Drood - Audio CD - Abridged Author:Dan Simmons, Simon Prebble (Narrator) On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens -- at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world -- hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever. — Did Dickens begin living a dark do... more »uble life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London -- mere research . . . or something more terrifying?