is something of a change of pace for the talented American writer Dan Simmons, who made his mark with highly ambitious, sprawling futuristic epics such as Hyperion
, (which won the prestigious Hugo award) and The Fall of Hyperion
, creating -- with tremendous panache and invention -- alternate worlds and societies. Here, however, is Simmons’s take on 19th Britain and two of its greatest creative artists: the writers Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins (the title, of course, is a reference to Dickens’s last, unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
). Dan Simmons’ Drood
, however, is a very different literary endeavour, with the two writers plunged into a darkly atmospheric Victorian world where supernatural creatures haunt the shadows (and, beneath the streets, an alternative cityscape exists).
All of this is handled with the energy we have come to expect from Dan Simmons, and along with his eventful narrative, he is able to take on notions of creativity and the gulf between genius and talent (Dickens and Wilkie Collins are pungently characterised). Perhaps those more used to the intergalactic reach of Simmons’ earlier work may need to adjust (and an interest in Dickens, Collins and in the 19th century classics is definitely an advantage), but for those persuaded to join Simmons and his two protagonists on their sinister and terrifying odyssey (a rather long one, it should be noted – the book is nearly 800 pages), this is a journey they will not regret undertaking. Simmons’s early work utilised elements from the horror genre (a constant here) – and horror reappears frequently in Dickens’ world, making this a strong literary marriage. --Barry Forshaw
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'I am in awe of Dan Simmons' Stephen King.
'Readers will race through the pages, drawn by the intricate plot and the proliferation of intriguing psychological puzzles' Publishers Weekly.
'A dazzling journey through a crooked, gaslit labyrinth and a tenebrous portraiture of the tortured minotaurs that dwell within. Genius is the true mystery, and at its edge - the abyss' Guillermo del Toro, film director.
'Peopled by characters worthy of Dickens novel …. a fascinating book that adds to the speculative writings about the Victorian author's last and unfinished work. A must-read for all Dickens and Wilkie Collins admirers' Daily Mail.
'A rich and strange book… the pages fly by' Daily Telegraph.
'A manic energy that compels shock and awe' Independent.