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The Moonstone (1868)

by Wilkie Collins

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,214213609 (3.95)769
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 with numerous twists and turns.… (more)
  1. 90
    Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Booksloth)
  2. 41
    Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (Anonymous user)
  3. 63
    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.
  4. 31
    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)
1860s (6)
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» See also 769 mentions

English (200)  Spanish (7)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (212)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
I never expected to have so much fun with this book as I had. Great fun! It deserves a better review than just a note, and I might still write it when I have more time and inspiration. For now I just wanted to mention that the character Gabriel Betteredge will have his name on my personal pantheon of memorable characters. I am looking forward to reading more Wilkie Collins, I think [b:The Woman in White|5890|The Woman in White|Wilkie Collins|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1295661017s/5890.jpg|1303710] will be next. ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
The Moonstone follows the eponymous gem's troubled history from its original home in a Hindu temple in India, through a series of thefts, and focuses on a final robbery after it resurfaces as a birthday present to a wealthy young British heiress. Touted as possibly the first British detective novel, it's overall a fun ride, although a few things about it keep me from giving it an A. The characters are nicely drawn, but a few of them are more irritating than I'd like to have to endure, and this is made worse by the narrative structure of the book: Collins breaks up the story into several sections, each narrated by a different member of the plot, and a couple of these characters are nearly unbearable to me. It's an impressive exercise in creative flawed characters and I recognize that the reader is meant to see them as comical in those flaws, but I have no patience with the kinds of flaws they're given (members of older generations thinking they're better/wiser than people younger than them just because they've lived longer, with a healthy dash of salt-of-the-earth folks are better than anyone else, and religious fanaticism; both are frustrating and not amusing to me). My other complaint is that the original theft of the moonstone is a clear act of colonialist hubris, and although I suspect that Collins is trying craft the story at least in a way as a commentary on such a thing, the Indian characters who strive to retrieve the gem are cast as wholly unsympathetic people - exotically evil - and I take a heaping pile of issue with that. Honestly, I would *love* someone to write a companion novel from the viewpoint of the Indians, who are frustrated at nearly every turn in trying to regain what's rightfully theirs by ridiculous and privileged white men, who are so desperately trying to hold on to what they've stolen. I would read the *heck* out of that novel. ( )
  electrascaife | Mar 28, 2021 |
Excellent in many ways. A well crafted story, characters have well developed personalities, relationships show polite and actual behaviors in language and action, demonstrates acts of racism and inclusion by white English nobility. Also include are class distinctions and behaviors within those classes. The challenges and difficulties created when one crosses over the class boundaries or moral/ethical boundaries is demonstrated by several characters. ( )
  momzart | Mar 25, 2021 |
Review TBA. ( )
  sarahlh | Mar 6, 2021 |
Published in serial form in Charles Dickens literary magazine 'All The Year Round,' and published in book form in 1868, this epistolary novel is considered one of the early detective novels. Many elements of the detective genre came from this book: the bumbling local officer in charge of the case, the very wise hired detective, red herrings, false suspects, and a plot twist at the end. it's fairly long, in part because each character who tells his/her part of the story, is fleshed out for us through their extensive remembrances.

This story was intriguing for me, but at times lagged, perhaps because of my impatience with a particular narrator (let's say Miss Clack). 'Let's get on with it!' I would grumble. But I have to say that this book was unique to my library of books, and in the end I'm glad to have read it. ( )
  peggybr | Feb 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (104 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilkie Collinsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, G. D. H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, Margaret IsabelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Connolly, JoyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dignimont, AndréIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geisler, GiselaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, B. J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karl, Frederick R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lane, Dr. LauriatIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langton, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laurora, HoracioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maine, G. F.General editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nayder, LillianAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Starrett, VincentIntroductionsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 with numerous twists and turns.

No library descriptions found.

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)

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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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