Dro(oooooooooo)od

Fuck me, but did this book suck.*

drood

Okay, that was a totally rude sentence, but sometimes, you just gotta say it.

At first, there were parts of the book I actually liked. The historical asides about London catacombs (who knew!) and laudanum were entertaining (I actually like learning weird historical shit like that in my novels, so I was all excited. At first.). The malevolence of Drood had serious potential. And then…

nothing. 700+ pages of nothing. This book went NOWHERE. And it wasn’t even polite enough to go nowhere fast. I swear to god, it was like reading The Brothers Karamazov, and if you don’t remember, I HATED that book. Seriously. HATE. ED.

So why did I finish it, you ask? Good question. Maybe because I made the mistake of adding this to my Fall of 2014 Reading List and I wanted to not give up on it. Maybe because #droodalong (except everyone else was smarter than me and did quit, even Trish (yo, Trish…how come we have shit luck with our readalong books?). Maybe because every once in a while Drood would make a reappearance and I’d get all excited that something was about to happen. But then…nothing happened. And to be honest, once I got to the part with the scarab (and O.M.G…gross!), I started skimming. Partially because it was gross and I was looking forward to lunch, but also because, again, nothing was happening. Except, scarabs. And it cannot be said enough…O.M.G…gross!

Hokay…let me back up and give a quick synopsis.

True fact…Charles Dickens wrote a book, The Mystery of Edmund Drood. Well, he wrote most of a book by that name. He died before he finished it.

Also true fact…Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens were contemporaries. And buds. I guess. Can’t say I’d want to be friends with either one, but then, I’m not a famous author from the 1800s. And I’m a woman (if this book is to be believed, both guys were assholes of the first order).

So Dan Simmons decided to write a novel told from the point of view of Wilkie Collins, about the last five years of Dickens’ life (with a whole lot of crap thrown in about Wilkie…really, people, we’re talking like 600 pages of Wilkie filler), imagining what was really up with this dude named Drood. Except the Drood stuff took a backseat to Wilkie and laudanum. Because that Wilkie, he was drinking ALL the laudanum. And possibly smoking all the opium. And injecting all the morphine.

Which is how this book ends (sort of) (also SPOILER ALERT): mesmerism and morphine. That’s right, Dickens fucks with Wilkie’s mind by hypnotizing him into believing there is a Drood, and then sits back and watches the morphine dreams totally fuck him up even more. FOR 5 YEARS. And then he confesses all, and Wilkie doesn’t believe it, he still thinks there’s a Drood.

AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

And now, I can honestly say, I have no desire to read anything more by Simmons OR Collins OR Dickens. That’s right folks, not only did I dislike the book, I ended up loathing the two main characters so much I doubt I’ll ever pick up another one of their books.

*Just my opinion, of course. Evidently, lots of other people really enjoyed this one. They probably liked The Brothers Karamazov, too. And most likely Ulysses.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Dro(oooooooooo)od

  1. You crack me up. I was one of the people who liked this one. I found the peek into Victorian London fascinating and liked learning about Collins’ and Dickens’ relationship.

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  2. Well, I have official crossed this one off the list of possible reads. Drug phobia = not this book. So thank you for that, because it’s been in the back of my mind for years, and I even considered possibly doing this readalong with y’all. I think I even voted for this book. But no. Not going to happen.

    On the other hand, I really enjoyed one book I’ve read by Collins (The Woman in White), though I admit, as times passed and as I read crappy Collins book after crappy Collins book, it shines less brightly in my memory. Dickens? No. Bleak House was one of the worst things I’ve ever gone through.

    Your description of the 700 pages of nothing remind me of my feelings about The Count of Monte Cristo. That book was like 500 pages of interesting, following by 700 pages of nothing-happens-AND-the-nothingness-has-nothing-to-do-with-original-plot-or-characters, followed by 300 pages of vigilante crap and weird WTFuckery. That book was truly evil. And I can see why the abridged version is only 500 pages instead of 1500.

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  3. Quite possibly the best first line of a book review ever. 🙂 But Jill, why hold back so much? We’d like to know how you really feel about the book. 😛

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  4. I’m almost afraid that sharp flying objects are going to come out of my screen to stab me in the eye! I just couldn’t do it anymore. I devoted 3 weeks–both paper and audio–to Drood and are you seriously telling me there isn’t even a Drood? So, sorry I dragged you along with this one. Let’s just stick to King, k? Because those have mostly been good…except The Shining. And possibly The Stand. I didn’t make it through Ulysses either, though I DID Finish (and hate) Brothers Karamazov.

    You will ALL the points for finishing.

    Does this mean that you won’t be up for a #Twistalong in the spring? BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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  5. Beth F

    HA!!!!!!!!!!! I never had any desire to read this and now I really, really don’t!!!!

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