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The Moonstone

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  56,595 Ratings  ·  3,193 Reviews
Generally considered as the first detective novel in the English language, "The Moonstone" is the story of a young woman named Rachel Verinder who inherits a large Indian diamond, the Moonstone, on her eighteenth birthday. At her eighteenth birthday party, Rachel wears the Moonstone for all to see, later that night the diamond is stolen and quickly an investigation ensues ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Digireads.com (first published 1868)
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Paul Driskill Definitely! I think it is worth noting her habit of capitalizing "Me" often times when she refers to herself. For all her piety, she is elevating…moreDefinitely! I think it is worth noting her habit of capitalizing "Me" often times when she refers to herself. For all her piety, she is elevating herself through a clever grammatical move to the level of Godhood. Not to mention the fact she fairly blatantly more concerned with doing her own good works than with the works themselves--ie (I'm dodging a spoiler here), she is excited to learn about someone's misfortune because it gives her an opportunity to be devoted to someone. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bill  Kerwin
The Moonstone, generally recognized as the first detective novel (despite the appearance of The Notting Hill Mystery a few years before), is not only a work of historical importance but also a work that transcends the genre it created, in the artfulness of its plotting, in its compassionate depiction of servants, and in its enlightened resolution of the theme of the British Empire, its crimes and their consequences.

Not that I wish to minimize its historical importance. The Moonstone is the first
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
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The Moonstone was published in 1868 and is considered by most people to be the first detective novel. Given the novels place in the history of the genre, that alone should put this book on most people's reading lists. To sweeten the pot, the plot is compelling, the last hundred pages I couldn't have put the book down for anything. I was caught up in the case and wanted to find out the why and the who in the mysterious circumstances surrounding the MOONSTONE.

The novel is narrated by several diff
...more
Sean
The following is a recently found letter written by the English author Charles Dickens to his friend Wilkie Collins concerning the latter’s newly released 1868 novel The Moonstone:

Charles Dickens
11 Gad’s Hill Place
Hingham, Kent
England

November 13, 1868

Dear Wilkie,

I am now pressing my pen against this paper to congratulate you on the success of your excellent new novel, The Moonstone. I have just completed reading it and I would like to present you with my opinion that this was, as they say, a tr
...more
Paul Bryant
Dec 02, 2011 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
The problem with mysteries – for me, anyway, is that I don't care who did it. Which is a drawback. I just think well, it's one of those characters the author has given a name to, it won't be the fourth man back on the upper deck of the omnibus mentioned briefly on page 211. It will be someone with a name. And further, it will be someone who you don't think it will be, because that's the whole point. You don't think it's going to be that person so it's a surprise. So, if it turns out to be the no ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4.5 stars, rounding up, for this 1868 Victorian-era mystery, often considered the first English-language detective novel. Wilkie Collins spins a literary web that starts out slowly but then inexorably pulls you in (I finished the last half of the book in one extended readathon), a gift for writing as vastly different characters, who each take a turn telling or writing their part of the story, and a droll, sometimes very sarcastic sense of humor.
description
In 1799 a British soldier steals a large yellow dia
...more
Kyle
Jan 26, 2013 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People
Though Wilkie Collins was long-time friends with Charles Dickens, they had drastically different writing styles, and suffered some rough patches in their relationship. In a letter to someone, Dickens talks about his thoughts on The Moonstone: "The construction is wearisome beyond endurance, and there is a vein of obstinate conceit in it that makes enemies of readers."

What the heck? Who's this Dickens guy, anyway? What the heck does he know about writing? Sheesh!

I don't know what book the vaunte
...more
Daniel
Jan 03, 2009 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I was torn between giving two stars and three stars to Wilkie Collins's "The Moonstone," a book T. S. Eliot called "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels." "Longest" is perhaps the operative word here, reminding one of Samuel Johnson's comment (speaking, in his case, of Milton's "Paradise Lost") that none ever wished it longer. "The Moonstone"'s length, in the end, is its chief and perhaps only major failing. Large chunks of the novel seem to drag on and on with ...more
knig
Nov 27, 2012 knig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to knig by: Jeffrey Keeten
Shelves: favourites
Literary 2012 is closing on an auspicious high, no doubt about it. These are the facts.

First, there was waterworks over Turgenev’s Fathers and Children a couple of weeks ago.

Second, upon finding out that my favourite film Marienbad was based on The Invention of Morel, which now ordered will see me through to the New Year, there was flushed excitement.

Third, I have not stopped laughing since I took up The Moonstone.

A veritable boon of emotions. Some have pointed out it might be less the influen
...more
Jason Koivu
I guess a review of this requires me to say that Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone is one of the first mystery novels ever written. Now that I've got that out of the way, let's get on with the review.

This English drama/mystery started out great. It also started out much the same way many English drama/mysteries of the period would start out: in the manor house. It also used the popular-in-its-time epistolary form of storytelling, with about a half dozen characters taking up their pens to relate thei
...more
Donna
In the preface to another edition of this book, the author informed his readers that it was his intention with The Moonstone to trace the influence of character on circumstances instead of what he usually did in his stories, which was to trace the influence of circumstances on character. To quote him: "The conduct pursued, under a sudden emergency, by a young girl, supplies the foundation on which I have built this book." In short, this is a character driven novel. He also conveyed that when he ...more
Lisa Vegan
I read this as a buddy read with my Goodreads’ friend Laura, and it was fun to discuss it as we went along. Reading it with her helped me persist and finish it. I’m appreciative to her for waiting for me while I waited for my library copy and then sometimes waiting for me to catch up with her while we read.

This book is incredibly hard for me to rate and even more difficult to review.

I’m going to settle on 2 stars, possibly coming close to 2 stars. As usual, I’m rating based on my personal read
...more
Kathryn
Aug 05, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those wishing to read one of the first mystery novels and realize why it's still so good!
This is supposedly one of the first mystery novels ever published and is believed to introduce the prototype for the English detective hero character. It is also the first book in the Tyler-and-Kate Book Club; I will always love it because it's one of the only books Tyler and I could decide on to read together and it was wonderfully absorbing and provided us with lots of grand characters and interesting plot twists to enjoy—and the mystery to ponder!

It's certainly very long and often verbose—I
...more
Bruce
Feb 01, 2009 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, fans of early English novels
What a fine fine book this is. I am so surprised that it has taken me so long to get to it given how much I love Victorian Era British Novels. I think perhaps that is because of how slow a book I found the Woman in White to be. I finally picked up the Moonstone three days ago, and have read through it virtually nonstop.

This is often described as the first real detective novel in the English language, and as such you might expect it to be completely plot driven. That is not the case at all. Coll
...more
Duane
3.5 stars for this overly long classic/mystery novel by Collins. The second half of the novel picked up in pace but the foreshadowing left little doubt about the outcome. The writing is good, it saves the book really. I have previously read "The Woman in White"' which I liked more, but this book has secured it's position in the canon of English Literature.
آبتین گلکار
گذشته از داستان جذاب و پرکشش، ترجمة بدیعی هم در حد شاهکاره، بخصوص در بخشهایی که از زبان خدمتکاری روایت می شه که سعی می کنه ادبی و لفظ قلم حرف بزنه
J.G. Keely
Mar 13, 2008 J.G. Keely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.G. Keely by: Ama
Perhaps it is not surprising that I managed to guess the 'who', if not the how of this prototype mystery. What may be somewhat of a surprise is that this recognition did not make the book tedious, nor did it become a plodding step-by-step towards inevitability like many mysteries are.

Like The Virginian, this predecessor of a genre never seems to fall into the same traps as its innumerable followers. Indeed, with both these books, the focus itself becomes something entirely different than the obs
...more
Tracey
Jan 06, 2016 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well thank goodness for that!
I got a little bit bogged down with this one, maybe because I had two other books going at the same time which were quite fast paced and kept my attention.
I ended up liking the story of the diamond stolen from an Indian sacred statue but mostly I liked it for some of the characters who tell the story in 11 different narratives. My special favourite is Betteredge the old steward of the country house where much of the story takes place who relies on Robinson Crusoe fo
...more
Shobhit Sharad
The best thing about a classic book is that the author dissects out, and lays before you bare, all the thoughts and feelings of the characters. This not only helps you understand the story better, but it lets you make a bond with the characters; all irrespective of whether the genre of the story is crime or drama or romance. If you'll read The Moonstone, you'll come across how the author describes the French, German and Italian aspects of an important character's personality, this in itself goes ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Jan 25, 2017 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, mystery, fiction
The Moonstone is an entertaining mystery with a kind of old-fashioned elegance to it. It gets predictable at some parts but for the most of it I really liked it.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
It took me about seven months to finish this book. I listened to it at night on Kindle via text-to-speech. "The Moonstone" is a mystery involving the theft of an enormous Indian diamond called The Moonstone which is fated to be cursed. The mystery is who stole it the night of Miss Rachel Verinder's birthday. She had shortly received the diamond as a bequest from a deceased uncle, carried by the dashing young Mr. Franklin Blake on his travel to England.

According to Wikipedia, this is the first E
...more
Pink
Nov 21, 2014 Pink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked, didn't love. I found it a little slow in parts and the mystery didn't have enough suspense for me. I was also a slightly disappointed by the reveal of what actually happened. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading a story with multiple points of view and touches of humour that kept me smiling and turning the pages. A solid 3 stars for me.
Melora
This is loads of fun! I read The Woman in White about five years ago, and it wasn't bad, but I don't recall it being anything like as entertaining as The Moonstone. Its “funniness” might derive in part from how I “read” this one – as an audiobook, read by an excellent cast of readers including Patrick Tull, which I Highly recommend – but most of it comes from the absolutely wonderful characters Collins has created. The romantic “lead” characters, Rachel Verinder and Franklin Blake, are nothing s ...more
Leni Iversen
This was excellent. Called the first modern English detective novel, it is equal parts mystery and Victorian social commentary. The story has multiple narrators, all with their own quirks and biases, who take turns filling in the events of the story. An Indian jewel that comes with a curse has been stolen. Who dunnit? How? Why? As the story unfolds we get intrigue, high emotion, tragedy and comedy. I was a bit worried at the start that the Indian element would lead to the rampant racism and orie ...more
David Sarkies
An Inside Job
26 March 2017

I had no idea that this book existed until my bookclub decided to make it the book of the month. In fact I had never heard of Wilkie Collins until this book was mentioned in passing. As it turns out (or at least according to some of the members of my bookclub) Wilkie lived under the shadow of Charles Dickens. In fact Wilkie and Dickens were good friends, that is until they had a falling out, and Dickens went out of his way to trash the works of Wilkie (and vice versa –
...more
Alex
May 29, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
The Moonstone is known as the first detective novel*, and it's a cracking one. You can see things invented here that were directly borrowed by future writers: Holmes' overconfidence (and his use of London urchins as agents); Agatha Christie's exploration of narrative reliability.

* as opposed to Poe's Dupin, which was the first detective story - I know, we're splitting hairs.

And if the mystery's not enough for you, how about mysterious Oriental cultures? Romance? Quicksand?* Opium? This is a lud
...more
Madeline
Dec 01, 2009 Madeline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list
Multiple narrators tell the story, from their own vastly different perspectives, of the finding, theft, and recovery of a huge diamond called the Moonstone. It's first stolen from an Indian temple (surprisingly, Collins actually intends the reader sympathize with the people it was stolen from, rather than just saying that brown people don't deserve diamonds) by some jackass Englishman, who then leaves it to his niece. The diamond is cursed, supposedly, but actually there are three very real men ...more
Kirsten *Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!"
Mr Betteridge would be very disappointed in me as I have never read Robinson Crusoe and I should have read this book long since.

It was wonderfully crafted and put together with delicious twists and turns. So many characters and situations, yet you care for the characters. They are delightful and even the villains are not truly villainous. I loved this book.
Uncle
I would hesitate to call the current interest in Wilkie Collins to be a revival, since his best novels never seem to have fallen out of fashion with the reading public. His most famous work, The Woman in White (1859), is usually considered the definitive Victorian “sensation novel”. Still widely read and loved by readers, its influence can be detected in the many contemporary supernatural and macabre novels set in Victorian England. His second most famous book, The Moonstone (1868), is generally ...more
Jane
Nov 12, 2009 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
While storms have raged, while at high tide waves have hit the sea wall with such force that the house shook, I have been spending the dark evenings re-reading ‘The Moonstone’, secure in the knowledge that out house was built not long after the publication of Wilkie Collins’ wonderful book and so it has survived many storms and was so solidly built that it should survive many more.

I think that ‘The Moonstone’ is pitched at the perfect point between crime fiction and sensation fiction, and it mak
...more
Kirstine
Apparently this is one of the very first crime novels, paving the way for the modern detective stories and such, and as a crime and mystery novel it is very very good.

The mystery is not a murder, but the disappearance of a yellow diamond, the Moonstone, a stone that was malicious stolen once upon a time and has been cursed ever since. Now it’s become the birthday present for Rachel Verinder, a young English woman, and the next day it’s mysteriously gone.

It’s told in a peculiar way, one which a
...more
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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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“Your tears come easy, when you're young, and beginning the world. Your tears come easy, when you're old, and leaving it. I burst out crying.” 65 likes
“We had our breakfasts--whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn't matter, you must have your breakfast.” 47 likes
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