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.

4 Responses to “Drood by Dan Simmons”

  1. Jmstar Says:

    Yeah, it opens strong, that’s for sure. I was about 100 pages in before it had to be returned to the library, but I’ll finish it eventually.

  2. I’m 300 pages in now and, while there are some less awesome bits (the voices of various characters are kinda similar, especially when they braindump historical data from the author’s research; and the asides to the audience are a bit annoying), it’s still highly interesting and fun. I may just blow through the rest of it today.

  3. Michael Says:

    I’m a fan of Simmons. His Hyperion series (especially the first two) is some of the best sci-fi ever written. The Terror is also fantastic and gripping in a very Lovecraftian sort of way.

  4. Finished it last night. It gets sorta wander-y in the middle and ends in a less-than-completely-satisfying way, but still an enjoyable and worthwhile read, I think.

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