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The Moonstone [Hardcover]

Wilkie Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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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.' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Feb. 1 2013
By Mary
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a real page turner.I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns .A fascinating mystery that kept me enthralled.Thank you.Mary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Diffrent May 31 2004
By Sulece
Format:Paperback
MoonStone absolutley has you on edge. It's unlike most books, instead of having a slow begining where they introduce all the cahracters, it goes straight to the plot. It's a tornado of emotion, but one that's easy to follow. The book enables you to feel the danger of death (over a misfit yellow diamond) around every corner. The plot never dies, it's impossible to put the book down once you start. It easily wins over your mind. You'll probably end up reading the same page twice just to get that complete feeling. It takes you back to the times of Victorian Ladies and Gentlemens. The book takes you away from your current life, and lets you enter into a totally new one. 5 stars easily earned
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4.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THAT WILKIE! Feb. 21 2004
Format:Paperback
Wilkie Collins is a master storyteller, but like his other masterpiece, THE WOMAN IN WHITE, THE MOONSTONE would have been improved with a bit of editing. The Moonstone is riveting and wonderful, as the butler, Gabriel Betteridge,unfolds his version of the yellow diamond's disappearance.For the reader, the story bogs down as Miss Clack picks up the tale with her tiresome religious view of life. Action all but stands still, as there is not much in Miss Clack's lengthy prose to move the story forward to its conclusion. The reader is left yearning for more of the plot to be revealed, more details to cling to until the tale's final revealation.I felt more than a bit let down at Collins' ending to an otherwise fabulous story. Alas,the culprit was our hero, who had not purloined the stone, but had taken it with pure intent to save it, while under the stuporous influence of an opiate.Luckily, they all lived happily ever after--the stone went back to India and Frank and Julia tied the knot, and the secretly evil bad guy died.Happy ending!
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4.0 out of 5 stars the magnum opus of suspense and intrigue Jan. 28 2004
Format:Paperback
T.S. Eliot was not exaggerating when he dubbed Collins' masterpiece "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels". The Moonstone, first published in 1868, is the magnum opus of suspense and intrigue that will surely please the avid mystery and/or classics buff.
The adventure begins when the priceless yellow diamond from India, known as the 'Moonstone', is brought to English as spoils of war and is bestowed upon the spirited Rachel Verrinder on her 18th birthday. Chaos soon commences. The valuable jewel is stolen that very night and the entire household falls under suspicion - including a hunchbacked maid, an assemblage of enigmatic Indian jugglers, and Miss Verrinder's cousin Mr. Franklin Blake. Suspicion of thievery does not even escape Miss Verrinder herself. The famed Sergeant Cuff is summoned to the house to try and make sense of the baffling mystery of the diamond's disappearance and the strange events that ensue.
The Moonstone is comprised of three novelettes and a handful of sub-sections, each narrated by three individuals (and a handful of other characters writing shorter supporting memoirs), with their own whimsical writing styles and detailed anecdotes about their adventures surrounding the jewel's disappearance and the aftermath. Their varying perspectives on incidents throw interesting light on the events unraveling around the reader. Introducing the novel is the household's elderly and garrulous manservant, Mr. Gabriel Betteredge, with his witty maxims and proverbial quotes from his personal bible, "Robinson Crusoe". The pious and almost-fanatical Miss Clack's cold recital of events, is followed soon after by Mr. Franklin Blake's narrative of events, and the mystery's final and most ingenious outcome. It will not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Mystery Novel May 10 2004
Format:Paperback
The Moonstone is a wonderfully written English mystery novel of the mid 1800s. It tells the story of the path of a stolen Indian gemstone. The path begins from the day it was stolen from the forehead of a sacred statue of the god of the Moon guarded by three Brahmins (or Indian priests) to and from its journey Yorkshire. While in Yorkshire, the stone is eventually passed down to Miss Rachel Verinder on the day of her eighteenth birthday and within the same night, the precious Diamond is stolen. In several narratives, the theft of the Diamond is described.
I believe that The Moonstone was a fascinating and well thought out mystery novel. Although I thought it was a little too lengthy near the end, this was only for the better. Collins uses eight different narratives to re-tell the story of the missing Diamond. The characters develop into believable and helpful elements of the story. The narratives allow Collins to achieve suspense, thrill, and mystery. In my opinion, he has successfully accomplished the true title of a classic mystery novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
First published in 1868, Wilkie Collins' "The Moonstone" has been never out of print. This fact testifies the popularity of the book, but somehow because of the famous comment by TS Eliot, "The Moonstone" is likely to be regarded as 'detective fiction.' The fact is slightly different, and you have to keep that in mind before you read it.
The story is absolutely the classic style of "Who-Done-It." The Moonstone, a sacred Hindo stone is stolen from India, and makes its way to the peaceful Yorkshire countryhouse where the rich daughter Rachel Verinder lives with her mother. On her birthday night, however, immediately after the stone is presented to the young lady, it vanishes without a trace. So, who stole it? Or is it just 'missing,' as the inimitable London detective Sgt. Cuff thinks?
The story sounds like Agatha Christie (who, like Collins, wrote stories about the British middle-class), but if you are looking for some ingenious 'trick' or something, you will be disapponited. The story is written BEFORE Sherlock Holmes is born, and though the basic elements of detective stories can be found here, Collins does not use them as you might expect the later writers like Conan Doyle do. I cannot reveal much, but I can tell you that the whereabout of the stone is not necessarily the primary concern of the novel.
The most strikingly original aspect of the novel is its characters. Remember, "The Moonstone" is primarily a Victorian novel, and Wilkie Collins is one of the best friends of Charles Dickens, who wrote "Great Expectations" which attacks the idea of 'gentleman.' The story is told by many characters themselves, and they unwittingly reveal the hidden side of their personalities in the narrative.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Considered the first English detective novel , this is a cannnot- put-down
book .This is because the reader and the detectives share the same information , cleverly edited by... Read more
Published on April 4 2011 by bookworm
2.0 out of 5 stars Go ahead and yawn, you won't miss anything
I understood that The Moonstone is a classic so I decided to read this to be culturally literate. Well the story line may be interesting but the writing is atrocious. Read more
Published on June 27 2006 by bernie
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost me at the end
I enjoyed this book for about the first two-thirds and then it became remarkably tedious. For the last third I really just wanted it to be over. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by madcarrot
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favorite Many Times Over
This is a book worth reading many times. I pick it up every couple of years and enjoy it more and more every time. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Go ahead and yawn, you won't miss anything.
I understood that The Moonstone is a classic so I decided to read this to be culturally literate. Well the story line may be interesting but the writing is atrocious. Read more
Published on May 5 2003 by bernie
2.0 out of 5 stars Go ahead and yawn, you won't miss anything.
I understood that The Moonstone is a classic so I decided to read this to be culturally literate. Well the story line may be interesting but the writing is atrocious. Read more
Published on Feb. 6 2003 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stolen Gem
The Moonstone is a slow-paced detective novel written in the 19th century in London, England. The Moonstone was first obtained by Colonel Herncastle who bequeaths it to his niece... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2003
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