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 Drood by Dan Simmons

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PostSubject: Drood by Dan Simmons   Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:54 am

This is an interesting if a bit overlong novel told from the viewpoint of Wilkie Collins, a contemporary of Charles Dickens who never achieved anywhere near the fame of that famous author. In real life Collins was an opium addict and this plays a huge part in the novel, where he is introduced by Dickens to a secretive and menacing character named Drood, a mutilated master of hypnotic mesmerism.

While I have always enjoyed Simmons's writing style in past novels and in this one as well, "Drood" is not without flaws. As I said, I feel it is a bit overlong and ponderous at nearly 800 pages. Also, the mysterious character of Drood is not seen nearly enough, an interesting secondary character disappears about two-thirds into the novel with a throwaway reason given as to why he is gone, and, worst of all, the main character (Collins) becomes more and more unlikable as the novel progresses.

There are a couple of gruesome murders, but the storyline becomes more ambiguous as the story goes on, to the point where the reader is not sure what to believe about what has actually happened at the end. While there are some scenes that are truly creepy and remarkable, I found myself wanting more in the way of explanation. I am sure this is how Dan Simmons meant for this novel to be, but I am not a big fan of "did it happen or did it not happen?" types of stories.

I would recommend reading it for Dan Simmons's very readable writing style, but I think his previous novel, "The Terror", and the two before that titled "Ilium" and "Olympos" (two absolutely incredible sci-fi/fantasy/alternate reality novels) are much better reads.

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