Archive for May 21st, 2009

Drood by Dan Simmons

2009 May 21

Until a couple days ago, I’ve been really down on fiction. I’d started several books, including some ones that were really well reviewed (The Manual of Detection, The Cider House Rules), got a couple chapters in and then quit because I wasn’t interested in what happened next. In both cases, I think the voice of the books was a bit too aware of it’s own cleverness (in the manner of Tom Robbins or Douglas Adams, though substantially more subdued) and recently I just haven’t been in the mood for that kind of thing. I want a book where the author is just doing what they do and enjoying themselves while not trying to show off how clever they are.

However, yesterday I bought Drood by Dan Simmons. I’m four chapters in and it’s holding my attention great. Apparently Guillermo del Toro is already signed on to direct it, even though it was released this year. The writing /editing isn’t immaculate — there was one sentence that was both self-contradictory and overused one word horrendously — but it’s gripping and the writing otherwise flows pretty well. Plus, the overall premise is fascinating, telling the last few years of Dicken’s life — when he was obsessed with finding a macabre figure named Drood who might have simply been a hallucination — from the perspective of a close friend.

So I highly recommend it, even to people who’ve been down on books lately, as I have.