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The Moonstone Paperback – Sep 11 2001
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"The first and greatest of English detective novels."
--T. S. Eliot
From the Publisher
The Broadview Literary Texts series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, though lesser-known literature. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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 wit" Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Although not exactly the first example of detection novels, it provides the archetypal sleuth, Sergeant Cuff, an astute though idiosyncratic detective who leads the chase to the solution of the mystery, easily surpassing the dim-witted local police authorities. It also explores the full potential of the whodunit formula.
Arguably, it is still the longest example of detective fiction. Unlike most other serialized novels of its era, this one is meticulously plotted. You'll find red herrings, suspense, the unexpected, climaxes that overwhelm or fizzle out, and a satisfying denouement. It is narrated largely by some of the principal characters. All are revealed in well-rounded perspective while carrying forward the story line. The most popular has always been Drusilla Clack, "that rampant spinster", a self-righteous tract-dispensing lady who likes to eavesdrop and to be judgmental.
Is it the best? I would unhesitatingly award it the prize, while welcoming other internet browsers to name other contenders.
Wealthy internet browsers are recommended to download the unabridged audio reading of the book. It is a novel that reads well, and the full length reading available is a model of its kind. Naxos has produced an abridged version. It has the benefit of multiple readers, but most of the charm and all the atmosphere seems to disappear in the abridgment process. Book format will put you in touch with the original text and, provided you have the leisure and disposition for tackling a 20 hour read, will provide your imagination, your mind and your literary appetite with rich material.
Specifically, there was "The Moonstone," a long and twisting Victorian tale that is considered the first mystery novel in the English language. Wilkie Collins's writing can be a bit dense at times (well, it IS a Victorian story) but it also has a cast of quirky characters in a very colorful story, and an unusually forward-thinking approach to class. How many other novels of this type have the BUTLER as the narrator?
After ten years in continental Europe, Franklin Blake returns to England to bring his cousin Rachel Verinder her eighteenth birthday present: a massive diamond called the Moonstone. It was left to her by her vile uncle, possibly as a malicious act -- three Hindu priests are lurking nearby, hoping to reclaim the sacred gem stolen from them long ago. Everyone except Rachel really wants the diamond split up, so it will no longer be a danger.
At the same time, Rachel is being wooed by two men -- the somewhat irresponsible young Franklin, and the prosperous but less attractive Godfrey Ablewhite. And a timid, deformed young maid named Rosanna has fallen desperately in love with Franklin (though he's completely oblivious to this).
Then after a dinner party, the Moonstone vanishes, leaving a smudge on a newly-painted door as the only clue. It seems that only someone in the house could have stolen it. But it doesn't turn up in any police sweeps, the priests have alibis, and Rachel flatly refuses to let Sergeant Cuff investigate further. She also refuses to speak to Franklin again. And after several months, Franklin learns of some new clues that could reveal who stole the Moonstone.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book suffers from being too lengthy. Agreed that it was the first detective book written but I had to struggle to keep reading. All those narratives could have been shortened. Read morePublished 5 months ago by mallika
Could hae been written in a shorter form - too slow moving for me.Published 6 months ago by Faye Gitter
I always enjoy Wilkie Collins, an originator of the mystery novel.Published 9 months ago by James Vanier
A complex mystery with numerous interesting characters. Slower pace than more modern books. A bit long but still worth the read - intersting social commentaries and humorous... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Lou
This is a real page turner.I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns .A fascinating mystery that kept me enthralled.Thank you.Mary.Published on Feb. 1 2013 by Mary
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
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 morePublished on June 27 2006 by B. Chandler
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. Read morePublished on May 31 2004 by Sulece
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2004 by Author in the Attic