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The Moonstone (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – 5 May 1992

4.3 out of 5 stars 405 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; Reprint edition (5 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853260444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853260445
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (405 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A book for the beach. (Keren Levy, Guardian) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

Book Description

'The first...and the best of modern English detective novels' T. S. Eliot -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

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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 500 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
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book by Wilkie Collins was first published in 1868 and is often considered to be the first detective novel. It's the story of the theft of a precious and cursed Indian diamond, the Moonstone, from the room of a young lady, Rachel Verinder, on the very day she inherited it. I found it an enjoyable book and an easy read. It's possible to read a chapter or two a day and not lose the thread of what's going on, although the storyline meanders somewhat with lots of red herrings and cul-de-sacs along the way. And, perhaps not surprisingly, some parts of the plot are rather implausible particularly, I thought, the re-enactment of the taking of the diamond from Rachel's rooms, done to establish how it might have been stolen.

The format of the book is very similar to Collins' earlier novel, The Woman in White, in that it is an epistolary novel with multiple narrators, each telling part of the story, and each confining himself (or herself) to what they knew from their own knowledge. Collins had legal training and this method of presenting the story is somewhat akin to witnesses giving their accounts in a court room. The characters, especially the narrators, are well developed so that their individual personalities shine through. For example, one of the main narrators, Gabriel Betteredge, an aged and long-serving servant to the Verinder family, comes across as a fine upstanding, honest man, with a dry sense of humour, an air of cynicism, and with wisdom beyond his station in life. Rachel's relative, Miss Clack, on the other hand, is shown to be a interfering busybody and a religious zealot.

My main criticism, and the reason it only gets four stars and not five, is that the novel is very long and the story could have been told in half the number of pages.
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