Sunday, March 01, 2009

Review: "Drood" by Dan Simmons

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.

1 comment:

Barbara Martin said...

Thank you for this review as most others rave about how wonderful it is. I am a fan of Charles Dickens, and it would be interesting on that aspect to read this book. For writers it is nice to know that even the well published write stories that 'sag in the middle'. I would have thought the publisher's editor would have asked Simmons to shore it up more before printing it.