- Hardcover: 572 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Miniature ed edition (27 Mar. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192100289
- ISBN-13: 978-0192100283
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.8 x 16.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (374 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,965,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Moonstone (Oxford World's Classics) Hardcover – 27 Mar 1999
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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 with it.' Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I was surprised how modern this book still is even though it was published over a hundred years ago. I was especially struck by the conversations between Rachel Verrinder and Franklin Blake – her on/off fiancé. I thought the author caught the different voices of his narrators very well indeed and I was never in any doubt who was narrating the story. This is well worth reading even today and it puts some modern crime novelists in the shade.
The book is written as a series of recollections of various people involved in or touched by the incident, all recalling the event months / years later.
The story is reasonably interesting and at least some of the aspects of the crime committed are hard enough to guess before the story starts drawing to a close. So in that sense the book is definitely a success and can be recommended - with one proviso. Namely it takes a certain time to get into its stride and while curiosity is aroused, Collins' writing does not exactly make this a page turner. If you start losing interest in the first section, it may be worthwhile to persevere, as the book definitely gets a bit better after the first 100 or so pages. It never turned into a gripping read in my opinion and it takes the author a long time to get anywhere with the story but it may well have been devoured far more hungrily by Collins' contemporaries - in that sense it is to be taken as a classic (which it is) and its peculiarities are probably best accepted.
So as long as you do not mistake this for an Agatha Christie, or even worse, a modern thriller type crime fiction, there is enjoyment to be had from the story, even if the work to get to the gems is a bit harder. And while probably not intended so by the author, certain aspects will also produce wry amusement for a more modern reader - definitely an added bonus.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Surprisingly modern crime mystery written from multiple viewpoints. Loving it.Published 9 days ago by Flicka
I find I can quite happily re read The Moonstone every 20 years, it's a gem of a classic.Published 28 days ago by Jane Lloyd