The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

eBook - 2009
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Central to the plot is John Jasper: in public he is a man of integrity and benevolence; in private he is an opium addict. And while seeming to smile on the engagement of his nephew, Edwin Drood, he is, in fact, consumed by jealousy, driven to terrify the boy's fiancée and to plot the murder of Edwin himself.
As in many of Dickens's greatest novels, the gulf between appearance and reality drives the action. Set in the seemingly innocuous cathedral town of Cloisterham, the story rapidly darkens with a sense of impending evil.
Charles Dickens's final, unfinished novel is in many ways his most intriguing. A highly atmospheric tale of murder, The Mystery of Edwin Drood foreshadows both the detective stories of Conan Doyle and the nightmarish novels of Kafka.
Though The Mystery of Edwin Drood is one of its author's darkest books, it also bustles with a vast roster of memorable–and delightfully named–minor characters: Mrs. Billikins, the landlady; the foolish Mr. Sapsea; the domineering philanthropist, Mr. Honeythunder; and the mysterious Datchery. Several attempts have been made over the years to complete the novel and solve the mystery, but even in its unfinished state it is a gripping and haunting masterpiece.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

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straitgate
Dec 24, 2015

I really enjoy Dickens' later works when they became darker and he came under the influence of mystery writers (like Wilkie Collins). This had the potential to be (in my mind) one of Dickens' best if not the best novels. It is very dark and brooding from the get-go and the mysterious death of Edwin Drood is not long in coming and with a host of characters who could be legitimate suspects. It's hard to find the motivation to pick up a book when you know it ends in the middle of things with nothing resolved. For a long time I asked myself, 'why bother?' Eventually I did pick it up after I'd made my way through Dickens but craved more...even if it meant an unfinished work. If you liked Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend you'll like this. If you're more into the humorous or picaersque early Dickens (Pickwick Papers, Martin Chuzzlewit, Old Curiosity Shop) you might not get into this. Read it for Dickens more than for the story. Or maybe you'd like to join the still vigorous debate over theories over who dunnit.

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Chapel_Hill_KenMc
Dec 12, 2014

Certainly not one of Dickens's best, but you have to wonder what he would have done with it had he lived. I read the edition completed by Leon Garfield, which provides a completely predictable, but at least stylistically consistent, ending. This completion is in accord with G.K. Chesterton's comment that there really isn't that much mystery about Edwin Drood.

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IV27HUjg
Jan 05, 2014

I tried very hard to like this & to finish it. Alas, I did not.

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