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The Mystery of Edwin Drood Paperback – November 5, 2013

3.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was born in Portsmouth, England, and grew up in poverty, one of eight children. He became the preeminent writer of Victorian England, with most of his novels appearing in serial form before being published as books.

David Paroissien was educated in England and the United States and received his Ph.D. from UCLA. He taught for many years at the University of Massachusetts and is now emeritus professor of English. He is also the editor of the Dickens Quarterly.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463704666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463704667
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I honestly still do not know what to say about The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It is possibly one of the only mysteries which caught me off guard about how it ends. I did not expect it. But I need to say that the book is not finished. Dickens died before he was able to finish it and I don't even think he knew how it was going to end.

Anyway, Edwin Drood is a young man under the care of John Jasper. He is engaged to Rosebud. Well, not exactly engaged, there is an understanding (from when they were both young) that they would marry. Friends with Jasper is Mr. Crisparkle a parson who lives with his mother. Also included in this party is Mr. Grewgious, of when Rosebud is a ward.

Mr. Crisparkle, soon after the novel begins is charged with the education of Neville and Helena Landless. Neville is known for having a temper and falls in love with the beautiful Rosa and he thinks Edwin does not deserve her. Helena becomes Rosa's good friend and confidant to which she tells Helena about Jasper's love (obsession I call it) for her. (I should mention that Jasper happens to be her music teacher.)

To end this rather quickly, we skip forward about fifty pages, and Edwin and Rosa have ended their arrangement having love for one another only that of brother and sister with no romantic inclination at all. Shortly after this agreement is made, Edwin goes missing and is presumed dead. Most everyone thinks poor Neville did it (He threatened Edwin a couple of times.) They were never able to prove one way or another, but Neville still was shunned by most of the town.
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You didn't finish your book, Sir!

I love Dickens. This one is well worth the time, even though you have to write the ending yourself.
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This is Dickens last work and was unfinished at the time of his death, so you get to make your own ending and decide for yourself who the murderer is. Lots of debate about that.
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The old cathedral town of Cloisterham stages many covert dramas. Edwin Drood's possible murder may be the drive of Dickens' last narrative, but there are other parallel mysteries. Mr Honeythunder is the guardian of brother and sister, Helena and Neville. They come from Ceylon, but are not Ceylonese? Neville claims that he knows little of his guardian? Mr John Jasper, guardian of Edwin Drood is "a dark man"? And why does Jasper, as choirmaster, need to depend so heavily on opium? Why is Mr Sapsea, the auctioneer, described as a jackass? At times, even the names and brief descriptions of the characters seem to suggest some extra, unexplained elements. Dickens' Drood mystery may not be resolved, but it seems that many other threads in this narrative have not been developed and resolved either. An intriguing piece of writing, cut short by Dickens' death. The incompleteness is all part of the dramatic charm.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Alas! we shall never know the true fate of Edwin Drood, or whether the one who acts with obvious villainy is truly the villain. Nor shall we know which of several potential suitors, if any, eventually wins the hand of the beautiful but delicate Miss Rose Bud. What sinister purpose was served by Jasper's midnight visit to the crypt? And is the inquisitive Mr. Datchery a detective, a blackmailer, or neither?

From its opening scene in a London opium den, it's apparent that The Mystery of Edwin Drood was to have been a shade darker than Dickens' previous novels and more akin to the "sensation novels" of Wilkie Collins. Yet it is still suffused with Dickens' startling wit and peopled with his unique and lovable eccentrics. It's such a shame that he died with the second half of the novel unwritten.
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Great mystery characteristic of the author. I enjoyed the book in spite of the 'cliff hanger' effect at the end.
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Dickens does it again! Here is a good mystery well written. I was hesitant to read an unfinished book but became interested when I saw a pbs adaptation on Amazon video. Like other adaptations they created an ending, which I liked. The book left everything open ended, but led down a different path. There are themes in the story that are timeless: a man obsessed about a young woman that doesn't like him and starts to fear him, jealousy, drug abuse, child abuse, and so on. I wasn't sure where some of the characters fit into the story, probably because the book was never finished. The fact that there are things that will never be resolved doesn't take away from it's being worthwhile to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If Charles Dickens had been able to complete this book, then I don't honestly think it would have been one of his better works, but going by what there is, I think it still would have been a good solid read.

The tale is mainly set in Cloisterham (fictional, but based on the very real Rochester), but with some goodly sections set in London.

In Cloisterham live the usual assortment of odd, affected characters: young lovers (supposedly), their guardians, friends and neighbours, several of whom carve out a living due to the existence of the Cathedral. There's an oddball mason who pokes around the graveyard and the crypt, a young lad who, although stones everything in sight, reserves much of this activity for the aforesaid graveyard mooch; by agreement if he's late out, then he gets stoned until he does go home. Two new characters, a brother and sister, arrive in the town, and it is this which acts as the pivot for the tale to get really under-way.

Hoping that this doesn't result in any real degree of a spoiler, then basically, we have a row between the fiance and the new boy over the fiancee. A serious attack by the latter is thankfully prevented. Although not linked to this altercation, the engagement's off. Soon after, the former fiance, Edwin Drood is missing, immediately believed dead, and most probably murdered; the main suspect is new boy Neville Landless, but the evidence is circumstantial - blooded heavy walking stick, with of course, the row between the two still fresh in people's minds, but not strong enough to go to a full trial - new boy walks. Even finding personal items of the missing boy in the river is not enough.
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