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The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Penguin Classics) Paperback – May 28, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (May 28, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140439269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140439267
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Publisher

This book is in Electronic Paperback Format. If you view this book on any of the computer systems below, it will look like a book. Simple to run, no program to install. Just put the CD in your CDROM drive and start reading. The simple easy to use interface is child tested at pre-school levels.

Windows 3.11, Windows/95, Windows/98, OS/2 and MacIntosh and Linux with Windows Emulation.

Includes Quiet Vision's Dynamic Index. the abilty to build a index for any set of characters or words. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By James Paris on December 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is so strange to see a long, well-plotted novel suddenly come to a dead stop. (Of a projected twelve episodes, Dickens wrote six before his death.) The title character is either murdered or missing, and a large cast of characters in London and Cloisterham (Dickens's Rochester) are involved in their own way in discovering what happened to Edwin Drood.
There is first of all John Jasper, an opium addict who suspiciously loves Drood's ex-fiancee; there is a nameless old woman who dealt him the opium who is trying to nail Jasper; there is a suspicious pile of quicklime Jasper notices during a late night stroll through the cathedral precincts; there is Durdles who knows all the secrets of the Cathedral of Cloisterham's underground burial chambers; there is the "deputy," a boy in the pay of several characters who has seen all the comings and goings; there are the Anglo-Indian Landless twins, one of whom developed a suspicious loathing for Drood; there is the lovely Rosebud, unwilling target of every man's affections; and we haven't even begun talking about Canon Crisparkle, Datchery, Tartar, and a host of other characters. All we know is that the game is afoot, but we'll never know the outcome.
It would have been nice to know how Dickens tied together all these threads, but we can still enjoy THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD because -- wherever Dickens was heading with it -- it is very evidently the equal of his best works. Life is fleeting, and not all masterpieces are finished.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By IRA Ross on May 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It is a tribute to Charles Dickens' reputation that to this day this unfinished novel, a mystery no less, still garners such speculation as to who allegedly murdered Edwin Drood. There are organizations created for the sole purpose of analyzing the novel and to theorizing whom the culprit may have been, if indeed there really was a culprit. After all, only Drood's watch and his shirt pin are produced, not his body.
As in all of Dickens' novels, the characterizations are the thing. You have the innocent young woman with the somewhat eccentric guardian and his Bob Cratchitlike assistant. There is the dark, possibly unfairly accused, but hot headed antagonist of Drood. Then there is Drood's brooding choirmaster uncle, John Jasper, who frequents opium dens, and who may or may not have ulterior motives in his seeking revenge. Durdles, the stone mason, and a somewhat weird character, provides some chilling comic relief in cemetery scenes with his stone throwing assistant. There are also the typical Dickensian characters, which includes a snooty older woman, a class conscious, spinsterish school mistress, and in a hilarious restaurant scene, an unappreciated, hard working "flying waiter" and a lazy, wise acre "stationary waiter."
It is a shame that Dickens died before he could complete "Edwin Drood." What is here are the beginnings of an exploration of man's dual nature, a journey into "the heart of darkness" so to speak.
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Format: Paperback
Set in Cloisterham, a cathedral town, Dickens's final novel, unfinished, introduces two elements unusual for Dickens--opium-eating and the church. In the opening scene, John Jasper, music teacher and soloist in the cathedral choir, awakens from an opium trance in a flat with two other semi-conscious men and their supplier, an old woman named Puffer, and then hurries off to daily vespers.

Jasper, aged twenty-six, is the uncle and guardian of Edwin Drood, only a few years younger. Drood has been the fiancé of Rosa Bud for most of his life, an arrangement made by his and Rosa's deceased fathers to honor their friendship, and the wedding is expected within the year. Jasper, Rosa's music teacher, is secretly in love with her, though she finds him repellent.

When two orphans, Helena and Neville Landless, arrive in Cloisterham, Helena and Rosa become friends, and Neville finds himself strongly attracted to the lovely Rosa. Ultimately, the hot-tempered Neville and Drood have a terrible argument in which Neville threatens Drood before leaving town on a walking trip. Drood vanishes the same day. Apprehended on his trip, Neville is questioned about Drood's disappearance, and Jasper accuses him of murder.

Tightly organized to this point, the novel shows Jasper himself to be a prime suspect, someone who could have engineered the evidence against Neville, but Dickens unexpectedly introduces some new characters at this point--the mysterious Dick Datchery and Tartar, an old friend of Rev. Mr. Crisparkle, minor canon at the cathedral. Puffer, the opium woman, is reintroduced and appears set to play a greater role, since she solicits information from the semi-conscious Jasper and secretly follows him.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lauryn Angel VINE VOICE on June 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I say this not because the novel is bad -- it's actually quite good -- but because it was left unfinished; Dickens died while writing this novel. I was prepared to be frustrated that I would never know how the mystery was solved, but the novel ends before you really get to know what the mystery is! Edwin Drood disappears and is presumed dead, and Dickens makes it look as if a certain person is guilty of his murder. Of course, Dickens would never have been so obvious, so it has to be a red herring. In addition to the murder, a person who is obviously in disguise just barely appears on the scene before the story abruptly ends, leaving no clue as to who this person may be. The novel is well-written and intriguing, but without an ending, it's a little frustrating!
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