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Month in review

Reviews:
Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
Arthur's New Puppy by Marc Brown
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Cat Dreams by Urusla K. Le Guin and S. D. Schindler (illustrator)
Clementina's Cactus by Ezra Jack Keats
Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds and Neil Numberman
Dinosaur Train by John Steven Gurney
Duma Key by Stephen King
Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Death and Dementia by Edgar Allan Poe and Gris Grimly
Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight
Gravitation Volume 2 by Maki Murakami
Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation by Tom Siddell
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Hour of the Olympics (Magic Tree House #16) by Mary Pope Osborne
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit? by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur
Henry's 100 Days of Kindergarten by Nancy Carlson
Hip Cat by Jonathan London
Knuckleboom Loaders Load Logs by Joyce Slayton-Mitchell
The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
King Matt the First by Janusz Korczak
Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint
The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint
No Mad by Sam Moffie
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
Pharaoh's Flowers by H. Nigel Hepper
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Private Eye by Albert E. Cowdrey
Return of the Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
Salmon Doubts by Adam Sacks
The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heide
The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry
Snowfall by Jessie Thompson
Songwood by Marc Laidlaw
Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder
Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House #17) by Mary Pope Osborne
What Pete Ate from A to Z by Maira Kalman
When Cats Dream by Dav Pilkey

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Last Dickens

The Last Dickens  cover art (Link goes to Powells)The Last Dickens: 03/22/10

In The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl the clerk of Dickens's American publisher is murdered at the docks. He had been there to hopefully pick up a shipment of notes for the author's unfinished serial, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. When there is no sign of the package the publisher and the clerk's sister go to London in search of an ending for Drood.

As anyone who has seen the Doctor Who episode "The Unquiet Dead" knows that Charles Dickens died in 1870. When he died he was only half way through Drood.
James Osgood on his trip to London comes up with a hopeful notion that Dickens wrote his serial front to back, so that the first published episodes were actually the last ones he wrote. In his search for the missing manuscripts he ends up solving another mystery.

Besides being about the last months of Dickens's life, the novel has flashbacks to a previous trip Dickens took to the United States and other installments involving Dickens's son Frank who lives and works in India. These asides from the main plot may seem out of place but they are well within keeping with Pearl's approach to writing. Each of Pearl's novels is written in the style of the author he's highlighting. His first book is just as grotesque and lyrical as Dante's Inferno; his second reads like a Gothic detective story and this one is Dickensian.

When my friend brought Matthew Pearl's latest novel, The Last Dickens to our BookCrossing meeting, I snagged it. I set aside the other book I was reading and made it my "must read now" book. It ended up being one of my favorites books for 2009.

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Comment #1: Monday, March, 22, 2010 at 19:23:03

April

Oh, I am so glad that you liked this one! I listened to it last summer and loved it!!



Comment #2: Monday, March 22, 2010 at 22:43:29

Pussreboots

I've enjoyed all three of his books but I think The Last Dickens is my favorite.