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The Moonstone (Oxford World's Classics) Hardcover – 27 Mar 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 374 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)

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Product Description

Review

A book for the beach. (Keren Levy, Guardian) --This text refers to the Paperback 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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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

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 19 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 8 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A yellow diamond with a curse on it; a young girl trying to choose between two suitors; one of the first detectives in fiction and more twists and turns in the plot than you can shake a stick at not to speak of a huge cast of characters and multiple narrators and you have a fascinating story of theft and murder.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The Moonstone is one of the early (and probably one of the longer) crime novels, dating from the middle of the 19th century. The basic plot is simple enough and concerns the disappearance of a 'cursed' diamond from India during the new owner's birthday night, shortly after she was given it.

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.
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