I HATED IT! Seriously. This book gets a 1. I'd give it a 3 but the damn thing is 769 pages long and it's a week overdue at the library so i've got to pay a fine so it gets a 1. Really. And i've decided that i am completely and totally done with unreliable narrator novels. It does at least count for the Chunkster Challenge.
Drood by Dan Simmons starts with Wilkie Collins introducing himself to the reader. He says he's going to talk about the last 5 years of Dickens' life, from the Staplehurst accident forward. Dickens says he meets some sort of creepy dude during the Staplehurst wreck named Drood. After several more chapters we find out Drood is supposedly some sort of Egyptian hypnotist criminal mastermind. Dickens and then Collins get wrapped up in Drood's scheme to have either his biography or his Egyptian religious rituals published. While Wilkie does discuss this mystery but he tells us lots more about his own life. His two mistresses, his laudanum and then opium habits, writing details, financial problems and weird hallucinations all get lots of discussion. Charles Dickens comes off as an ass and Wilkie Collins seems an egotistical jerk.
so why did i keep reading it? I expected to get some kind of answer! It isn't bad writing though there are a few whole chapters and subplots that could have been left out. At the end, i was turning pages as fast as i could absolutely sure that no, we weren't going to have a no ending. but yep, we had a no ending ending. it sucked! really. don't read it.
Other opinions: Bookish Ruth, Fantasy Book Critic, Medieval Bookworm, Book Chatter, Books for Breakfast, OF Blog of the Fallen, Bobbie's Review.