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The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
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The Moonstone (1868)

by Wilkie Collins

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,907152525 (3.96)621
  1. 90
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Booksloth)
  2. 62
    Drood by Dan Simmons (Jannes)
    Jannes: A (fictional) tale about Collins and his friendship with Dickens. "The Moonstone" in prominently featured. Give it a try if you're into historical thrillers.
  3. 41
    Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh by J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Anonymous user)
  4. 21
    Dead Men Tell No Tales by E. W. Hornung (TineOliver)
    TineOliver: Both are essentially mystery novels, although Collins is both more pioneering and, in my view better written. While the two novels were published approximately 30 years apart, both are set in the mid 19th century. Reading both books allows the reader to place the works in context of other mystery novels from the 19th century. Accordingly, I am not suggesting that just because you enjoyed one means you will enjoy the other to the same extent.… (more)
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» See also 621 mentions

English (146)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
I had to abandon this at least 2/3 of the way through. I was listening to a Librivox recording and the third narrator, Christine?, killed it for me. Her English is so heavily accented to the American ear that I could hardly follow it anymore. This also occurred at a major transition point in the novel and I just couldn't get there when it slowed to a sanil's pace. Oh well. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
An instant classic that enthralls with a mood that starts to enter your world as you read it. And what a story!! ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I read this back in high school. When you have to read a book assigned to you a lot of times you dislike it automatically. I liked it, much to my surprise, and would read it again to see if I'd enjoy it as an adult.
Have it on e-book now. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 23, 2016 |
Excellent! I loved it! A new favorite! ( )
  AmieB7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
Collins work is heralded as the beginning of the "Detective Mystery Genre" by many critics. This is because it is the first of its kind that involves heavily the uncovering of a great mystery as part of the plot. Here it is the gem called The Moonstone, which the book is obviously named for. The Moonstone is stolen and we are left wondering who in the tale took the precious gem.

We are taken on a journey toward discovering the culprit by various narrators that share their perspective or part of the greater mystery of what occurred. Each narrator has their own individual bias, such as the first narrator that is a servant that wishes to keep the family safe or the second narrator who has a deep seeded religious perspective. This makes each narrator feel somewhat flawed in their telling, but adds the needed human element that a work of fiction needs to keep it above the water of sinking into the ocean of utter crap or implausibility.

For most of the story it feels like a great Victorian era book, but it is when the added element of the Indian characters are added that this story begins to feel forced or taken off course. It feels that at times that Collins himself was not sure of the direction that he would eventually take in some moments and then forced it to go in a particular direction. Each narrator is strong, but one wishes that the ultimate destiny of the Moonstone will be revealed a lot sooner than it is. There are numerous places that the story drags on and you wonder if you will reach the conclusion. When I personally reached the conclusion I felt that it was rather forced and that there had been no clear indication that it could have been the person it ends up being. I had wished there had been more little hints along the way towards the destination, but Collins didn't write it in this manner. He had us instead jump from person to person only receiving bits of information for way too many pages.

The largest redeeming quality of the work is the fact that we know that this book has had a great place in literary history due to it being one of the first books of its kind. If it wasn't for this simple fact I may have judged this particular book much harsher because it left much to be desired. I did have to question though if I would have enjoyed it to a different caliber if I had never had previously read a mystery novel, which would have been the context for this book, which is another reason it was judged less harshly then I originally intended it to be. Overall though it left a lot to be desired from this reader and felt my time would have been better spent on a more enjoyable read, such as any other mystery novel like the next Sookie Stackhouse or Stephanie Plum books. ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (115 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Collins, Wilkieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laurora, HoracioTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, G. D. H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Connolly, JoyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jeffrey, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karl, Frederick R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, Dr. LauriatIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maine, G. F.General editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nayder, LillianAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, J. I. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willis, ChristineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
IN MEMORIAM MATRIS
First words
In the first part of Robinson Crusoe, at page one hundred and twenty-nine, you will find it thus written: 'Now I saw, though too late, The Folly of beginning a Work before we count the Cost, and before we judge rightly of our own Strength to go through with it.'
Intending praise, T. S. Eliot slung an albatross around the neck of The Moonstone with his encomium: 'the first and best of detective novels.' (Introduction)
In some of my former novels, the object proposed has been to trace the influence of circumstances upon character. (Preface)
The circumstances under which The Moonstone was originally written have invested the book - in the author's mind - with an interest peculiarly its own. (Preface to a New Edition)
I address these lines - written in India - to my relatives in England. (Prologue)
Quotations
We are all of us more or less unwilling to be brought into the world. And we are all of us right.
It is one of my rules in life, never to notice what I don't understand.
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Stolen from the forehead of a Hindu idol, the dazzling gem known as "The Moonstone" resurfaces at a birthday party in an English country home-with an enigmatic trio of watchful Brahmins hot on its trail. Laced with superstitions, suspicion, humor, and romance, this 1868 mystery draws readers into a compelling tale whose twists and turns range from sleepwalking to experimentation with opium.

Described by T.S. Eliot as a "master of plot and situation," Collins possessed gifts of characterization that rivaled those of his close friend, Charles Dickens. The Moonstone exhibits these skills with suspenseful and dramatic effects, as the narrative passes from one colorful character to the next. The novel is particularly distinguished by the appearance of Sergeant Cuff, a prototype of the English detective hero and the harbinger of a popular tradition of sleuthing.
Haiku summary
History is made
As first detective novel
In English language.
(passion4reading)
Rachel gets diamond
For birthday. It's stolen at
Night: call detective!
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375757856, Paperback)

"The Moonstone is a page-turner," writes Carolyn Heilbrun. "It catches one up and unfolds its amazing story through the recountings of its several narrators, all of them enticing and singular." Wilkie Collins’s spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre–the detective mystery. Hinging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, this riveting novel features the innovative Sergeant Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid, and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive 1871 edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:31 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Rachel Verrinder receives the stone as a gift and does not realize that it has been passed to her in a sinister form of revenge by John Herncastle who, it transpires, acquired the moonstone by means of murder and theft. The jewel also brings bad luck. The stone disappears on the very night it is given to Rachel, though, and the tale concerns the unveiling of the culprit after the intervention of Sergeant Cuff, a famous London detective.… (more)

» see all 19 descriptions

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Audible.com

17 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140434089, 0141198877

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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