I had a lot of trouble with "Drood," the latest novel from the highly versatile Dan Simmons. For starters, it's nearly 800 pages and the narrative sags badly in the middle. Then there's the fact that its narrator, semi-forgotten novelist Wilkie Collins, is the least reliable biographer this side of Charles Kinbote, so it takes considerable work out what's really happening in the story. Finally, if you're not already steeped in Dickensian lore and "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," you'll miss some of the twists that Simmons sets up.
Ultimately, though, it's a captivating and innovative historical thriller. Not quite up to the standards of Simmons' arctic horror novel "The Terror," but still audacious and impressive in its execution.
Read my review from the San Francisco Chronicle.