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The Moonstone [Kindle Edition]

Wilkie Collins
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (333 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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Review

“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)

Catherine Peters, author of The King of Inventors: A Life of Wilkie Collins

"This Moonstone will surely prove another winner for Broadview’s list."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 359 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1466276177
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (12 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000JQTWPO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (333 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #294,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic romp 19 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
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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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeliness Masterpiece 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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121 of 126 people found the following review helpful
By John Austin HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moonstone 9 Feb. 2014
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very GOOD read
Have read this many times. He paints pictures with words. Full of suspense and mystery. A very good read
Published 12 hours ago by Muriel Lewis
2.0 out of 5 stars Long-winded
I won't disagree with the positive things written about this novel. Unfortunately the writing is so agonizingly long winded I found it more and more irritating and eventually threw... Read more
Published 14 days ago by hfffoman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
our hard copy is falling apart !
Published 16 days ago by Jen McPherson
5.0 out of 5 stars I haven't finished this novel yet but already hooked. ...
I haven't finished this novel yet but already hooked. The style of presenting the mystery through the eyes of 'witnesses' each writing their own account is compelling and adds to... Read more
Published 16 days ago by M. J. Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars ... of getting used to the old fashioned phrases but enjoyed the
Took a bit of getting used to the old fashioned phrases but enjoyed the storyline
Published 22 days ago by John Pimbley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good
Published 1 month ago by James D Neilson
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
Enjoyed book, put off initially by small print in book but great, and free, on Kindle. Good story line and made more interesting by different narrators. Recommended!
Published 1 month ago by stephanie bull
5.0 out of 5 stars Indian Take Away
Hell yeah!
He's long dead but by Christ the guy could write.
Superb story told in refreshingly beautiful English.
Published 1 month ago by paul lumsden
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
was enthralled from the start would recommend this style of wrighting
Published 2 months ago by christine joesbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This book will definitely surprise you with its twist's and turns! I enjoyed reading every minute of this book
Published 2 months ago by vikkie
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