Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Other Reasons to Story Map

If I could meet any author from all time for five minutes, I would pick Charles Dickens. Not that I'm a huge fan of his, because I'm not, but I really want to know how The Mystery of Edwin Drood ends.

I know what you're probably thinking. 'God, just read the book if you want to know how it ends. There's no need to harass some gone to rest spirit for that. Read the book.' Well, thing is, I can't. No one can. Dickens died half way through the book and no one knows how the story was supposed to end.

See, the story is about a guy named Edwin Drood. He's got a nice fiancee, whom he isn't in love with and who isn't in love with him. He's got a close relationship with his cousin, an opium addict who is in love with Drood's fiancee. And there's a whole host of over characters who are also very interesting, including the Egyptian immigrant who is also in love with his fiancee. (What can I say, she's supposedly good looking.) See how these people might want him dead?

Yep, half way through Drood disappears. Cue the murder mystery. And no one knows who actually did it. I want to know.

The new mystery of the story is how it was going to end. That question actually gave rise to the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood which puts the book on as a play, complete with all the potential alternate endings there could have been. (Including more than a few I doubt Dickens ever considered.) I like the musical (click here to listen to one of my favorite song,
"Both Sides of the Coin.") but I wish I knew what ending Dickens plotted.

Some critics figure that the killer was Jasper, the cousin, and that the book would end with Jasper about to mount the gallows, contemplating the evils of his actions. Boring. Others, since Dickens never considered a title involving the words 'death' or 'murder' believe that Edwin was never actually dead and would have made a triumphant return. I don't know how I feel about that, but it's not the worst idea ever.

What's the moral of this story? Always make notes on how things are going to end. That way, in the event of your tragic demise, the world is not left to ponder it for all eternity. Unless that's what you're into. In which case, you're cruel.

1 comment:

  1. That's creepy to think about, but so true. I hadn't thought of that. I'll remember to leave random notes from now on about how I want my stories to end.