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The Moonstone (Classic Fiction) [Abridged, Audiobook, Classical] [Audio CD]

Wilkie Collins , Franz Schubert , Johannes Brahms , Felix Mendelssohn , Clive Swift , Chris Larkin , Delia Paton , Bill Homewood , Neville Jason
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.29
Price: 13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Feb 2000 Classic Fiction
Rachel Verinder inherits a huge and priceless diamond, but her delight turns to dismay when the gem mysteriously disappears, in this first and magnificent English detective novel.

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The Moonstone (Classic Fiction) + The Woman in White (Naxos Classic Fiction) + Cranford (Complete Classics)
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks; abridged edition edition (6 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9789626340271
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626340271
  • ASIN: 9626340274
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.4 x 12.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


“The first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.” (T.S. Eliot, author of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)

“Probably the very finest detective story ever written.” (Dorothy L. Sayers)

“Probably the best detective tale in the world.” (G. K. Chesterton, author of The Victorian Age in Literature) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

'The first...and the best of modern English detective novels' T. S. Eliot --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
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 Strenght to go through with it.' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 118 people found the following review helpful
It was T S Eliot who described Wilkie Collins' "The Moonstone" as "the first, the longest, and the best of Modern English detective novels". Not everybody might agree with this, but all practitioners, readers, and fans of detective fiction will find much to admire and enjoy in this magnificent 1868 publication.
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.
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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic romp 19 Jun 2001
By A Customer
I wish this book wasn't a "classic" because I was put off reading it for years thinking it would be stuffy. When I eventually overcame my preconceptions I discovered it's a madly entertaining romp that uses every Gothic cliche you could invent. A young beautiful heroine who's to inherit a fabulous Indian diamond bearing a curse, a party at a remote country house, the family's faithful old butler, the heroine's dashing cousin who no-one's seen for years, an ex-criminal servant girl with a sinister secret, quicksands, dodgy Indian jugglers (this is 150 years pre political correctness) with a clairvoyant servant-boy, a returning traveller who unmasks them as Brahmin priests determined to get the jewel back, an opium addict, murder and intrigue. So who did steal the diamond? It'll take you right till the end to find out in the most fantastic plot twist, and you'll be gripped all the way.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeliness Masterpiece 8 Dec 2002
I was enthralled from the beginning of the book, the fascinating history and "curse" of the Moonstone, as I continue to read on, it was almost impossible to put down the book. An enthralling combination of what makes a "bestseller" nowadays, a cursed gem, the oriental touch, a murder, a love story. The writing was excellent, the characters are vivid, and the progress through a series of narrative by the various characters adds to the suspense of the crime. The plot is also good, it is not easy to guess who stole the Moonstone, even though the book was written about 140 years ago. It won't disappoint you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
T S Eliot called The Moonstone "the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels". It's hard not to agree. The Moonstone, an enormous diamond of religious significance, is vilely plundered by a British soldier during the taking of Seringapatam in 1799. The Moonstone is brought back to England and, eventually, given to the prim, beautiful and wilful heiress, Rachel Verinder, on her birthday in 1848. And it goes missing the very same night. Rachel's family and friends are keen to recover the lost stone and to identify the thief and thus call upon the services of Sergeant Cuff, the most celebrated and successful detective that Scotland Yard can offer. Yet Rachel is strangely reluctant to assist in the investigation, and the professional sleuth is not the only one searching for the stone and for answers. Three juggling Indians accompanied by a clairvoyant young boy, a ruthless London money lender and an amiable philanthropist all seem to have their own interests in recovering the stone, while others including Rachel and a reformed thief turned servant girl, seem at least as anxious to conceal certain facts surrounding its disappearance. The stage is thus set for a gripping detective story full of twists and turns and unexpected developments, all centred on the Verinder's country house in Yorkshire.

Written in a semi- epistolary style, with several of the major characters telling the parts of the story with which they were most concerned from their own perspective, Collins' novel has strong gothic overtones and much in common with the `big-house' novels written earlier in the century and serves as a bridge with the swelter of English detective fiction which was to follow.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of crime fiction 15 Nov 1999
A story about the theft of a diamond seems pretty tame stuff compared to the bloodthirsty standard of today, but the masterful craftsmanship of Wilkie Collins turns a seemingly mundane story into an exciting journey back to the 1840's.
The story is told through a seies of narratives relating to before, during and after the theft. One of my favourite narratives is that of Drusilla Clack, a devout christian who tries to convert anybody and everybody at any opportunity. The book is witty,often very moving and above all mysterious. It is a long story ( I estimate it at over 200,000 words ), but it is worth every word because of the atmospheric and skilful writing. I felt that I knew what it was like to live in England in the mid 1800's and my head was full of vivid pictures of the scenes described by Wilkie Collins.
Definitely one of the most readable and cleverly written books that I have ever read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy
Published 4 days ago by PD
4.0 out of 5 stars Another one for my Wilkie Collins collection. An edge ...
Another one for my Wilkie Collins collection.An edge of the chair read.Ends how you think it will but an enjoyable journey getting there,
Published 4 days ago by Doug Luff
5.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend it.
This book with its many twists and turns kept you interested till the very end. Would recommend it.
Published 9 days ago by v frear
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 9 days ago by Mrs SLA Bedrossian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed this book very much but then he was a very good writre
Published 11 days ago by Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 13 days ago by Anner
4.0 out of 5 stars Long but worth it
This is a long novel - but stick with it! The characters are interesting and you really start to love / loathe them as the tale progresses. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and riveting from start to finish!
Excellent riveting from start to finish, will appeal to readers of Victorian novels and with an interest in drama, romance and mystery!
Published 20 days ago by Tutti Aria
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
This is a very easy read. If you want to begin reading classic books this is the one to start with. It is a detective mystery
Published 28 days ago by toni clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Old fashioned good read.
I often hark back to the books I read as a child or young man and this was one such book. It gave me great pleasure to relive the story and recall the vivid imagery I conjured when... Read more
Published 1 month ago by PeterD
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