I am a fan of the author Dan Simmons. A couple of years ago, he came out with a huge novel titled "The Terror", a fictionalized account of what happened to the ill-fated Franklin expedition. I loved it. I even got my wife to read it, and she really liked it. I lent it to several friends and they all dug it.
So I was excited to see "Drood" in Barnes and Noble a few months ago.
Although -- given Simmons' skill as a writer -- I expected a "good read" with "Drood", I did not expect at all to be so drawn into his evocation of Victorian England and the story of the relationship between the famous writer Charles Dickens and his friend/collaborator/rival Wilkie Collins. Like many, I had read some Dickens (in school), and had seen a number of different TV and movie adaptations of perhaps his most famous work, "A Christmas Carol". But beyond that, I'd never had any interest in knowing anything more about Charles Dickens.
"Drood" has changed all that. In the very near future, I will be searching out and reading at least one biography of Dickens (Simmons helpfully lists his reference works in the back of "Drood", so I think I'll start there)... and maybe try to track down more information about Wilkie Collins, an author I had heard of but whose work I've never read. Simmons has written "Drood" in the first person, from Wilkie Collins' perspective. And, as Simmons has written him, Collins is quite an amazing character.
It took me about two weeks to read the 784 pages of "Drood", and I was sorry to see it end. I think I may have to go back and read it again. -- PL