Thursday 11 February 2016

Book Review: The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens

Title: The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Wordsworth Classics
Publication Date: 2005 (1870) 
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction / Classics
Source: Bought Copy

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The main issue in the novel is the disappearance of Edwin Drood and the suspicion that he has been murdered. But as intriguing as this central plot are the startling innovations in Dicken's work and the troubled elements lurking within the novel: a dark opium underworld, the uneasy and violent fantasies of its inhabitants, the disquieting presence of old 'Princess Puffer', of the quiet cathedral town of Cloisterham from which people have to escape in order to save themselves--and, at the centre, the menacing figure of Jasper. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I enjoyed The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in so far as one can enjoy an unfinished work. Although I, of course, knew this to be unfinished, it was still a disappointment when I reached the end of the text not to know how it all concludes. When I read Dickens in my teens, I was not overly fond of his writing style; however, I really appreciated his prose in this book and wonder if I should review some of the others again, coming to them with an older eye.

Edwin Drood himself is, in many way, not a likeable character. That said, many of the others prove themselves worse, and the story was becoming exciting at the point it broke off. If you are a fan of Dickens I would recommend this book. However, if you are someone who likes definite conclusions, this is probably not the book for you, given that it breaks off mid-story.

This edition also included some delightful shorter works, some poignant, some funny.

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