Drood Drood discussion


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Should I read the Dickens' one first?

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message 1: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Hello people,

I'm eager to read this book. I've managed to remain plot-free which is the way I like to start books; I've barely glossed over the stars to know that I won't be dissapointed.

But now I'm doubting! Should I read the Dickens' one first to get the most from this one? Or, in the contrary, will it be OK to read Simmons first and then, if I feel like it, go for the classic? I'm leaning to this second option, but I would want to know the opinion of someone who has read both...

Thanks for your feedback!


Kate Hi there! I started reading both the Simmons and the Dickens concurrently, reading back and forth fifty pages apiece, and eventually got pulled into the Simmons and abandoned the Dickens for now. However I was most of the way through the Dickens (about 50 pages to go) when I started to concentrate solely on the Simmons...in my opinion, I'm glad that I've read most of the Dickens before/while reading the Simmons so that I have some base and some recognition within the Simmons, and I think I'm probably getting more out of the Simmons for having read most of the Dickens. That said, I think that everyone can enjoy the Simmons without needing to read the Dickens.

I'm curious as to what other people think about this too, since I obviously wrestled with the same question! I can't help but to wonder that if a lot of the readers are regular readers of Simmons and would have picked up the book without reading the Dickens, and what they might think of it thataway.

Either way, I'm enjoying it immensely (and I say that with no reservations despite the fact that it's really, really creepy!)


Kate Oh, and I should add that I've never read any Wilkie Collins, but now definitely need to.


message 4: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Thanks, Kate!

Awwww I can't wait to get started! I think I'm going to go for the big trip: Simmons-Dickens-Simmons. I just love too much being completely ignorant of the plot ahead, and I like Simmons' writing too much to risk spoiling even a bit of this pleasure. Also, never read Dickens before, so I think it will be a good chance to get started while I wait for the Spanish edition of Drood for the 2nd read.

(Intrigued about the Wilkie Collins bit.)


Kate Wilkie Collins is the narrator of Drood, and is himself a Victorian novelist, maybe currently best well known for his novel The Woman in White. I've never read it, but have several friends who have and love it! I'm definitely going to have to read The Woman in White after Drood.

Have fun and I hope you enjoy it!


Kelly I am in the middle of Drood and have not read The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Dickens. Although I'm sure the Dickens book is good, I don't feel the least bit lost or disadvantaged for not having read it before tackling Drood. I don't think it's necessary to have read Dickens' book to enjoy Simmons'.


message 7: by Alex (new) - added it

Alex Kelly wrote: "(...) I don't feel the least bit lost or disadvantaged for not having rea..."

Thanks, Kelly. I'm impatiently awaiting the delivery of my copy...


Jonnie Enloe I think it spoils the story to read the Dickens first.


Elizabeth Definitely read Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood - and Collins's The Moonstone before reading Simmons. These are both amazing, rewarding books in their own rights, and if you don't start with the Victorian authors, Simmons's book will give their plots away. (I would argue for you to read Dickens and Collins _instead_ of Simmons.)


Lynn G. I thought that Drood was great and loved the plot and its twists and turns. Very clever and unusual. Never have been a fan of Dickens but like Wilkie Collins' Woman in White and The Moonstone.


message 11: by Dystopian (last edited Jun 01, 2012 09:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dystopian I haven't read the Dickens. I read Drood after reading other Simmons' books (loved The Terror) and Wilkie Collins' books. The Dickens part of it wasn't the main draw for me, so I don't feel the need to read The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I guess it depends on WHY you're reading Drood.


message 12: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will I didn't read the "original", but I still really enjoyed Simmons' verson. I started to read Dickens' verson after, and quickly put it down for something a bit fresher. I'm totally going to have my grandchildren call me "venerables" now though.


Jerry There is no "original". The mystery of Edwin Drood was never finished by Dickens. Its a stand alone book and no need to read one to enjoy the other. Id recommend Wilkie Collins' Moonstone, though afterward.


message 14: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will I know that they're two separate works, but the first piece to ever mention Edwin Drood is Dickens' book, which I know wasn't finished. I only referred to it as the "original" in the sense it was the first to have the character Drood in it.

There are tons of Dracula books, but most people consider Stoker's book is the "original" Dracula book. Even though there have been countless Dracula books that have nothing in common with Stoker's novel, other than the fact it has Dracula as a character.

That was all I was referring to by saying "original". Thank you for trying to be the smartest guy in the room, Jerry.


Robert Clancy Not necessary to read Dickens "Edwin Drood" first. I never read it (probably not nearly as much fun as this "Drood") yet I thoroughly enjoyed this literary-historical-mystery novel.


Maria I haven't read Dickens "Edwin Drood" first but I promised myself to do it in the near future also as "Woman in white". I've read Wilkie Collins' "Moonstone" years ago and I enjoyed it much. "Drood" of Simmons is fantastic and I aappreciated facts of biographies of two famous writers Dickens and Collins incorporated in it also.


message 17: by Penny (new) - rated it 1 star

Penny I have to say that I gave up on "Drood" by Dan Simmons, I just couldn't get into it at all. I found a lot of content went off in a tangent for pages and pages and pages, before getting back to the story. It was as if the author was trying to pad the book out a bit!! I didn't like it at all, and I was very disappointed, as this sort of book is usually right up my street!!


Brenda Clough There's also a muscial theater production of EDWIN DROOD that is actually supposed to be quite fun, probably more rollicking than either the Dickens or the Simmons novel. If you go on to THE WOMAN IN WHITE or even MOONSTONE you will fine that they are both far more focused and tight. DROOD is like a corgi, a little fat and lazy but still with a mean bite. WOMAN IN WHITE is like a greyhound, lean and fast and turning on a dime.


Wayne Michael I read it without any prior knowledge and it was brilliant and I never gave thought to check out either authors other books.

Well worth the read!


message 20: by Brian (new) - rated it 1 star

Brian This is the only Simmons book I couldn't finish. I quit after about 400 pages. I just didn't care anymore.


Sadie You don't really have to, I read the Dickens book afterwards.


Vanessa This is one of my favorite Simmons works, and I read it without knowing anything about "Edwin Drood". Although I must admit that after this I tore through all the Wilkie Collins I could find.


Brenda Clough I do admit that the center of DROOD is slow. I also find the unreliable narrator a little confusing. How much of the story is all a drug-induced hallucination? It is sometimes too much trouble to figure it out.


Wayne Michael He was drug induced? That's crazy talk!


message 25: by Ric (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ric Alex wrote: "Hello people,

I'm eager to read this book. I've managed to remain plot-free which is the way I like to start books; I've barely glossed over the stars to know that I won't be dissapointed.

But no..."


Hello Alex
I've read both for a Reading-group project on Charles Dickens. I found the whole thing so mysterious... The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished at Disckens death and the preuodo- horror novel Drood that bought Wilkie Collins into the picture. When you think Dan Simmons creates a rivalry between Dickens and Collins mixed with the opium dens et al, it adds to the 'Mystery', gives it another dimension. I found it interesting that Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was published in 1860; Dickens's Miss Havisham haunted Great Expectations, in 1861. Isn't this one-up-manship?
Regarding which do you read first? I read Dickens then Drood and found it didn't spoil either novel... both are very different reads.


Brenda Clough Many writers write books in asnwer to another work. Sometimes you hear about it (they talk about it) and sometimes we may only deduce it.


message 27: by Kevin (new) - rated it 1 star

Kevin I read the unfinished dickens novel, hoping it might open some interesting facet of Drood. No such luck. Read the Mystery of Edwin Drood for its own merits, or not at all. It has quite a few, even though it never really gets anywhere, plot-wise.
Drood was the longest, most boring, and poorly written piece of drivel I have read in a long time. Somewhere in there is a good idea, but it does not come to fruition. The attempts at historical authenticity are a failure, in my view, and as a horror story, it only gets going when it gets as far from historical authenticity as it can. But then, it's too unbelievable to take seriously. The most interesting threads are begun and then abandoned, so that one asks, why introduce it in the first place? The author seems so concerned with showing off his research, the novel reads in many places like a first-year college essay. The narrative voice rings false. For example, I can't imagine real Victorians constantly addressing each other as "my dear Wilkie" or "my dear Charles" or whatever. Another example, if Wilkie Collins were telling his reader that he uses laudanum, I sincerely doubt he would feel the need to say things like "I took a dose of laudanum, which is a tincture of opium mixed with red wine." He would take for granted that people know what laudanum is because it was very widespread use in those days. There are many more examples.
As I said, there's an interesting idea in the narrative of this novel, I can see this much. But it does not come off. It's been a long time since I was so relieved to reach the last page of a book. So, from me, a panning.


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