Monday, April 19, 2010

Drood, Collins, & Dickens...Friends?

I love a good long book to sink my teeth into and at almost 800 pages this one definitely did the trick. This is the story of a most devious character, Drood. He is first introduced to us during the railway accident that almost killed Charles Dickens. This strange man, Drood, haunts Dickens' mind and he becomes obsessed with finding him. The story is told through the eyes of his good friend and fellow author Wilkie Collins. Together they travel through London 's terrifying Undertown, within the sewers and along since forgotten crypts, to find him and learn his story.

I realise that this is a work of fiction and not the actual source story for Charles Dickens' later novel, but it definitely made me want to read more of his work. Also, it made me more curious about the actual men, Dickens and Collins. Was Dickens truly as cocky as he is portrayed (ex. making even his family call him Venerable?) I know Collins used laudanum to great excess but was his life really such a complete and outrageous drug trip? Was the almost sibling rivalry betwee these two authors accurate? Was London's Undertown really as terrifying as it was portrayed? Regardless of the answers, this novel made me ask questions, and I always love a novel that inspries me to delve deeper into my own research.

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