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The Moonstone (Wordsworth Classics) (original 1868; edition 1997)

by Wilkie Collins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,001154515 (3.96)630
Member:Jamoni
Title:The Moonstone (Wordsworth Classics)
Authors:Wilkie Collins
Info:Wordsworth Editions Ltd (1997), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Krimi, Diebstahl, Diamant

Work details

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)

  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 630 mentions

English (149)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
I ended up finishing this novel rather quickly - it's an early detective novel and though it had a bit of a slow start, I did really get drawn into it and at some point just had to go on reading because I wanted to know what happened.

In the novel a young girl, Rachel, receives a precious gem known as the Moonstone through an inheritance. The stone is said to be an ancient hindoo religious artifact, looked for by hindoo brahmins who will stop at nothing to retrieve it. While she and her family are still debating what to do with the gem, it gets stolen... After the disappearance a famous detective is called in to try to retrieve it, but he is led astray and the gem remains undiscovered until a year later, when the investigation is restarted and some unexpected findings lead to a startling conclusion.

Collins lets several of the main characters in the novel tell separate parts of the story, each person telling the part in which he/she was most involved. I like the way he gives each character a voice of his/her own and uses the stories to tell the different parts and to show different perspectives - at different points in time characters may or may not be aware of specific facts, making it an interesting intrigue to follow. I did feel that in his characterization of the main characters Collins is sometimes a bit over-the-top, but this also added an element of humor, so it wasn't very disturbing.
The fharacter of Sergeant Cuff is a bit of a proto-Holmes - an eccentric detective with a love of roses and a tendency to spend long periods musing over the facts, but who also follows concrete clues to get to the truth. Though his investigations lead him to the wrong conclusion, this is not altogether surprising, since the final solution is not what you expected.
Though I did have a suspicion of the right perpetrator at some point half way through, it long remained unclear how he could have pulled it off and what happened exactly on the night of the robbery. Collins really keeps you guessing, but brings everything to a nice ending in which everything is explained. ( )
  Britt84 | Apr 30, 2016 |
Called "the first and greatest of English detective novels" by T.S.Eliot, The Moonstone is a masterpiece of suspense. A fabulous yellow diamond becomes the dangerous inheritance of Rachel Verinder. Outside her Yorkshire country house watch the Hindu priests who have waited for many years to reclaim their ancient talisman, looted from the holy city of Somnauth. When the Moonstone disappears the case looks simple, but in mid-Victorian England no one is what they seem, and nothing can be taken for granted.
Witnesses, suspects, and detectives each narrate the story in turn. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff, the drug-addicted scientist--each speculate on the mystery ( )
1 vote | bpascoe | Apr 16, 2016 |
4 1/2 stars. I've had The Moonstone for years, but never read it - now that I have, I have to ask myself: what took me so long?? I greatly enjoyed it! The multiple narrators was an interesting style, and worked very well for a mystery. And Collins weaves a lot of character development into each narration, with each having a unique voice and perspective (and biases). A few slight quibbles - the first narrative (Betteredge) was very very long and somewhat dry - that start may have been what put me off reading it originally. But overall, a great read! ( )
  Booklover889 | Feb 25, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (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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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)

(summary from another edition)

» 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

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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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