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The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone (original 1868; edition 2012)

by Wilkie Collins

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7,140160500 (3.96)645
Title:The Moonstone
Authors:Wilkie Collins
Info:International Alliance Pro-Publishing, LLC (2012), Paperback, 366 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
Tags:fiction, classic lit, mystery

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 645 mentions

English (154)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
Whether this or The Woman in White is the better novel is probably a matter of choice. I found Woman more compelling, I think because I’m moved more by the mystery surrounding a person than a stone. Cold as the light of the moon, you might argue.

Miss Clack has to be one of the most foul creatures in literature, though I loved her proto-bookcrossing :)

I particularly liked Collins’ sly and heartfelt anti-racism. Not something you often see in an English novel of this period. If Jennings isn’t a self portrait then I’ll eat my hat. ( )
  Lukerik | Jul 12, 2016 |
Enjoyed the story coming from the different perspectives of the characters involved. Each took you to a point and then passed on to the next character.
Took my time and enjoyed the images painted with words by the author. Plan to read more by Wilkie Collins. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
It's lengthy, and some narrators are more interesting than others, but it's a classic must-read for mystery fans--a seminal work of the genre. ( )
  TheBentley | Jun 4, 2016 |
Review: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.

This is a historical classic I really enjoyed reading. The story reminded me so much like the Sherlock Holmes detective books. It’s a much larger volume but absolutely worth the read. The story is narrated by several of the characters view points on the action that takes place throughout the story. I like the way the story was organize and how well developed the characters were. The story’s setting was in England around 1848 but there is a brief prologue describing how the yellow diamond (Moonstone) was captured during a military campaign in India by a British officer in 1799 and left in his Will to a young relative, Rachel Verinder, who would receive it on her eighteenth birthday.

The first narrator is Gabriel Betteredge, a house manager of the Verinder Estate who worked for the family all his life. He starts out telling how the Moonstone arrives at the estate and it soon disappears or lost as one might say…. Gabriel is a friendly person but also shows a strict attitude of manner while doing his job, he is very loyal. He keeps the reader’s interest relating about the crime and introduces the other characters that were at the Estate the night the Moonstone disappeared and established the other characters as they materialized into the story as the; detective, the three Indians, the family that lived down by the water, etc…However the main characters were the people who arrived for Rachel’s birthday dinner and the ones who stay overnight.

Collins finer aspect is his creation of mood and suspense that unfolded to highlight the crime and how several people who could have taken the stone. He gave each character different backgrounds, secrets, dispositions, to cater to the human element of perspective to create an amazing story. Collins was able to change narrative persona to give the story the emotions and individual fragments the characters needed to tell their own viewpoints. I believe there were eleven narrators in total but that never lessened the story at all, in fact it made the story believable. Gabriel started the story, then it was Miss Clack, a niece of the late Mr. Verinder, going on with Mathew Bruff, the family’s solicitor, to Franklin Blake, who was in love with Rachel, to Ezra Jennings, a friend and aid to the Doctor, to Franklin Blake again, to Sergeant Cuff, who was investigating the missing Moonstone, to Mr. Candy, the family doctor and back to Gabriel for the ending. I could have missed one or two but the different narrators made the story interesting and entertaining.

The historic effects on certain events, dialogue, atmosphere, squabbles, that was initiated throughout the story was intriguing but the plot “Who had the Moonstone” highlighted the entire suspense and created a mystery, unpredictable to the very end. I highly recommend the book.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The Moonstone – Wilke Collins
Audio version performed by James Langton

4 stars

Dickens was apparently the first author to place a detective in a novel (Inspector Bucket in Bleak House). Poe preceded Collins in writing the first detective story. Nevertheless, The Moonstone was important to the development of detective fiction. It is a locked room, country house mystery. There is a bumbling policeman, Superintendent Seagrave, and the brilliant detective, Sergeant Cuff. It is full of red herrings and false suspects. There is a final plot twist and a reconstruction of the crime.

Like Collins' Woman in White, this story is told in multiple voices. The best of the storytellers is the hilarious Gabriel Betteredge, the house steward. (The butler! He didn’t do it.) The annoying pious Drusilla Clack adds her own brand of humor as she relates her bits of evidence. I found the actual solution to the theft to be a bit lame, but it was interesting given the author’s personal history.

I enjoyed James Langton’s performance of this book. He gave each character a distinct voice and used varied accents believably.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (115 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Collins, Wilkieprimary authorall 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
Laurora, HoracioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maine, G. F.General editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nayder, LillianAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, J. I. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutherland, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willis, ChristineEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)
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.
Rachel gets diamond
For birthday. It's stolen at
Night: call detective!

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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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

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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