The Last Dickens, by Matthew Pearl

Book 46


Matthew Pearl’s third novel spins a mystery of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the novel that Charles Dickens was writing upon his death.  The premise is that Dickens’ U.S. publisher, a small firm in Boston, is on the brink at the time of his death and desperate to print whatever is left of the transcript.  There is a guy, a girl, drugs, murder and several red herrings. Pretty smooth.  But even so:

Pearl’s novels take a lot of patience, in that they unfold very slowly.   Sometimes I enjoyed this one and sometimes lost patience.  The story jumps between two time periods and then over to India.  The latter seemed superfluous, but I went with it.  But…you know when you are reading a book and you hit what looks like the climax, but there are too many pages left?

Yeah.

I liked this better than The Poe Shadow, but not as much as The Dante Club.

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