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The Haunted Hotel (Nonsuch Classics)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,568 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Moving between the cities of London and Venice, the fates of the adventuress Countess Narona and the woman whose fiance she marries, Agnes Lockwood, become intertwined in a chilling tale of suspense, greed and vengeance."
Paperback, 191 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Nonsuch Publishing (first published 1878)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sean
The Haunted Hotel is a short ghost story/mystery concerning the death of Lord Montbarry and the strange occurrences that happen at his palace of residence in Venice which is converted into a hotel after his death. This novella skips a lot of the description and detail that is found in his longer and more famous works. Therefore, the story does seem to be rushed and summarized. However, this is good place to start if you want something a little more fast paced and want to get familiar with Collin ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I liked this story. It was multifaceted in that it was not just a haunted house story, but also a murder mystery. Collins builds the suspense and the feeling of curiosity that keeps the reader engaged. I found the writing to be far from dated. The language was not antiquated, but felt almost modern in some ways. The print for my copy is rather small, and that's the only reason I didn't read it faster. Yesterday, I kept saying, I'll read to this point, and to that point, before I knew it, it was ...more
Franky
As with many other Wilkie Collins novels, The Haunted Hotel has elements of fate, romance, danger, deception, murder and mystery. The story begins with Lord Montbarry breaking off his engagement to Anges Lockwood. Countess Narona, who will marry Lord Montbarry, comes to see a doctor to evaluate her sanity. The Countess seems to be under a good deal of stress about this marriage, as she was unaware Montbarry had already been engaged. There is an aura of fatalism about the Countess, as she feels a ...more
Brooke
Jun 12, 2007 Brooke rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dickens fans
Shelves: 2007, classics, own, horror
Wilkie Collins, a close friend of Charles Dickens, is best known for his novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone, and The Haunted Hotel is very similar in its tone and atmosphere. The Countess Narona steals away Lord Montbarry from Abby Lockwood. Despite Abby's forgiving nature, the Countess is convinced that Abby has doomed her to a tragic ending. When Montbarry dies and his courier disappears, Montbarry's family slowly unravels the mystery that is left behind.

Collins has a tendency to cons
...more
F.R.
The first Wilkie Collins book I read was The Woman In White, which is excellent and I would heartily recommend. Since then I have always been somewhat disappointed by him. The Moonstone - thanks to a ludicrous denoument - disappoints, while Armadle is a mess.

As such I approached this short novel with a sense of mild trepidation, but this is actually a strong tale. A mysterious European countess marries an English Lord who dies shortly afterwards, the ramifications affect his entire family.

Writte
...more
Amle
The Haunted Hotel is a mystery in the typical Collins style I’ve come to love, but unlike the novels I’ve read prior to this one this one was over in a flash and contains supernatural events.
On a mere 200-something pages I was swept through madness, fate, coincidence, conspiracy, superstition, love, and dark secrets.
Because of the uncustomary length of the novel it did not hold the same level of intrigue and intricacies, neither was the depth of the characters as profound as I have grown used t
...more
Michael
May 08, 2011 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of Victorian literature and of Gothic mystery/romance
This book is all about the plot, which Collins deftly builds towards its climax. It's a proper "page-turner", which keeps you wanting to read the next chapter to see what will happen. He also keeps you guessing as to whether the central mystery is of human devising or whether there really is a supernatural agency involved.

Where the story is let down is in the use of stock characters and a lack of effective use of its setting.

The conventional Gothic characters are used: Villainous Baron; Sinister
...more
Ali
In The Haunted Hotel – a woman visits a doctor apparently in fear that she is going mad – her story – that she is about to be married to a titled man whose family are dead set against his marriage. Infamous stories about the woman are already circulating throughout society. thehauntedhotel2For the woman the Countess Narona has supplanted another woman in the affections of her fiancé Lord Montbarry – the good gentle Agnes Lockwood – of whose very goodness the Countess seems terrified – as it high ...more
Kathy
This book is a bit of a Gothic horror story - not really a novel, but rather an extended short story. It is pretty much like an Edgar Allen Poe that has been somewhat enlarged, but the spookiness of it works in that same kind of way.

I quite enjoyed it, but there are a number of reasons why it does not work very well. Firstly, there are too many characters who don't have any real bearing on the essential plot; secondly, there are too may loose ends that are never tied up; and thirdly, the way in
...more
Vipula
“The Haunted Hotel” is a sufficient gothic story with its fair amount of interesting characters, haunted rooms and scandalous love affairs.
Though I did not notice this when I read the book, but as I try to explain the plot, I realize that its quite complex. As it is more of a mystery than a ghost story ( with a huge potential for making a real good movie) I wont divulge too much. Lets say there is a hush hush marriage, a scorned lover , rivalry between brothers, missing servants and phantom visi
...more
Jeffrey
I concluded my Halloween reading with this very interesting and well-written book by the author of the famous novels, THE MOONSTONE and THE WOMAN IN WHITE.

A contemporary and friend of Dickens, Wilkie Collins' classic ghost story reflects the times in which he lived.

Victorians had an obsession with death and dying, and ghost stories were very popular as this work proved to be.

The story, however, is a tightly constructed mystery as well, and should appeal to fans of both genres.

Mary
This nineteenth century novella is a murder mystery and a ghost story. In a small English town the mysterious Countess Narona steals Abby Lockart's sweetheart, Lord Montbarry, and the two go off to Venice on their honeymoon accompanied by a faithful retainer Abby has recommended. Months later Abby learns that her former beau has died of consumption and the retainer is missing. Abby sets off for Venice to investigate. Beautifully written as all Collins books are and a satisfying story.
Marts  (Thinker)
A ghost story by Wilkie Collins written in the 1800s, this tells the tale of Lord Montbarry of the Westwick family who breaks off his engagement to Agnes to marry the Countess Narona, and after a tour of Venice live in a large palace...
Well, Montbarry dies and a bit of mystery surrounds this, the palace is refurbished and becomes a popular hotel. The Westwick family eventually meet there but are, on separate occasions and are all plagued by insomnia, nightmares, horrid smells and ghostly figures
...more
Sylvester
2.5* This book didn't seem to have the same strength of plot as Wilkie's others. Nonetheless, very nice for an autumn read.
Javier
A lesser known work of the author of the Moonstone and The Woman in white, it is a gripping and very entertaining novel.
Valerie Osbourn
This book had very little supernatural activity, despite what the title may lead you to believe. Some old novels are simply timeless, with themes and characters that are relevant today. This novel was not one of them. The characters were dry, the Victorian language was painfully lame at best, and the only reason I gave it 2 stars was because the ending (the last 20 pages) was clever and interesting. All I can say is that I am happy to be done with it. No more fainting English gentlewomen for me ...more
Andy Troy
While this novella doesn't quite reach the heights of Collins's seminal novel The Moonstone, there is enough sensation and supernaturalism in The Haunted Hotel to recommend it to readers of the genre. Tropes ever-present in Wilkie's fiction that appear here include a sentimental and flighty heroine, a stalwart investigative gentleman, and a locale-hopping series of chance encounters and neat coincidences.

The shortcomings in The Haunted Hotel are quite evident on the surface, and are likely attri
...more
Marvin
This is Wilkie Collins' only novel that has a supernatural theme. It is a solid entry in the genre of Victorian ghost stories but is in no way the equal of Collins' mysteries, The Moonstone and The Woman In White. Nonetheless it is quite entertaining. Again we have strong female characters and many little plot twists and surprises. If you have not read Wilie Collins I wouldn't start with this but if you have, you will find it rwearding.
Trevor
Great story, well written and good characters, with the story being told at an enjoyable pace which maintains your interest. It is not until the last couple of chapters that the "truth" is revealed, and then as with all good books of this type you are not quite sure if the "truth" has been told. Great book for reading in front of a fire on a winter's night.

Scott Rhee
"The Haunted Hotel" by Wilkie Collins is a perfect little gem of a supernatural thriller of the Victorian Period. Collins knew how to create suspense, gradually building up the pace of this neat and proper murder mystery with a wonderfully creepy ghost story thrown in for fun. It's short, almost a novella, and one that could be read in a sitting.
Laura
From BBC Radio 4:
In 1860, the formidable Countess Narona marries a rich young aristocrat in London - but shortly after travelling to Venice her husband dies, apparently of natural causes, leaving the Countess a rich woman. Years later, guests in a Venetian hotel encounter the terrifying apparition of a murder victim seeking revenge.
Tiffany
This story is extremely slow to build and offers little payoff. I was intrigued by the characters of Agnes and the Countess, and the prose is surprising fresh for something written so long ago. However, the pacing was just too slow for my taste. I was relieved when it was over.
Literaria Comunicación
En esta obra, Collins nos lleva a esta vieja mansión veneciana convertida en hotel donde ocurren extraños sucesos sobrenaturales que impiden descansar a los huéspedes que se alojan en él, pues sufren una serie de pesadillas y otros malestares, indicios que intentan desvelarles los horribles crímenes que allí tuvieron lugar. Sentimientos como la ambición, la venganza y el amor se mezclan a lo largo de la trama y se consuman en el asfixiante ambiente del hotel Palace de Venecia, “un antiguo infier ...more
Ken
This one is less a horror novel than it is a murder mystery. It certainly has a horror element. But, its strength lies in the mystery that is laid out early in the novel and keeps you guessing until the end.

5 STARS
J
Gave it 2 stars and think I am being a little generous. Found it a bit drawn out, has undercurrent tension running through it but I felt it did not deliver in the end, I was expecting more.
Naomi
Wilkie is my man..He is my favorite all time male author and def. way before his time. This book proves it..I don't understand how it only has 3.35 stars. this book was creepy and twisted.
Jagswags
I love Wilkie Collins books, but this was my least favorite. I just did not find it as spell binding as all the others, but still has some of the same twists and turns of his other books.
Beth Rear
This was my first Wilkie Collins book - and I am hooked. A great mystery - I can't wait to read more from this author.
Dfordoom
Published in 1878. A fascinating mix of mystery fiction and the gothic, nicely ambiguous and very atmospheric.
Cindy
I came across this book the other day and decided to read it in the spirit of Halloween. It's certainly understandable how it may have made sensational and spooky reading at the time of its original publication due to the nature of the story and Collins' use of suspense in his storytelling. Collins is a master of the suspenseful genre, but leaves no doubt as to who the bad versus good characters are from the very beginning of the story. It's good and Wilkie Collins is always worth reading, but E ...more
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Classic Horror Lo...: The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins *Spoilers* 37 40 Jul 22, 2012 07:29PM  
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A close friend of Charles Dickens' from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William "Wilkie" Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens' bloomed. Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for fifty years. Most of ...more
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