Friday, February 27, 2009

Review: DROOD & Giveaway

Summary: On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens--at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world--hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens's life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens's friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), DROOD explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author's last years and may provide the key to Dickens's final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, DROOD is Dan Simmons at his powerful best. -- Little, Brown & Company

Wow! I'm not sure where to start with this review of DROOD by Dan Simmons so I'll say this: I was blown away by this book!

I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy this historical fiction book because I am not a big Charles Dickens fan; and I didn't know if my lack of reading Dickens would affect my understanding of the novel. Another concern I had was that this book is HUGE and very intimidating, coming in at over 770 pages. That's a lot of reading if I didn't like it! I will admit that I probably wouldn't have read this if the book wasn't selected for the February Early Birds Book Tour. Having said all those reasons for not being anxious to read it, I decided to pick it up anyway. And I am so glad that I did because DROOD took me on a wonderful ride!

Probably the first thing that surprised me about DROOD was how entertaining and even funny this book was. I think the main reason for this was Mr. Simmons choice of narrator -- Wilkie Collins. I thoroughly enjoyed Wilkie and his drug-induced creations; and there is no doubt in my mind that I liked this novel better because it was Wilkie's story. For some reason, I found his jealousy and rage towards Dickens to be hilarious. And, don't get me started on his treatment of his "female friends." While he definitely wasn't the most reliable of narrators, I think that his strong opinions and even his vices made him more interesting.

I am in absolute awe of Dan Simmons -- he is nothing if not a genius! I can't even voice how much respect I have for him. Not only did he write a fantastic and fascinating story based on some historical facts, but he brought these characters to life. I can't begin to imagine researching the background material for this novel, and then to fill in the many blanks with an incredible (and very entertaining) story -- totally amazing! I must read more of Mr. Simmons' books.

There are lots of videos on youtube of Dan Simmons reading DROOD and discussing his novel, but I wanted to share with you this particular one. He is reading a scene from the book that I thought was very entertaining -- it shows how quirky Wilkie the narrator is, as well as how Dickens could really get Wilkie's goat! I also thought it was a good example of the humor that was woven throughout the pages of this book.




I highly recommend DROOD! It is a wonderful historical fiction book, but it's also filled with loads of suspense. Mr. Simmons managed to write a book that combines the best of both these genres. I have no doubt that it appeal to many readers!

Are you interested in winning a copy of DROOD? I have five books to giveaway courtesy of Hachette Book Group USA! For one entry, just leave a comment with your e-mail address. If you'd like to double (or even triple) your chances, you can either blog about this contest with a link back to this post and/or post a link on Twitter. I will accept comments until Friday, March 13th at 11:59 p.m. I will announce the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

Check out the other blogs participating in this book tour:
http://hiddenplace.wordpress.com/
http://book-thirty.blogspot.com/
http://bermudaonion.wordpress.com/
http://www.writeforareader.blogspot.com/
http://thebookczar.blogspot.com/
http://www.acircleofbooks.blogspot.com/
http://luanne-abookwormsworld.blogspot.com/
http://www.thetometraveller.blogspot.com/
http://www.bookthoughtsbylisa.blogspot.com/
http://allisonsatticblog.blogspot.com/
http://linussblanket.com/
http://www.chikune.com/blog
http://cafeofdreams.blogspot.com/
http://readingtoolate.net/
http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/
http://jennsbookshelf.blogspot.com/
http://ablogofbooks.blogspot.com/
http://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/
http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/
http://www.savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/
http://bestbookihavenotread.wordpress.com/
http://www.bookishruth.com/
http://www.bookingmama.blogspot.com/
http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com/
http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/

113 comments:

Chris said...

Oh, Julie, I've heard so much about this. I really would love to read it!

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me. I love your review, though. I didn't think to mention Wilkie's jealousy toward Dickens, but it did add so much to the story.

planetbooks said...

Hi Julie!! Please throw my name in the hat for this one. Thanks and I hope you have a lovely weekend!
XO-K

kalea_kane said...

I have read so much about this book and so many great reviews, I would be thrilled for the chance to win! Please enter me!

Kelly

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bridget said...

This has been posted on Win A Book. Don't enter me though.

My Blog 2.0 said...

Hi Julie, new to your site.

I would love a copy, I have seen several books lately expanding on historical facts. Can't wait to try one!

Dottie

I'll post this on my blog.

Luanne said...

Hi Julie - no need to enter me, just stopping by on the tour to say hi and thanks for the link. I'm glad you took a chance on the book and enjoyed it so much. This is a favourite time period of mine and I thought Simmons did an amazing job!

Shelley said...

I would love to win this one!
saz AT chainreader DOT com

traveler said...

Thanks for this great giveaway. I would enjoy this fascinating historical novel.

Lauren said...

I'm definitely interested in reading this. I was completely convinced by your review. :)

Michele said...

I'd love to read this book!

Indigo said...

I'm excited about the character elements of this book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Indigo

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

Jen - devourer of books said...

After hearing you all talk about this on Twitter FOREVER I'd love a chance to read it. Hopefully someone picks me in their giveaway!

devourers.books(at)gmail.com

Dar said...

I've heard so much about Drood lately that I'd love to read it. So please enter me. Thanks!
bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

LuAnn said...

This does sound like a great read. I'd love to win!

carolsnotebook said...

Everything I've head about this book has definitely made me want to read it. Thanks for entering me.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Toni said...

No need to enter me. Awesome Review. I am enjoying everyone's review. I think I held back too much. Drood is GREAT!!

Ti said...

I have to come back and read your review as I am in the middle of Drood now. I am loving it though and also loved The Terror.

avisannschild said...

I found Collins to be an entertaining and funny writer (when I read The Woman in White), so it sounds like Simmons has done a good job of "channeling" him. Please enter me in the giveaway!

tetewa said...

Sounds good, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Jo-Jo said...

Please enter me Julie...I would love to win this book!
joannelong74@gmail.com

bookoholic13 said...

Please enter me! Thanks!!

biblauragraphy said...

Sounds like a great read!

My Blog 2.0 said...

Hi Julie

Thanks for stopping by and I love to read, so I'm usually up to try anything. I'll be back to see what other reviews you might throw into cyberspace.

Dottie

Bookfool said...

Oh, do add me please with Cheetos on top. ;)

bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

AmandaSue said...

Sounds interested, I'd love a chance to read this even though it would probably take me 5 yrs to read it, atleast I'd keep busy though haha.

Andi said...

Sounds so amazing. I'd love to read it. . . and I'm off to twitter about the give away. Thanks.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

I haven't read much of Dicken's work so that is good that it didn't effect your enjoyment in reading the book.

Please add my name to the drawing,thanks.

scottsgal said...

I'm reading the Terror now so I know I'd like this as well.
msboatgal at aol dot com

Linda said...

This sounds so good, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins - now that's a pair to draw to.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I would love to read this. Thanks for the contest.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Kristi said...

I have only heard good things about this book and this author! Please enter me in this drawing.

kherbrand at comcast dot net

bridget3420 said...

I really want to read this book!!

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Posted on twitter http://twitter.com/bridget3420

bridget3420(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

I'd love to read this, it sounds really good. I think it's pretty cool (and appropriate!) that you are ending your contest on Friday the 13th :) Thanks for the chance to win.

donnas said...

Please enter me. I am really interested in reading this.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

caite said...

Blown away? doesn't get much better than that.
please throw my hat in the ring.
Caitemaire@hotmail.com

traymona said...

I've looked forward to this book ever since I first heard about it.
traymona[at]aol.com

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

I just got my hands on "The Terror," and I'd love to read this one next!

Miriam said...

So glad you love this. I agree with Kathy that the jealousy was such a great element.

Janel said...

I've seen many great reviews for this book. Please enter me!

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Janel said...

I blogged about this in my right sidebar at:

http://janelsjumble.blogspot.com

Melanie said...

Ok, how come I haven't heard of this book before. Looks so intriguing. I always like historical books with real people - and authors are evn better. Would love to win this.

MJ said...

I'd love to read this

Valorie said...

I would love a chance to win!

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Valorie said...

Blogged your contest:
http://www.morbid-romantic.net/2009/02/24/book-giveaways-0223-0301/

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Sherrylinn said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, thanks for the review and a chance to win!


slcremer at gmail dot com

Amy said...

Nice review! :) Don't enter me.

Molly said...

I would love to be entered in your drawing. I am a fan of both Dickens and Collins - so I know I will absolutely love this one.

Mstermind1 at gmail dot com

carlene said...

Please include me in your drawing. Sounds like a great book.
Thanks
Carlene
Willreadforever@verizon.net

Bcteagirl said...

This sounds very cool! Thank you for the contest :)

MonieG said...

I've been wanting to read this ever since I listened to The Terror on audio. Thanks for the giveaway. monie@readingwithmonie.com

MonieG said...

I Twittered your giveaway: http://twitter.com/monie_g/status/1262954678

olympianlady said...

Hey! Enter me please. I REALLY want to read this book. Thanks!

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

olympianlady said...

I blogged about this giveaway at:
http://olympianlady.livejournal.com/3684.html

Thanks!
tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

Mom of 5 Boys said...

I would love to win a copy!

momof5boys at gmail dot com

Teddy Rose said...

I would love to win!

I blogged about your giveaway here:

http://teddyrose.blogspot.com/2009/02/this-weeks-giveaways-galore_28.html

teddyr66 at yahoo dot com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Nice review! I'd love to read DROOD. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Bev said...

I've heard about this book, sounds really interesting - long but interesting : D Count me in too.

BevE
half4books@gmail.com

teabird said...

Hi - this sounds wonderful - please enter me in the contest!
I subscribe to your blog in Bloglines.

teabird 17 @ yahoo. dot com

Meg89 said...

I'm so excited about reading this book! Please enter me!

S. Krishna said...

Don't enter me, but great review! You guys have definitely made me want to read this book!

Marie said...

I would love to read this one.

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

Renee G said...

This is one book that I don't want to miss. rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

Amanda said...

I've been told this one is great. Please enter me, too. My address is amandagignac [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

Rue said...

This looks like a great book to add to my "to be read" pile...and somewhere near the top.
Thanks for the chance to win!
ruthann (dot) francis (at) gmail (dot) com

Irene Yeates said...

Great review. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!!

Irene

cyeates at nycap dot rr dot com

micaela6955/Michele P. said...

Your review certainly peaked my interest in this book, please enter me!

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Jayme said...

Would love to win a copy! Certified Anglophile here!

twittering about this contest!

techyone said...

I would love to read this book. I'm reading Terror right now and love it.

Anita Yancey said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a great book to read. Thanks for having this giveaway.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Kaye said...

I just love Dickens
Please enter me in the contest
florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

bethany said...

wow, you get an insane amount of people for your giveaways!! It is good you have five copies :)

I would love to be entered into this one...I hope it isn't too scary though.

Lisa S said...

I'd love to read this having been a huge Dickens fan for years. My email is jlsheppard1@yahoo.com.

Victoria said...

This would make a great gift for a Dickens fan in my family! utgal2004[at]yahoo[dot]com

Carrie K. said...

I've read so many great reviews of this - plus I've heard it will greatly expand my vocabulary. Thanks for the giveaway!

nnjmom at yahoo dot com

shopannies said...

I would love to read this book looks very interesting
shopannies@Yahoo.com

shopannies said...

twittered
http://twitter.com/shopannies/status/1274186078

shopannies@Yahoo.com

Darlene said...

Oh, I really would like this book! Thanks for the chance to win one1

BJ said...

Sounds interesting. I'd love to read this book! Please enter me in the drawing.

caseykelp said...

Would love to win this book, have read about it and put it on my read list just havent yet. Thank you for the giveaway.

jolt! said...

I'd love to read this! It sounds fascinating.

Prisca said...

I can't wait to read this. I'm so hoping to win a copy. It looks fabulous.

periabd1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carol said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this! Thank you for the chance to win it!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Carol said...

I left a comment on Twitter about this contest. CarolAnnM
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol.com

Carolyn said...

This book sounds awesome, and a little scary, lol. I would love the chance to win.

thanks

ceashark at aol dot com

Michelle Kuo said...

I'd love to read this! I keep seeing reviews and can't wait to get my hands on it.

michelle.kuool(at)yahoo(dot)com

Michelle Kuo said...

It's on my blog too.
http://flyingsolooooo.blogspot.com/2009/03/book-giveaway-links-for-march.html

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your drawing. I am a follwer.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9@verizon.net

Serena said...

No need to enter me, but I am savoring every page.

Cassandra C. said...

Please include me! I would LOVE to read this!
Thanks so much for the opportunity!
Cassandra
colec[at]students[dot]sou[dot]edu

A Stationary Addict said...

Great review! I have been reading some reviews of this book & would definitely love a chance to read it. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Happy reading!

Anna said...

I'd love to be entered! Sounds like an interesting book, though I'm not a big Dickens fan. I posted the giveaway in my sidebar.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Megan said...

I've heard a ton of good things about this book, too. Please enter me. Thanks!

toadacious 1 at yahoo dot com

Jo-Jo said...

Oh how I hope I win this one! I blogged about your contest here.
joannelong74@gmail.com

Cheryl S. said...

I would love to read this book - please count me in.

Thanks,
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

Amanda said...

Please enter me! I LOVED The Terror and have been really wanting to read this. Thanks!

Becky said...

I have heard so many good things about this book. I would love to read it. I loved the you tube video.

Thanks so much!

dbkagrayson2002 at gmail dot com

nhertel85 said...

I would love to win this book!!

nhertel85 AT yahoo DOT com

debblou said...

I've been reading a lot about this book and would love to read it. Just the idea of over 500 pages to really get into is enough to get me interested. thanks

debbebennett at yahoo dot com

Nona said...

I would be interested in read Drood, cannot wait to readit!

san(underscor)peppy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Karen in TN said...

Please enter me to win.

kolists a-t gmail do-t com

ann marie said...

Thanks for the giveaway I'm looking forward to adding this one to my book collection.

annmariebro(at)yahoo(dot)com

♔ jessica.marie said...

I would love to read this book, thanks for doing the giveaway!

lovejessicamarie AT gmail DOT com

Becca said...

Please enter me. I would love to get my hands on a copy of this. Thanks
rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

Amberlyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jodi said...

Another great book! Thanks!

JodiMof3 at hotmail dot com

Dina said...

I'd like to read this book, too.
aitmama (at) gmail (dot) com

Willow said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I posted a link to the contest at my blog at http://free-books-and-other-contests.blogspot.com/2009/03/heres-several-contests-that-ive-found.html

bkilbarger [at] gmail [dot] com

Tammy said...

Sounds great, please enter me, missporkchop AT yahoo DOT com.

I also blogged about the contest here.

Karin said...

Would love to read this...thanks for the chance to win!

Laina said...

Please enter me!!!

Laina1312@gmail.com

I put a link here: http://bookcontestlinks.blogspot.com/2009/03/more-contests.html

Willow said...

Ooh! Ooh! Enter me!

bkilbarger [at] gmail [dot] com