I became interested in reading Charles Dickens last unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood while reading Matthew Pearl's novel The Last Dickens. You don't have to read the Dickens novel to understand The Last Dickens, but I was just intrigued by the whole mystery. So I checked online and found the site The Literature Network where you can read it for free. I had a ball reading this little unsolved mystery.
The premise is this:
Orphan Edwin Drood is engaged to be married to fellow orphan, Rosa Bud. Their fathers had arranged the marriage a long time ago. Neither Edwin nor Rosa seem to be too enthralled with the idea. Edwin's uncle and guardian, John Jasper is the choirmaster, an opium addict, secretly in love with Rosa, and basically just a creepy guy all around.
Enter two more orphans, brother and sister duo Neville and Helena Landless. Neville is kind of a sweet guy who happens to get into trouble. And his sister is a loyal beauty. Neville develops a crush on Rosa as well.
During the course of the novel, John Jasper's actions seem very odd. He sneaking around, tours the cemetery/crypt (a good creepy part of the novel). And then Edwin goes missing.
Then a stranger comes to town, Dick Datchery, who becomes interested in this mystery. What is his deal? Will he solve the mystery? Did Edwin just take off? Did John Jasper do him in? Did Neville kill him off?
We never know....
I loved reading this. First of all, does Dickens just love orphans or what? And then there is the names! They crack me up. Like Rosa Bud....seriously? Here's some more characters: Reverend Crisparkle, Durdles (the creepy stonemason of the crypt), Princess Puffer (the opium queen), Miss Twinkleton, and Mr. Honeythunder. O my gosh.
After reading The Last Dickens and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, I am becoming quite the Charles Dickens fan. Masterpiece Theater is running some shows and I've watched Oliver Twist (another fun orphan) and am watching Bleak House (loving it!).
Do you like Dickens? What is your favorite that you'd recommend I read?
Monday, November 2, 2009
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My favorite Dickens is A Tale of Two Cities, but if you want something not so bleak, Nicholas Nickleby is fabulous!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review! I'd like to read this before The Last Dickens. Might work it into one of my challenges I signed up for...ReplyDelete
I haven't read much Dickens but I plan on reading A Christmas Carol this year.ReplyDelete
My favorite is Great Expectations. But the character I most admire is Esther from Bleak House. I'll have to check out the movie adaptation.ReplyDelete
I recently read the Last Dickens, and also Drood and eventually will send for a copy of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.. just because I've read these other books!ReplyDelete
Last year I read a lesser known Dickens book, The Curiosity Shop, and it was like most of his other dark stories, I liked it but it was sad at the same time. I have David Copperfield which I will get to eventually and I recently bought A Christmas Carol. Drood made me dig deeper for Dickens and Wilke Collins.. also just read the Woman in White and Have Moonstone waiting in TBR pile!!