Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 2009
Genre Fiction
Origin US
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
ISBN-10 0316007021
My Copy library hardback
First Read July 15, 2011


Drood is a semi-historical fiction about Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens - and a completely fictional ghoul who haunts them both, the underground Egyptian mesmerist named Drood. It's a mix of charming exposition and outrageous, drug-fueled fantasy action. As my wife said several times while she read it, "This book just got CRAZY."

Simmons has a one narrative tic that I found annoying - a cliffhanger action chapter is ignored for several subsequent chapters, and then explained parenthetically fifty pages later. It feels like both a dirty exploitative trick, and a letdown at the same time. But the action scenes are exciting (and bewildering), and the character of Wilkie is charming, for at least the first 600 pages or so.

While interesting, the best part of the book was learning about Wilkie Collins, who I knew existed but have never read. It made me want to read Collins' books, and I think that's complement enough.

Noted on August 11, 2011

Nor did I perceive from her the slightest hint of a hidden passionate nature that could have made up for her obvious shortcomings...and my Wilkie-antennae were highly sensitive to any such subtle sub rosa erotic transmissions from even the most proper and upstanding ladies.

Quoted on August 11, 2011

Aghast at his bad manners, I wondered for a moment if Barris - despite his Cambridge accent - was an American.

Quoted on August 11, 2011

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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