I've spent a good bit of time with fictional versions of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Louisa May Alcott these last few days.
During my daily commute to the office (25 minutes each way), I've been listening to Drood, the Dan Simmons novel focusing on the rather strange relationship between Dickens and Wilkie Collins. The novel is almost 800 pages long, and the audio version takes right at 30 hours of listening time, a real chunkster.
I'm also about two-thirds of the way through The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, a brand new novel by Kelly O'Connor McNees in which the author imagines a summer romance for Miss Alcott (in which the young lady actually loses her virginity...what a scandal).
On a personal note, I'm still living with my father as he recovers from surgery and two emergency hospital stays in the last three weeks. To top everything off, we have just started the process of closing down this house so that he can move to an assisted living community this weekend. The good news is that I'll get to go home in a few days - the bad news is that I'll be stuck with a house to sell that will still be about 60% full of my dad's stuff. I've been able to get in a good dose of daily reading but I'm really finding it difficult to scrounge up any computer time...ever try to shred 40 years worth of old financial records? Take it from me - you don't want to go there.
I'm thinking my way through a review of Drood right now. There is so much there that I don't yet know where I'm going to start. Frankly, I'm still trying to figure out how much of what Collins tells really happened, how much was dreamed, and how much he experienced while in his numerous drug-induced stupors. Have any of you guys read this one? I don't think I would have challenged myself with a written version but the audio book, because of the narrator's great reading skill, is lots of fun.