The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

3.65 (8,347 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Description

The Mystery of Edwin Drood as completed by a loyal Dickensian. This title is cited and recommended by Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 266 pages
  • 114.3 x 185.42 x 17.78mm | 158.76g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0192815938
  • 9780192815934

Review Text

Who killed Edwin Drood? Was he, in fact, murdered at all? And who is the very white-haired (and black-eyebrowed) Datchery? Those were the major questions left in mystery when Dickens died after writing only about half of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. And Garfield's attempt at completing the book - hardly the first such - wisely chooses to solve the murder mystery in the most generally accepted manner, the manner clearly indicated by Dickens' notes and conversations: opium addict Jasper is the killer, and he deposited his nephew's body in the quicklime beneath the Cathedral. On other counts, however, the plot turns here are somewhat disappointing. Datchery is not the lawyer Grewgious in disguise nor Helena Landless . . . but an actor-turned-detective working for Grewgious: an awfully mundane explanation. A second murder - of Neville Landless - seems arbitrary, And Jasper's death-cell confession - though based (perhaps too literally) on Dickens' own stated intentions - seems rather more akin to Tony Perkins' schizoid Psycho revelation than to anything that Dickens would have written. As for Garfield's style in the concluding 100 pages - it's an agreeable enough compromise: a modern equivalent of a Dickensian style instead of an imitation. But it must be said that Dickens' other-worldly aura collapses almost immediately in Garfield's chapters: the dark themes are not picked up on; the pace is too hurried (Dickens' own finale would probably have been at least half-again as long); the shifts between past and present tense become noticeably jarring (with Dickens, they're invisible); there's a contemporary flatness to the similes and digressions. All in all, then, this is a tasteful, talented, cautious job of work - good enough to give lucky readers an excuse to read (or re-read) the original, but not (how could it be?) the much-missed second half of a minor masterpiece. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

8,347 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 22% (1,855)
4 35% (2,919)
3 32% (2,641)
2 9% (720)
1 3% (212)
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