No RX Toprol

by Bill Ward on August 5, 2009

in Book Reviews

Drood No RX Toprol, This true story will be about Charles Dickens's final five years and about his growing obsession during that time with a man -- if he was a man -- named Drood, as well as with murder, death, corpses, crypts, mesmerism, opium, ghosts, and the streets and alleys of the black-biled lower bowel of London that the writer always called "my Babylon" or "The Great Oven."

  • Title: Drood

  • Author: Dan Simmons

  • Genre: Historical Horror

  • Year: 2009

Charles Dickens a murderer.

Wilkie Collins, our narrator through the 800 page Drood, thinks so -- and Dan Simmons is so compelling a tale-spinner that he'll have you believing it, 200mg Toprol, too. Wilkie, real-life friend and rival to Charles Dickens and author of 'sensation novels', has written this extraordinary account of Charles Dickens' final five years of life and left it for us to discover over a century later. What he describes in lurid detail is a cruel game and a layered mystery, Toprol overseas, an unreliable account of horrors real and imagined, a story of detectives, gas lit streets, 40mg Toprol, catacombs, opium dens, and life in the shadow of a famous, brilliant, manipulative man, 750mg Toprol. And the whole of this strange gothic concoction swirls around the locus of a phantasm named Drood.

Drood, of course, is taken from The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dickens' final, half-finished novel, No RX Toprol. In the nearly 140 years since the author's death, many have tried to supply the answer to the central mysteries of the book -- which involves the disappearance of one Edwin Drood -- and discern Dickens' intended resolution. 50mg Toprol, Simmons supplies his own answer, but that is almost incidental to this epic novel, which melds historical details, speculation, and vivid fantasy together to supply answers to questions we'd never even dream of asking, Toprol india.

The book kick-starts with the Staplehurst accident -- a horrific train derailment that few people walked away from unscathed. One of those people was Charles Dickens -- having been in the only first-class passenger car that didn't go off the rails and plunge into a ravine -- who did what he could to assist the scores of violently injured and dying commuters who had not had his luck. No RX Toprol, Simmons paints this real world incident with striking clarity, and presents it as a backdrop for the introduction of the figure that haunts every page of the novel, Drood. Horribly scarred, 1000mg Toprol, with a skull-like face, lidless eyes, and sharp teeth, Drood is a grotesque in an opera cape -- at once frightening and difficult to believe in. But Wilkie, Toprol craiglist, and by extension the reader, will before long come to believe in him very strongly indeed.

Drood goes amongst the injured as does Dickens -- but, 10mg Toprol, where Dickens brings aid and comfort, all those ministered by Drood die of their wounds. Dickens speaks to Drood, gets his name, and finds out his intended destination that day -- one of the most notorious slum districts in London, 30mg Toprol. After relaying all of this to his friend Wilkie, he convinces him to accompany Dickens on a quest to discover more about this mysterious Drood, No RX Toprol.

Wilkie is our filter for the long, strange tale that follows, and in him Simmons creates a fascinating, Toprol usa, plausible, and deliciously flawed character. Though only in his forties Wilkie is prematurely old; fat, arthritic, and in poor health, 250mg Toprol. He also has a monstrously large laudanum habit, downing entire glasses of the stuff, which is usually doled out in drops. 150mg Toprol, In addition, Wilkie has possible mental derangements, as the intruding figures of a green-skinned women who often attacks him on his stairs, and a doppelganger of himself that sometimes writes his books, will attest, Toprol paypal. No RX Toprol, As the narrative advances Wilkie becomes less and less stable, ingesting ever increasing amounts of laudanum, as well as opium. His envy for his friend Dickens -- the 'Inimitable' as he terms him -- grows poisonous, and the strange world into which he is plunged works upon his mental state until he himself hatches murderous plans.

Dickens and Wilkie, Toprol mexico, in their quest for Drood, discover an underground world of feral men and hidden Egyptian temples linked to London's sewers. Soon the secret knowledge drives the men apart, and Wilkie determines to investigate Drood -- and Dickens' apparent closeness to the morbid creature -- and in the process gets himself mixed up in a world of hard-nosed detectives, secret opium dens, Toprol australia, and shadowy pursuers. Simmons pulls all of these disparate elements together in a big package of Victoriana that looks and feels as authentic as the best historical fiction.

Despite Drood's length, it is not a Victorian-style novel, No RX Toprol. Many of the elements of Victorian literature are there -- the melodramatic spikes in emotion, Toprol uk, plot twists, and cliff-hangers of the sensation novel (such as Wilkie Collins himself wrote), the atmosphere of ruin and the macabre of the Gothic novel, and some of the big characters and discursive asides seen in Dickens' own fiction. The prose is not, Toprol ebay, however, the baroque and voluminous style of the true Victorian novel -- which makes this book a much quicker read than you may suspect -- but it does capture some of the cadence and much of the flavor of the writing of the time.

Historical details and allusions also play a central role in bringing this world to life. Toprol us, From mundane household matters, details of speech and conduct, to current events of public importance and episodes lifted straight from history, Simmons is an absolute master of evoking this period. No RX Toprol, And he interjects a great deal of humor, as well, especially in winking reference to the oeuvre of Dickens. Several of the characters from The Mystery of Edwin Drood and other of Dickens' works make an appearance in thinly disguised form, Toprol coupon, and in-jokes abound. Simmons even manages to have Wilkie prefigure Sherlock Holmes (only to reject the idea) as he brainstorms a fictional detective for his next novel. The more one knows of the period and the literature of the time, Toprol canada, the more these subtle, humorous references will come into focus.

Dickens died on the fifth anniversary of the Staplehurt accident, June 9, 1870, 100mg Toprol, and there in speculation among academics that the trauma of the event shortened his life. Simmons does well to capture the dying author's last years, his furtive efforts to hide the affair he was having, his difficulties with his family, and the feverishly intense speaking tours he gave that enraptured huge audiences, No RX Toprol. All of this is blended seamlessly into the fantastic and horrific elements of the narrative. For example, Toprol japan, Dickens' speaking tour is presented as a possible way Drood might spread his psychic influence through mass mesmerism, and Dickens' own fascination with perfecting his gruesome performance of the murder scene from Oliver Twist may have been reason enough for him to desire to kill someone -- just to see what it felt like. In Drood, it is sometimes hard to see where fact ends and fancy begins, and Simmons maneuvers us through this world with such utter skill and confidence we often no longer care about the real and unreal -- for the utter reality of the narrative itself is more interesting than either, 500mg Toprol.

While the novel could arguably be leaner, I relished every word and was happy for Wilkie's (and Simmons') wealth of extraneous details. For a novel like this, 20mg Toprol, one as captivating as the mesmeric powers displayed by its title character, such extra fat only enhances the overall flavor. Big as it is, I didn't want Drood to end, and this surprising and rewarding amalgam of the possible and the impossible, the historical and the bizarre, the humorous, the horrific, and the genuinely human is one doorstop novel that justifies its length -- and further enhances its author's reputation as a first rate imaginative storyteller.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

gaydegani August 5, 2009 at 11:08 am

Thanks for the review. Bought the CD version way back when and wanted to read Dickens’ Drood first. However I may skip that since I started it and forgot I was reading it!

Bill Ward August 5, 2009 at 6:31 pm

‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’ is probably worth reading first . . . but only if you’re in to it. I didn’t really think it was Dickens best, and had some trouble reading it myself.

Just so long as you’ve read a couple chapters to get some of the references, which really are worth spotting. You might even be inspired to finish ‘Mystery’ after you’ve read Simmons’ take on things.

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