Liviu

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
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Karla
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
...more
Michael
Jan 15, 2009 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
Danielle
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
Nate
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
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
Ed [Redacted]
Nov 29, 2011 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
...more
Renee M
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
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.
SAM
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dan-simmons, 2018
I had this on my book shelf since January. Physically, this is the biggest book I've ever read. It was big, heavy and awkward to hold. It sat there like a big monster ready to consume at least a week of my time so i was always opting to read something smaller. Now I've finished i'd put Drood up there with Hyperion. It was equally as engrossing and so well written. At no point was there a lull in the story nor was i ever bored. Just a great book.
Scott Rhee
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
As a fun little pagan horror story, just in time for Halloween, with an appropriate Victorian-era London setting, "Drood" may be the ticket. I read this back in 2009, and it started me on a path of Dan Simmons novels that I have not regretted...

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 wi
...more
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Help me out 21 187 Jun 24, 2014 03:32PM  
Gothic Literature: Drood by Dan Simmons 16 56 Nov 15, 2013 03:41PM  
Should I read the Dickens' one first? 28 212 Oct 15, 2013 06:02PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Dan Simmons book about dickens? [s] 13 182 Oct 05, 2013 05:18PM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Drood di Dan Simmons 6 20 Jun 29, 2013 01:12AM  
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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
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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.” 41 likes
“When the last autumn of Dickens's life was over, he continued to work through his final winter and into spring. This is how all of us writers give away the days and years and decades of our lives in exchange for stacks of paper with scratches and squiggles on them. And when Death calls, how many of us would trade all those pages, all that squandered lifetime-worth of painfully achieved scratches and squiggles, for just one more day, one more fully lived and experienced day? And what price would we writers pay for that one extra day spent with those we ignored while we were locked away scratching and squiggling in our arrogant years of solipsistic isolation?

Would we trade all those pages for a single hour? Or all of our books for one real minute?”
24 likes
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