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Old 05-23-2009, 10:34 PM   #1
curtw
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Has anyone read "Drood" by Dan Simmons?

I'm looking for a recommendation. HarryT's enthusiasm for Dickens has convinced me that I may have misjudged the man back in high school. Unfortunately, I still don't feel brave enough to venture straight back into his books.

Happily for me, though, I generally enjoy the books of Dan Simmons. Can anybody tell me if Drood is (1) entertaining in its own right, and (2) a good re-introduction for an old Dickens-hater?

Many thanks for any advice.
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:10 PM   #2
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I'm looking for a recommendation. HarryT's enthusiasm for Dickens has convinced me that I may have misjudged the man back in high school. Unfortunately, I still don't feel brave enough to venture straight back into his books.

Happily for me, though, I generally enjoy the books of Dan Simmons. Can anybody tell me if Drood is (1) entertaining in its own right, and (2) a good re-introduction for an old Dickens-hater?

Many thanks for any advice.
Curt. If I may offer some advice, unasked for.

Read the book and decide for yourself. Someone may hate it, you may love it. You could be denying yourself a pleasurable read if others don't care for it, and you listen to them.

You may hate it. But if you read it for yourself, without others input, you'll at least know how you feel about it isn't colored by anothers view.

If I depended on others points of view, I would have never read "A Passage to India". I enjoyed it. Others really didn't.

same goes for Dickens. You may still hate the writing style and subjects. BUT.............you may not. You will never know until you begin reading......

But thats just me.
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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Curt. If I may offer some advice, unasked for.

Read the book and decide for yourself. Someone may hate it, you may love it. You could be denying yourself a pleasurable read if others don't care for it, and you listen to them.

You may hate it. But if you read it for yourself, without others input, you'll at least know how you feel about it isn't colored by anothers view.

If I depended on others points of view, I would have never read "A Passage to India". I enjoyed it. Others really didn't.

same goes for Dickens. You may still hate the writing style and subjects. BUT.............you may not. You will never know until you begin reading......

But thats just me.
I second your emotion! Reading & enjoying books is a highly individualistic experience - I use suggestions/lists from this forum to explore on my own - but I make up my own mind. But there's only ONE way to decide if you like or don't like an author or book - take the plunge and read it. That's one advantage for Amazon - the Kindle samples usually give you enough text to decide if you want to buy the entire book.

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Old 05-25-2009, 02:00 PM   #4
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I may just check it out from the library. $23 and 800 pages is not an exploration risk I'm too excited about at the moment.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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I may just check it out from the library. $23 and 800 pages is not an exploration risk I'm too excited about at the moment.
There you go. Also, have you checked out your local library's ebooks for it?
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:15 PM   #6
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I do enjoy the irony that in a forum entitled "Reading Recommendations" all the responses have are of the "dont' worry about what others think" variety.

I havent' read the book, so I can't help, though I will say I read the entire Hyperion Cantos series and enjoyed it very much. Drood is on my eBook wishlist from the library, but it may take me a while to get to it.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
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I do enjoy the irony that in a forum entitled "Reading Recommendations" all the responses have are of the "dont' worry about what others think" variety.

I havent' read the book, so I can't help, though I will say I read the entire Hyperion Cantos series and enjoyed it very much. Drood is on my eBook wishlist from the library, but it may take me a while to get to it.
My take on the "reading recommendations" is its for books that others have read and really want to recommend.

Asking someone to tell you if a book is worth reading just doesn't make sense.

But thats just my take.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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I really disliked Dickens in high school. Aside from "A Christmas Carol" I'd never read anything that he wrote, although I was once assigned "A Tale of Two Cities" as a book report. I never read the Cliff Notes, but I managed to get through the report without reading past the first chapter. (I feel asleep three or four times while trying to get through the first chapter.)

Anyway, a month ago (many years later) I wanted something to read and saw the ads for "Drood" on the subway. I wasn't interested in reading it, but I decided to give the original a try. So I got an e-copy of Dickens's "The Mystery of Edwin Drood".

Folks, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" totally turned me on to Charles Dickens. I loved it. Based on that I jumped into "David Copperfield". I'm currently about a third of the way through and I'm slowing down a bit, but I'm still finding it a fun read.

If you don't know anything about "Edwin Drood", do yourself a favor and don't learn anything before you read it. My reaction to the ending was priceless. Those of you know have read it will understand what I mean.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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I'm looking for a recommendation. HarryT's enthusiasm for Dickens has convinced me that I may have misjudged the man back in high school. Unfortunately, I still don't feel brave enough to venture straight back into his books.

Happily for me, though, I generally enjoy the books of Dan Simmons. Can anybody tell me if Drood is (1) entertaining in its own right, and (2) a good re-introduction for an old Dickens-hater?

Many thanks for any advice.


I never got the impression you're asking someone to tell you to read a book. Your questions 1 and 2 are very clear: Is the book under question entertaining and is a it a good (re)introduction to Dickens.

I can only tell you my opinions, since you're asking for people's opinions. I haven't read the book in question, so I have no opinion. However, I love Dickens, but hated him in High School. I'm older now and wiser, but hi ho!, I also enjoy postmodern literature and Proust so go figure.

Read and explore and listen to other people's opinions. Then, everyone else's opinions can be damned - even mine - and you can make up your own mind!

Hi ho! It's off to ebook reading we go.


Don
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:15 AM   #10
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As a matter of fact "Drood" is one of the first books I bought for my new e reader. I really like Victorian era novels so I thought this looked interesting. I will let you know how it is after I get into it.
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:45 AM   #11
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I am in total agreement with the other responders that someone else's opinions won't necessarily translate into your own feelings on a book, but I have read Drood, and can offer my own opinion, for what it is worth...

I absolutely hated it.

I am a Dickens fan, and a Simmons fan, and was just finishing up a run playing John Jasper in the musical version (VERY tongue-in-cheek) of 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood', when the book was released. I thought the premise sounded great. Unfortunately, it was not my cup of tea.

I felt like it should have been a biography, since it is mostly comprised of Dickens' friend, Wilkie Collins (I am a HUGE fan of his), relating biographical episodes of Dickens, with a thinly veiled "plot" attempting to give the story a narrative element.

Again, this is only my opinion, but I don't think it would lead a reader into the actual work of Dickens, but does give a fairly thorough biography.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:08 AM   #12
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Leon Garfield wrote a completion to 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' - I haven't read it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed other books by him.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #13
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Leon Garfield wrote a completion to 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' - I haven't read it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed other books by him.
Many people have written "endings" to it over the years. It's a tragedy that Dickens left no notes on how he intended the story to be finished.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:40 AM   #14
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I've just finished this, and I find it very sad to say that despite the bulk of the book being absolutely fantastic, Simmons lets himself and the readers down with an atrocious damp squib of an ending. But, yes, read it, for the enjoyment of the 600 plus pages, then just grit your teeth and carry on, purely to make it worthwhile buying, borrowing and then reading this monster.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:12 AM   #15
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I'd suggest downloading the sample for your Kindle. You'll decide pretty quickly if it's a book for you or not.
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