On Saturday January 8, I read The Last Dickens: A Novel by Matthew Pearl. I had already read The Poe Shadow: A Novel and The Dante Club: A Novel, both of which I enjoyed, though I think I enjoyed The Last Dickens: A Novel the most of them all! The book is about Dickens’ last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Everyman’s Library)
which he was unable to finish before he died.
See, so now I have to read The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Everyman’s Library)! A book that leads to another book! My favorite!
I found the idea that Dickens wrote this novel based on real people and real places so wonderful – because I think that all writers do that – they start from somewhere – they base their characters on people they once knew. That is why fiction excites us so much, I think, because it imitates real life so well. And as a writer, it’s comforting to know that the greatest masters did it too!
Another think that Pearl does which I love is that he connects all of his books to one another. Longfellow, Holmes and Poe each appear in this novel which connects it to the other books he’s written. It is so neat when writers can build little worlds for themselves like that – where their characters interact (even though in this case the characters were real and really did interact!) but it makes me feel like he is recreating a whole world, not just writing one novel about one author.
Off to find a copy of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Everyman’s Library)!