Charles Dickens and Wilkie Come Back to Life
The story of Drood is based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, “The Last Dickens.” It is narrated by Wilkie Collins, author and friend of Charles Dickens.
The story opened on June 9, 1865 with a train accident at Staplehurst. Charles Dickens and his mistress were on the train. Dickens helped some of the other passengers and saw some die. It is also where he first set eyes on a creepy man, Drood.
Dickens becomes obsessed with Drood and with the help of laudanum addict, Wilkie Collins, they explore the dangerous underbelly of London to find him.
Let me begin by saying that this isn’t the normal genre I read. It is historical fiction, yes but it is also horror/mystery. The reason I decided to listen to it was that it was historical fiction and based on two real classic novelists. I am attracted to historical books that have real life famous people in them as characters.
I really liked being able to experience 1860’s London, warts and all. Dan Simmons transported me there, where Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins lived and worked. It was worth the listen just for that! The British actor Simon Prebble was the narrator and did a fine job. He even made the female characters pop with a tone of voice change.
The horror part I could have really done without. It was quite gruesome and reminded me of an old B horror movie. Though, again, let me remind you that it is not my genre and so it is probably just me. I also found the ending anticlimactic.
If you like historical fiction with real famous people, this book is worthwhile.