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The Moonstone

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3.9  ·  Rating details ·  59,231 Ratings  ·  3,389 Reviews
"The Moonstone is a page-turner," writes Carolyn Heilbrun. "It catches one up and unfolds its amazing story through the recountings of its several narrators, all of them enticing and singular." Wilkie Collins’s spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre–the detective mystery. Hinging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published September 11th 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1868)
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Charles Are you serious? Of course he is. I'm impressed with how "modern" Collins is in many of his attitudes. For instance his ridicule of Betteredge for…moreAre you serious? Of course he is. I'm impressed with how "modern" Collins is in many of his attitudes. For instance his ridicule of Betteredge for being "above reasonableness." He also exhibits a modern skeptical attitude toward superstition that is refreshing and kind of surprising for the age he was writing in. Maybe we haven't advanced as far as we like to think we have.(less)
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Jackie King
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Community Reviews

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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
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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
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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 rated it liked it
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 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
Simona Bartolotta
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english, crime, 1800
“I am (thank God!) constitutionally superior to reason. [...] Profit, good friends, I beseech you, by my example. It will save you from many troubles of the vexing sort. Cultivate a superiority to reason, and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!”

I've wanted to read it since I read The D. Case or The Truth About The Mystery Of Edwin Drood and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I've discovered a new favourite author. I am happy. And the fin
...more
Daniel
Jan 03, 2009 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 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
Apatt
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rereads generally work very well for me, as I have memory like a sieve. However, some books are more rewarding when re-reading than others and I usually only find out once I have committed to the reread. I first read The Moonstone decades ago and I enjoyed it very much, unfortunately even my poor memory still retains the outrageous denouement to the central mystery of the theft of the eponymous diamond. Still, I was curious to reread it as I remember enjoying it so much.


The Moonstone is about th
...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
Fernando
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“La mejor receta para la novela policíaca: el detective no debe saber nunca más que el lector.” Agatha Christie

¿De qué manera puede escribirse una obra maestra de seiscientas treinta páginas en la que nunca decae el interés por saber como termina? ¿De qué se compone la genialidad de un escritor para elaborar una historia con tantos giros, ribetes y escenas impensadas sin confundir al lector? ¿Puede un escritor ser tan hábil para mantener el suspense en una novela policial que atravesó todas las
...more
Jaya
Damn those heathen savages trying to get back their stolen sacred stone from them sahibs!

Mildly spoilerish
To my utmost disappointment The Butler, didn't do it :(
Considering that this book was written wayyy back in the 1840-1850s, one needs to ignore
a) the methods of solving a supposed crime and mystery behind certain unexplained events
b) the "oriental" tenor of describing certain ahem races/nationalities (using the term loosely here)
c) the obscure experiments providing confounding astounding
...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
BrokenTune
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
There stood Miss Rachel at the table, like a person fascinated, with the Colonel's unlucky Diamond in her hand. There, on either side of her, knelt the two Bouncers, devouring the jewel with their eyes, and screaming with ecstasy every time it flashed on them in a new light. There, at the opposite side of the table, stood Mr. Godfrey, clapping his hands like a large child, and singing out softly, "Exquisite! exquisite!" There sat Mr. Franklin in a chair by the book-case, tugging at his beard, an ...more
Kathryn
Aug 05, 2008 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
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.
Bruce
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Tracey
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
Emmkay
We had our breakfasts - whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn't matter, you must have your breakfast.

Thus began an entire genre. I loved The Woman in White a number of years ago, and was also fully enthralled by The Moonstone. It's regarded as the first English detective novel, and it's such a good, fat, satisfying read. The excitement of a really great Victorian sensation novel - a missing diamond, huge dollops of Orientalism, an illicit affair, opium, quicksand - and some q
...more
J.G. Keely
Mar 13, 2008 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
Shobhit Sharad
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 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 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.
Alex
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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  • Lady Audley's Secret
  • The Odd Women
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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...
“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.” 66 likes
“We had our breakfasts--whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn't matter, you must have your breakfast.” 50 likes
More quotes…