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Customer Review

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed..., 31 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Moonstone (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I loved 'The Woman in White' by Wilkie Collins. The detective story, the intrigue, the mystery and suspense, all culminated in making a wonderful novel with a brilliant climax. So I was excited to read 'The Moonstone', which promised much of the same. Unfortunately 'The Moonstone' is NOT 'The Woman in White'. Instead what 'The Moonstone' is, is l-o-n-g and drawn out, with fairly forgettable characters and an ending that left me feeling flat.

The plot - a beautiful precious stone, shrouded in mystery and believed to be cursed, goes missing at the house of Lady Verinder shortly after it is given to her daughter Rachel as an 18th birthday present - sounds intriguing and certainly sets things up for what should have been a brilliant detective story. But that's where it falls flat. Instead, pages are given over to the minutiae of people's everyday lives, and character assinations that seem to go on forever. The supposedly great Sergeant Cuff (a fictional character, but one of great literary merit) gets pretty much everything wrong and ends up looking like nothing more than an amateur detective. Instead it is left to Franklin Blake, the protagonist of the story, to discover what really happened and in so doing, clear his name. But Blake is not interesting and doesn't draw you in; he is flat and two-dimensional and it's hard to care what happens to a character if you feel no sympathy or connection with them.

This was a chore to read (hence the reason why it took me well over a month to finish) and a disappointment after The Woman in White. I can only assume that Collins' regular use of opium (incidentally a key substance throughout the novel) to relieve his gout, had a great deal to do with why this novel appears disconnected and never seems to pick up the pace. My advice - stick to Collins' earlier works, which are much more engaging and readable.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Feb 2011 20:05:53 GMT
Sue Ryan says:
This review has helped me to decide not to attempt the read. I enjoyed the Woman in White but I did feel that it went on and on. The Moonstone, it appears, goes on and on and on. For this reason I have decided to give it a miss. Thank you Madaboutbooks.
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