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The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  2,692 Ratings  ·  290 Reviews
Horror Lies Waiting.

A sinister Countess is driven mad by a dark secret. An innocent woman is made the instrument of retribution. A murdered man's fury reaches from beyond the grave.

When Countess Narona marries Agnes Lockwood's fiance and takes him to live in a rundown Venetian palace, strange things start happenings - a servant mysteriously vanishes and the husband dies a
Paperback, Read Red series, 233 pages
Published 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 1879)
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Wendy Darling
Intriguing opening chapters (view spoiler) dreadfully dull middle, and suspenseful and exciting horror towards the end. In some ways the writing feels very dated, in others, it still manages to shock and titillate.

I really like Serial Reader, though! It's a new free app that delivers a new "issue," or section of a classic, to
Amy (shoutame)
May 06, 2016 Amy (shoutame) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is my third Wilkie Collins novel and I loved it just as much as the other two.

We follow the story of a family who have been told of their relative's death whilst on his honeymoon in Italy. None of them want to believe the letters confirming his death and they all begin to feel rather suspicious of his new wife; especially as rumours are spread around London regarding her past. They decide to set out to Italy themselves to uncover the mystery behind his death. On reaching the hotel each fami
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
The last chapters transform this story from decent to pretty good. The title promises ghosts, but the way that is handled is subtle and never in your face. The supernatural element is there, but it never gets the attention you'd expect in a story like this.
I found some of the characters beyond annoying though.

The Haunted House is also a murder mystery. You are left questioning what you've read in the end.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
Jan 29, 2012 Sean rated it liked it
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
Jul 21, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really 2 and 1/2 stars. This felt more like an outline of a novel, as the characters were not well-developed nor very interesting. The two main female characters (Agnes and The Countess) were pretty annoying at times. There was a big "info dump" at the end that seemed like lazy writing on the author's part. Not as well-written as some of the author's earlier books, and not as much fun to read. Don't start with this book, if you are new to Wilkie Collins. He does write some good novels - this boo ...more
This review contains a major spoiler.

3.5 stars. Published almost 20 years after The Woman in White, they were similar in certain aspects, especially switching identities of deceased people. Although entertaining, it is nowhere close to being as good as his earlier classic. But I like the writing style of Collins and I have many more of his books to look forward to.
Nov 22, 2012 Franky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Jun 12, 2007 Brooke rated it liked it  ·  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
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Siempre es un placer leer a Wilkie Collins y a su fantástico estilo narrativo aunque en esta novela, El hotel encantado, no llega a alcanzar la maestría de otros de sus libros como por ejemplo la maravillosa La dama de blanco (1860) o La piedra lunar (1868). Wilkie Collins, después del gran éxito de ventas alcanzado con sus novelas -gracias a la revista All the Year Round y a su amigo Charles Dickens-, inició su declive como escritor, apuntando todo a la fuerte drogodependencia por el láudano a ...more
Mar 16, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice mystery, revolving around a neat twist. Collins isn't as profuse in his writing as his friend, Dickens, thankfully, and the story zips along at a fair (if occasionally improbable) pace. On the other hand, his characters aren't as vivid as Dickens' either. There's no one much who stands out in the book as a strong character, though at least the young women have some personal strength compared to the overly romanticised heroines Dickens often produced.

Anyway the book isn't really about chara
Renee M
Good, Ghostly, Grisly, Melodrama filled with plenty of paranormal activity, a little romance, and a ghoulishly entertaining mystery. Delightfully diverting!
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
Apr 25, 2009 F.R. rated it really liked it
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.

Jul 22, 2012 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read!
Written around the late 1870's, it's a mysterious tale with a hint of the supernatural.
The story is woven around around both the old and the young between the cities of London and Venice. Mr. Collins keeps the pace moving by revealing small pieces of the mystery at a time and then reeling the reader in with them.
I thought that this tale would lean more towards the supernatural side, but the mystery was well conceived and told and I enjoyed myself anyway.
Nov 18, 2015 Mimi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Wilkie Collins book and I thought that it was very impressive. It starts off very mysteriously with Countess Narona turning up to see Doctor Wybrow convinced that she is going mad. The Countess believes this after meeting her future husband's, former fiancé Agnes Lockwood. She believes that Agnes will bring about her downfall.

After reading this first chapter, I just knew that I had to carry on. I was intrigued by the Countess and wanted to know more her and Agnes. I thought th
Nov 05, 2013 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 21, 2016 Carolina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although this book looked very promising, it disappointed me.
They say never judge a book by its cover, and this is this is a good example of it. Although originally published in the 1800s, Penguin Vintage gave it an updated look in this edition. Unfortunately, the story ends very flatly and fails to feel as a true ghost story.
Sandra Riverol
Vale esta novela es algo muy diferente en la literatura de horror de estos tiempo. Se preguntarán por qué... Primeramente es una novela muy elegante, y no sólo me refiero a la época y la propiedad con la que se expresan los personajes, sino que no tiene ese terror vulgar con las escenas gráficas que dan repugnancia, y aunque contiene pocas escenas de fantasmas tiene una forma tan hermosa de provocar el miedo y mantener el interés que para los amantes de la
Buena narrativa es algo perfecto.
Mar 11, 2016 Gerry rated it liked it
Wilkie Collins presents a hauntingly atmospheric mystery set in Venice in 'The Haunted Hotel'. It is a novel that develops slowly and builds into a tale of premonitions, disappearances, apparent madness and supernatural sightings until a surprising climax.

The book's heroine Agnes Lockwood is jilted by her lover Lord Montbarry who marries the Countess Narona. Unfortunately, shortly after the marriage, he dies in mysterious circumstances in a decaying palace in Venice. And at the same time his co
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Il voto relativamente basso non dipende dal libro in sé, a cui riconosco senz'altro meriti (ci torno!) ma dalla mia incapacità totale di comprendere la mentalità dell'epoca (e il cazzeggio a livello olimpionico dei personaggi) da cui deriva una totale insofferenza e noia;
No, boh, io non riesco proprio ad afferrare che le donne descritte siano tutte smaniose, senza sale in zucca, che agiscono sull'istinto (sbagliato ovviamente), isteriche e via stereotipando. Cioè, mi viene l'ulcera!!! Wilkie (am
Rachel Joy
Oct 19, 2015 Rachel Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As always, Wilkie Collins delivers a suspenseful, scary mystery for the reader's pleasure.
This is a wonderful ghost story to read at this time of year!
Published in 1878. A fascinating mix of mystery fiction and the gothic, nicely ambiguous and very atmospheric.
Nov 02, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, mystery, brit-lit
Was looking for a quick Halloween read and this happened to already be in my library. Collins's technique of changing narrators every few chapters creates the impression that the reader almost knows everything - but also knows that there are gaps. It works much better for this type of mystery than other narrative types.
The story keeps getting more and more focussed as the book progresses - I will admit the supernatural part is a little weird and didn't completely fit with the rest of the book.
May 08, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  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
I love Wilkie Collins. I always love his works. Blame The Moonstone for this. xD

Anyway, this one is kind of remind me to his My Lady's Money, with a bit dash of The Lady in White and Evil Genius.

The story revolves a rich family, well, two families actually. It's all started when a young widow talked to her friend about receiving a weird note about her husband's death with 1000 pound enclosed. All these time, she knew that her husband is serving as a courier for a Count and has been accompanying
Feb 12, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, read-in-2012
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
Aug 13, 2012 Vipula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Nov 09, 2014 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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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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“Demandez-vous s´il y a une explication au mystere de la vie et de la mort” 3 likes
“What lurking temptations to forbidden tenderness find their finding-places in a woman's dressing-gown, when she is alone in her room at night!” 3 likes
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