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The Haunted Hotel

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,647 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Like Poe before him and Conan Doyle after, Wilkie Collins shifted easily from rational domains to the "supernatural". Like them, he is famed for original contributions to "ratiocinative" (detective) literature, but often preferred to indulge his occult predilection - a lifelong indulgence. His first published story The Last Stage Coach Man (1843) was a supernatural allegor ...more
Paperback, 233 pages
Published 2008 by Penguin Books (first published 1878)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Irena
3.5
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.
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
Renee M
Good, Ghostly, Grisly, Melodrama filled with plenty of paranormal activity, a little romance, and a ghoulishly entertaining mystery. Delightfully diverting!
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
Dfordoom
Published in 1878. A fascinating mix of mystery fiction and the gothic, nicely ambiguous and very atmospheric.
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
Oliver Clarke
This was a fun sensationalist melodrama, and the mystery decent, but it wasn't a patch on The Woman in White. Worth a read though.
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
Robyn
Public Domain - Free for Kindle, also free audiobook via Librivox (though the latter is not recommended) |

Another good Collins classic, while not his strongest it's still worth reading. |

I started this on Kindle awhile back and set it aside, listened to it from the beginning via LibriVox over the past two days. As much as I appreciate the existence of LibriVox and its volunteers, I can't recommend the recording for this book. The reader--female--apparently believes her voice is only suitable f
...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.
Hayley Edwards
I enjoyed this book, though I think that if it wasn't for lack of concentration due to illness I probably would have enjoyed it more, therefore I will give it a second go in 2015 when I'm able to give it my full attention.
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.
Richard
The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins is about as close as it gets to a "page-turner" for a Victorian era novel. Unlike Collins' earlier works that semi-pioneered the mystery genre (such as The Woman in White and The Moonstone), The Haunted Hotel is relatively obscure, and probably with good reason. The book is entertaining enough, but the overall story development and writing quality is decidedly a step down from Collins' more well-known works. The characters are flatter than flat, the story has ...more
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.
Vera
The first thing that stood out to me while reading the book was the simplicity of the language. Though it was to my advantage (I usually read German translations but had to read this in its original language), the book lost a star in the rating. I'm pretty sure the simplicity would have really bothered me when I had read it in German.

The book is a murder mystery. Throughout the first parts of the book I thought I'd understood all what had happened, but Collins did manage to surprise me when it c
...more
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
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4012
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
More about Wilkie Collins...
The Woman in White The Moonstone No Name Armadale The Law and the Lady

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