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~READ EPUB ☸ The Last Dickens ♘ In His Most Enthralling Novel Yet, The Critically Acclaimed Author Matthew Pearl Reopens One Of Literary History S Greatest Mysteries The Last Dickens Is A Tale Filled With The Dazzling Twists And Turns, The Unerring Period Details, And The Meticulous Research That Thrilled Readers Of The Bestsellers The Dante Club And The Poe ShadowBoston,When News Of Charles Dickens S Untimely Death Reaches The Office Of His Struggling American Publisher, Fields Osgood, Partner James Osgood Sends His Trusted Clerk Daniel Sand To Await The Arrival Of Dickens S Unfinished Novel But When Daniel S Body Is Discovered By The Docks And The Manuscript Is Nowhere To Be Found, Osgood Must Embark On A Transatlantic Quest To Unearth The Novel That He Hopes Will Save His Venerable Business And Reveal Daniel S KillerDanger And Intrigue Abound On The Journey To England, For Which Osgood Has Chosen Rebecca Sand, Daniel S Older Sister, To Assist Him As They Attempt To Uncover Dickens S Final Mystery, Osgood And Rebecca Find Themselves Racing The Clock Through A Dangerous Web Of Literary Lions And Drug Dealers, Sadistic Thugs And Blue Bloods, And Competing Members Of Dickens S Inner Circle They Soon Realize That Understanding Dickens S Lost Ending Is A Matter Of Life And Death, And The Hidden Key To Stopping A Murderous Mastermind Recipe for a historical mystery 1 Find an unsolved mystery from a past time period 2 Think up a plausible solution for the mystery, then take some historical characters and have them discover the truth 3 Come up with a plausible explanation for why, if these people solved the mystery, it remains unsolved to this day.Recipe for a historical literary mystery repeat the steps above, shake vigorously, and add a dead writer of your choice Missing manuscripts and unfinished novels are a bonus Serve cold, with a nice white wine The Last Dickens is an interesting breed of mystery It s mysterious, all right, but also historical And it s literary It s like someone has taken three of my favourite ideas mysteries, histories, and dead writers, and caused them to collide in the Victorian era, just to see what happens What fun Unfortunately, I didn t like The Last Dickens as much as I wanted to.I suppose this book will inevitably be compared to Drood , so I ll get that out of the way and then not mention it again This book is much better than Drood Its story is superior its characters areenjoyable and it does a much better job exploring the mystery of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.Still, I found both books difficult to enjoy, and now I realize why I m not convinced there is much mystery to be had To some extent, sure, it s fun to wonder what ending Dickens had in mind for his final novel But the idea that it was semi biographical, based on a true story, and the idea that an American publisher would cross the Atlantic to go on a dramatic quest for the lost installments of Edwin Droodit s a stretch, and apparently not one I m willing to take.Let s suppose, for the sake of this review, that I do believe How compelling is this mystery that Matthew Pearl weaves James Ripley Osgood is an earnest individual And I hate him He has no depth I know I m supposed to like him, to see him as the hero, and to applaud his fortitude and courage To be fair, he has good moments and as a mouthpiece for the pro literary themes of this book, he serves his purpose Yet he changes very little in this book, and I never feel like I connect with him as a protagonist The same goes for his companion and obvious romantic interest, Rebbecca Sand Indeed, most of the characters in The Last Dickens are disappointingly drab set pieces instead of actual people Pearl has done a wonderful job recreating the atmosphere for 1870s England and America, but it feels like a town full of actors playing very scripted roles Osgood is earnest, Rebbecca is clever, Major Harper is devilish, and Wakefield is diabolical and double crossing Even the great Chief himself, Charles Dickens, is a mere shadow in this book.And what was with that subplot in India with Dickens son Frank all about I had hoped it would have some sort of relevance, but all it does is demonstrate how the opium trade has affected India But it only directly connects to the main plot once, when we learn that the thieves behind the opium heist Frank investigates are suppliers for the book s shadowy villain Which we didn t really need to know And once again, Turner and Mason were stock characters Turner is pompous, thinks that Dickens got his post as superintendent only on his name, and turns out to be dirty Mason is a well meaning idiot The entire plot felt superfluous, I m sad to say.This careful but ultimately unimpressive construction is endemic to the book as a whole Pearl has created an interesting little simulacrum of Boston, complete with wind up publishers, police officers, and some Irish discrimination every second page But it s a surface world scratch that surface, and there s little of interest beneath it Neither the characters nor the story drew me in, gripped me, and made me want to readThe journey, in this case, was a disappointment However, the destination was still a pleasant place to end up.The redeeming aspect of The Last Dickens is thematic Mysteries, publishing, and poppies aside, Pearl manages to capture the atmosphere of a time when people hung on the every word of one man, Mr Charles Dickens He conveys the extraordinary lengths to which people will go to discover or to conceal Dickens last words and the allure of a literary mystery In the final chapter, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow makes a little author inspired speech I sometimes think, dear Mr Osgood, that all proper books are unfinished They simply have to feign completion for the convenience of the public If not for publishers, no authors would ever reach the end We would have all writers and no readers So you mustn t shed a tear for Drood No, there is much to envy about it I mean that each reader will imagine his or her ideal ending for it, and every reader will be happy with their own private finale in their mind It is in a truer state, perhaps, than any other work of its kind, however large we print those words, The End And you have made the best of it It s a wonderful, very true speech, and one you can tell Pearl has been waiting to spring on us from the beginning of the book So what now Should I feel vindicated that my original position, that the mystery of how Drood ends is immaterial Should I feel angry or cheated that I ve been dragged through a mystery populated by flimsy historical recreations only to have what I already know flung back into my face I could, but no good would come of it That ship has sailed All that s left for me to do now is to conclude that Pearl s heart is in the right place He s got some good messages But his execution is lacking Personally, I think the premise was his undoing, but your mileage may vary.Just remember the moral of the story if you don t like the end, you can always make your own up I m pulling for a sequel in which we find out Dickens didn t die but faked his own death and fled to Australia to join a carnival. The first book I read of Matthew Peal was the Last Bookaneer, a later publication to the Last Dickens I loved the Last Bookaneer so much and expected same competence in this book But I m so sorry to say that this book was a disappointment I loved the information given in the book relating to Charles Dicken which in fact gave me a new awareness and new perspective regarding the renowned author I thank Mr Pearl for that But the main plot was so disturbed with some incidental, I would say irrelevant, sub story line based in Bengal, India I also felt that the living years of Charles Dicken as described through his reading tour in America was too detailed It distracted me from the main mystery plot In the final chapters everything slowly put in to place but by that time I was a little exhausted with the reading All these facts contributed to me reading the book at a snail s pace and the slow reading affected all my excitement over the book. I wanted to like this novel, really I did I love Dickens s novels and pretty much anything to do with Dickens, and I have an especial soft spot for Drood But Pearl s novel left me cold I kept trying to getinvolved in the plot s nefarious twists and turns, and to appreciate his trademark authorial touches, including the subtle nod at recent Dickens scholars with a postcolonial lens but the novel kept rejecting my attempts at affection It begins with a premise familiar to anyone who has read The D Case or Dickens s own novel Drood itself speculation about the lost unfinished ending to The Mystery of Edwin Drood Pearl sweeps the reader up in Boston, transplants her to England and natch India, obliquely following 1 the American reading tours of an increasingly fatigued Charles Dickens, 2 one of Dickens s sons, stationed in India and who happens to be a highly decorated officer hot on the trail of an opium smuggler, 3 the travails of an independent publisher moonlighting as a literary private detective, and 4 a series of petty or hardened criminals including a half Chinese pirate with a golden cane, a few desperate New York journalists, a deranged aristocratic fan in love with Dickens think Misery and, of course, the real villains a soulless rival publishing house Pearl s solution to the Drood question is interesting, but worked out in a way that feels purely formulaic rather than compelling.There is so much that could have made this novel really great, and instead it was just so so Sorry, Mr Pearl, but in order to pull off a tour de force of this order, you need to be Dickens himself. As historical novels go I think this one was particularly fascinating in how intricately the events of the story s fictional characters are interwoven with the actual historical events of Dickens life James Ripley Osgood, the junior partner in the American publishing firm representing Charles Dickens, sets out in pursuit of clues to the conclusion of Dickens final novel which was left only half finished at the time of his death The completion of the novel is of great import to his American publishers because Dickens is so popular a celebrity that its publication stands between financial success and possible ruin for the firm Murder and mayhem lie along the path of his quest from Boston to London and back Matthew Pearl has caught the flavor of the language and manners of the Victorian age, revealing its seamy underbelly of poverty, social injustice and drug addiction, as it attempted to maintain a class system that justified its continuation Although Victorian authors from Dickens to Arthur Conan Doyle have given insight into the era, Pearl smodern perspective is particularly keen This is a real mystery thriller with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end. On June 9, 1870, Charles Dickens died suddenly at his home He was only 58 At the time of his death, he was hard at work at a novel called The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but he d only finished half the novel This book follows his American publisher, James R Osgood, who believed the last half of Drood had been written before Dickens s death, and the race to find it beforeunsavory characters got their hands on the manuscript The synopsis of the book makes it sound right up my alley a mystery about an unfinished book Written by one of English literature s foremost authors Set in Victorian times Yes, please, to all of the above Yet this book left me wanting To me, it read like Matthew Pearl was hoping to make it into a screenplay The action scenes felt like they were written to appeal to fans of shoot em up, blow em up, movie goers I mean, kill the bad guy by dropping a steam powered elevator on him and cause massive gas explosions at the same time, just to make sure he is really and truly dead I still haven t figured out why Pearl included the scenes in India with Dickens s son either That s not quite fleshed out, and detracted from the novel Pearl s writing style leaves a lot to be desired He seems to be fond of the cliche, which is quite a shame While reading this I felt as though he could write no better than I and I am not author His pacing was extremely slow, and I found myself doing other things instead of wanting to pick up this book and devour it It s really a shame because while it s clear that Pearl did a great deal of research to write this book, and because his characterizations are so wonderful, there s just no compelling reason to READ this novel This novel could have been truly great, but Pearl s writing style gets in the way. Siguiendo en la l nea de La sombra de Poe, la historia se centra en Charles Dickens y su ltimo libro Pero, en comparaci n con el de Poe, me ha gustado mucho m s este La lectura sigue siendo gil en la mayor a de puntos, pero creo que le cuesta arrancar un poco, pero, en cuanto lo hace, uno se engancha a la trama Tambi n contiene los toques oscuros que tanto me gustan y la historia me ha encantado, me ha parecido todo bastante coherente y en alg n momento me ha sorprendido con el giro de la trama Los personajes me gustan mucho, destacando a Osgood y a Rebeca, que se vea c mo era la mujer divorciada en aquella poca me ha parecido original La rese a completa en el blog August 1.5 I really didn t like this book at all It was, IMO, a convoluted mess There were parts that were pointless, parts that made no sense,and the ending huh I still am not sure I get the whys and wherefores of the mystery I m not a mystery reader as a general rule, but still it was really confusing as to what exactly the bad guys wanted, why they did what they did The entire parts that took place in India were poitless as was most of the storyline w Dickens still alive I found most of it painful to read and would not recommend this to anyone CnC review 2.75 3.5 Looking around, it seemed every character from every Dickens novel, aristocrat and common, pompous and inconspicuous, had come to life The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl is an entertaining novel and a treat for Dickens fanatics such as myself As much as I enjoyed myself, however, I think that I would have appreciated the bookif I hadn t already read and reread and lovedThe D Case or The Truth About The Mystery Of Edwin Droodby Fruttero and Lucentini The aims of these two works are not exactly one and the same, and as a result they unfold in two different directions in a beautiful parallelism, as one starts investigating the novel Drood and the other the manuscript Drood, and then they both proceed to cross and blur the boundaries between reality and fiction, and between fiction and criticism That book, now, The D Case, is a real literary investigation that had me down on my knees in adoration and I guess that the problem is that I expected once again something on that line And truth be told, in part I got it only a great scholar equipped with an exceptional and devoted imagination could think of spinning this story around Poe s Philosophy of Composition and make it believable, or at least not entirely absurd Other plot devices I liked way less and found way less realistic, view spoiler like Dickens leaving the missing half of the manuscript in America, an action that no reasons suffice to explain, as I see it hide spoiler eh.