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Synopsis

It is so strange to see a long, well-plotted novel suddenly come to a dead stop. (Of a projected twelve episodes, Dickens wrote six before his death.) The title character is either murdered or missing, and a large cast of characters in London and Cloisterham (Dickenss Rochester) are involved in their own way in discovering what happened to Edwin Drood.

There is first of all John Jasper, an opium addict who suspiciously loves Droods ex-fiancee; there is a nameless old woman who dealt him the opium who is trying to nail Jasper; there is a suspicious pile of quicklime Jasper notices during a late night stroll through the cathedral precincts; there is Durdles who knows all the secrets of the Cathedral of Cloisterhams underground burial chambers; there is the deputy, a boy in the pay of several characters who has seen all the comings and goings; there are the Anglo-Indian Landless twins, one of whom developed a suspicious loathing for Drood; there is the lovely Rosebud, unwilling target of every mans affections; and we havent even begun talking about Canon Crisparkle, Datchery, Tartar, and a host of other characters. All we know is that the game is afoot, but well never know the outcome.

It would have been nice to know how Dickens tied together all these threads, but we can still enjoy THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD because -- wherever Dickens was heading with it -- it is very evidently the equal of his best works. Life is fleeting, and not all masterpieces are finished

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