Item description for The Moonstone (Classic Fiction) by Wilkie Collins...
A novel which reflects the underside of Victorian life. A tale of a stolen jewel, foreign menace and violent death. A telling social portrait.
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook, Classical
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.57" Width: 4.88" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.41 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 9626340274 ISBN13 9789626340271
Availability 0 units.
More About Wilkie Collins
Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities Emerita at Columbia University, has authored scholarly classics such as Writing A Woman's Life. As Amanda Cross she has written numerous bestselling Kate Fansler mysteries including Honest Doubt. She lives in New York City.
Wilkie Collins was born in 1824 and died in 1889.
Wilkie Collins has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Moonstone (Classic Fiction)?
Fantastic Mystery! Jun 15, 2008
I have to admit that until I did a mystery search, I hadn't even heard of Wilkie Collins. Wilkie Collins name came up, along with a description of The Moonstone as being "the best of modern English detective novels" (as quoted by T.S.Eliot). Big words, indeed. With those lofty expectations, I read The Moonstone, and have to say that this mystery definitely delivered. It lived up to those words.
One of the finer aspects of Collins work is his creation of mood and suspense in the story. There is a feeling of expectation and suspense from the beginning, when the moonstone is stolen, to the case of trying to find out who stole it, to the unmasking of events, people and circumstances at the end. There is a marvelous ability to create narrative point of view from the many narratives told from the various characters. And there are many--eleven different narratives--in total. From Gabriel Betteredge to Franklin Blake to Sergeant Cuff to Miss Clack and other minor characters, Collins is able to change narrative persona and "become" that person. There is a good deal of intrigue from so many voices, because, quite frankly, you do not know if you can take what the person is saying at face value. In this way, the human element of perspective is amazingly effective in telling this mystery.
There are other elements that make this a worthy mystery. Namely, you have a diverse number of characters, who have their various motives. Throw in a love affair, a tragic character, and an exotic jewel with a curse put on it, and you have quite a remarkable suspense. I have to say that I was hooked.
As far as my own personal interests, I found Sergeant Cuff to be my favorite character. Surely, he's no Sherlock Holmes, but there is a way he goes about trying to solve the mystery that I found refreshing. He's no average sleuth. One of my favorite scenes was the "experiment" performed by Ezra Jennings in relation to the events leading up to the disappearance of the moonstone.
There is also a little comic relief thrown in from time to time in the person of Gabriel Betteredge, who believes that life's answers and secret are all contained in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.
The Moonstone is an engaging work, highly detailed, and maybe a little implausible, but Collin's overcomes this. I'm glad I found this one, and I've also heard good things about The Woman in White, another Collins mystery. Definitely worth a read!
highly enjoyable mystery Apr 5, 2008
I am not a big fan of mystery novels. However, I'd have to agree that "The Moonstone" may not only the first and longest, but also the best detective novel ever written. The story is told from the viewpoint of a number of characters, and the writing style varies accordingly. The storytellers vividly paint the different characters, while they are themselves brought to life through the idiosyncracies of their writing. There is not a single, central mystery, but a web of unexplained occurrences and actions that each writer presents from his or her own view, adding bits of information in the process. Therefore the fun is as much in the construction of the web of mysteries surrounding the disappearance of the Moonstone, as in the eventual resolution.
The plot is somewhat intricate, but not too difficult to follow. In brief, a very satisfying book.
The Moonstone: An Objective Analysis Mar 30, 2008
Wilkie Collins was an English writer who penned one of the first and greatest detective stories with his novel, The Moonstone in 1868. He not only portrayed suspense, excitement, and doubt all at the same time, but he also created a great mystery with his story of a stolen diamond. While writing The Moonstone, Collins was grieving the loss of his mother and was also sick with rheumatic gout. His grief and illness crippled him and caused him great pain. In The Moonstone, Collins includes a character burdened with a similar illness, and thus portrays the type of pain he himself was going through. However, Collins persevered through his illness and pain to continue publishing parts of his story each week in the newspapers so he would not disappoint his English and American readers. The mystery in The Moonstone draws the reader into exotic settings and characters which spice up the story that begins in India in 1799. An English Colonel steals a breath-taking yellow diamond from the forehead of the moon-god statue and returns to England. However, there is a curse on the person who takes the sacred gem from its intended purpose, and the curse extends to the person's family. Upon the Colonel's death, the diamond is passed on to his niece in England in 1848 on her eighteenth birthday. The diamond is stolen the very night it is presented to her at her birthday party with many guests and servants in attendance. From here on, through narratives written from the points of view of different characters, the story falls deeper into mystery, and the characters are not who they seem to be on the surface. The reader keeps wondering who took the diamond and why. The mystery is many-sided and is truly not entirely revealed until the very end, certainly not disappointing the reader, who has been taken on a long but fascinating ride. The Moonstone definitely stands out because it is written in nineteenth century English. For an American reader, it is almost like stepping into a different time and culture. However, the old-fashioned English often times causes the reader to reread some of the words and phrasing in the sentences, lengthening the reading process. But overall, the mystery and its unraveling are fascinating, methodical and well-organized. The only drawback is that it takes the reader 552 pages before his curiosity is finally satisfied.
Charming and Delightful Dec 28, 2007
Memorable characters written in a charming 19th century voice. A book to be savored like a cup of flavorful British tea. The author commands his words and sentences better than most writers of today. Best for classics lovers.
Officially the first English Detective story Oct 18, 2007
This is an important work to read because it is known as the first real Engligh detective story. As the first detective story it sets many of the standards for the modern-day detective story genre. Another reason why this book is interesting is because of the various eye-witness testimonies that make up the book. And I must mention here the first half of the book is written by Gabriel Betteridge, the butler for the family involved in this tale. This part of the book is excruciatingly funny. Betteridge's servant's viewpoint is pure genius. The book was published in 1868, and Wilkie Collins was actually quite advanced in his thinking for a writer of this era. The book is about the disappearance of a priceless diamond that had been brought to England from India as a spoil of war. The diamond has a curse on it, and it proves to be the undoing of various people throughout the book. The book is long, but the various viewpoints presented help to shorten the story.