Published after his death, Dickens brilliantly brings to life a broad cast of colorful characters in the never solved mysterious disappearance of one Edwin Drood, all set in the rural hamlet of Cloisterham around the Cathedral close. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is Charles Dickens’s brilliant contribution to the field of crime and detection. In fact, the novel is even more of a mystery than Dickens himself intended, for he died before completing it, making it a favorite of literary detectives.
Against a background of opium dens, nocturnal graveyard visits, and moldering monastic crypts, Dickens weaves a tightly knit plot centered on the ominous disappearance of young Edwin Drood. Suspected of foul murder are John Jasper, a drug-addicted choir-master who hungers after Drood’s fiancée, and Neville Landless, a Ceylonese who had previously quarreled violently with the missing man. With dark, brooding atmosphere and masterful characterization, Dickens is at the height of his powers in this final work.
"David Thorn reads Dickens' last, incomplete, novel, a dark romance involving a disappearance and possible murder, with a variety of voices and accents worthy of a multicast performance and an extraordinary range of color and expression. His reading, complex but neither forced nor affected, is both intimate and vivid, enlivening passages that might have been dull. One quibble: Some voices don't match Dickens's description. Thorn attempts the audacious tactic of maturing Drood and his betrothed, Rosa, by subtly altering their voices over time. He miscalculates only in starting them too callow and silly; by the time the change comes (and it succeeds remarkably), it's too little too late. A pity this is only a fragment." (AudioFile)
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