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The Moonstone

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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 from an Indian shrine, this riveting novel features the innovative Sergeant Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid, and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive 1871 edition.

528 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 1868

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About the author

Wilkie Collins

2,273 books2,299 followers
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 50 years. Most of his books are in print, and all are now in e-text. He is studied widely; new film, television, and radio versions of some of his books have been made; and all of his letters have been published. However, there is still much to be discovered about this superstar of Victorian fiction.

Born in Marylebone, London in 1824, Collins' family enrolled him at the Maida Hill Academy in 1835, but then took him to France and Italy with them between 1836 and 1838. Returning to England, Collins attended Cole's boarding school, and completed his education in 1841, after which he was apprenticed to the tea merchants Antrobus & Co. in the Strand.

In 1846, Collins became a law student at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1851, although he never practised. It was in 1848, a year after the death of his father, that he published his first book, 'The Memoirs of the Life of William Collins, Esq., R.A'., to good reviews.

The 1860s saw Collins' creative high-point, and it was during this decade that he achieved fame and critical acclaim, with his four major novels, 'The Woman in White' (1860), 'No Name' (1862), 'Armadale' (1866) and 'The Moonstone' (1868). 'The Moonstone', is seen by many as the first true detective novel T. S. Eliot called it "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels ..." in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,623 reviews
Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.5k followers
September 13, 2020

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—certainly the first fully-formed—detective novel, and it contains within that great “first” a number of little “firsts”: the first English country house mystery featuring a large guest list of suspects, the first crew of bumbling local policemen mucking about in the evidence, the first detective genius distinguished by an unlikely hobby, the first small, suggestive physical clue (a smear on the bottom of a newly-painted door), the first effective “red herrings” (I counted at least two), the first attempt at a precise reenactment of the crime at its original scene, and the first pursuit of a disguised criminal through the streets of a major city.

But it is the plot, which uses all these “firsts” to great advantage, that both astonishes and pleases the reader. The Moonstone is at least three times the length of the average detective novel, and yet it sustains interest and maintains credibility throughout its many twists. turns, and asides. Its plot reminds me of the melody line of Bellini's “Casta Diva,” which strikes the ear as a thing of incomparable elegance, but never calls to mind—except upon later reflection—either its own extraordinary length or the expert craftsmanship such seamless length requires.

Also impressive is Collins' sympathetic depiction of the English servant class. Steward and Butler Gabriel Betteredge is a marvelous comic character, memorable for his daily readings of Robinson Crusoe, which he reveres as a source of divination and practical guidance. But Betteredge is also the essentially reliable narrator of half the novel, and, as we learn of the events on the Verinder estate through his eyes and ears, we grow to love and trust him as a good man and an intelligent observer. Also noteworthy is Collins' presentation of Roseanna, the servant girl with a deformed shoulder and a criminal past. Collins treats her with dignity, neither as a comic grotesque nor as an object of simple pity, but as fully human person with a unique, blighted destiny.

But perhaps my favorite thing about the book is Collins' use of “The Moonstone” itself, that great diamond snatched from a Hindu shrine by the villainous Colonel Herncastle during the Siege of Seringapatam—the 1799 climax to the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War which served to institutionalize English theft under the banner of the British East India Company. It is the second theft of this gem from the Verinder estate that precipitates the events of the novel, but memory of the original crime—and its curse—is never far from the reader, for the Brahmins who wish to return “The Moonstone” to the shrine of Chandra are never far away. At first these shadowy figures appear to be exotic villians, but Collins eventually shows us that the real criminals—both past and present—are the “respectable” English, and he grants his Hindu priests a moving coda. Sure, the ending of the novel is romantic, and exotic. But it is dignified and respectful of other cultures too.

The real reason, however, that you should read The Moonstone is that it endures, after all these years, as a diverting and absorbing entertainment. The first detective novel is still as readable as if it were published today.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
February 9, 2019

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 different people. My favorite was Gabriel Betteredge, the head servant at the Verinder house, who becomes a reluctant Watson for Detective Cuff during the investigation. He is a man convinced in the spiritual guidance of Robinson Crusoe and believes that any disruption in his life can be explained by reading and interpreting passages from his dogeared copy of Defoe's classic.

"In this anxious frame of mind, other men might have ended by working themselves up into a fever; I ended in a different way. I lit my pipe, and took a turn at Robinson Crusoe."


Betteredge is a man of his age and his views on women I found so ridiculous as to actually laugh out loud.

"It is a maxim of mine that men (being superior creatures) are bound to improve women-if they can. When a woman wants me to do anything I always insist on knowing why. The oftener you make them rummage their own minds for a reason, the more manageable you will find them in all the relations of life. It isn't their fault (poor wretches!) that they act first, and think afterwards; it's the fault of the fools who humour them."

Despite his archaic views, Betteredge proves to be a good assistant to the enigmatic Sergeant Cuff. Cuff's eyes had such intensity, "looking as if they expected something more from you than you were aware of yourself." Wilkie Collins based his character Sergeant Cuff on a real celebrated Victorian Detective Inspector Jack Whicher.


Sergeant Cuff is summoned from London to investigate the disappearance of the Moonstone, and despite the reluctance of the household to help him in his investigations, he does come up with a theory (kept from us) that proves in the final pages of the book that he is worthy of his reputation. Cuff is as equally interested in the rose gardens (he has strong opinions) as he is in the crime he is investigating. "grass walkways never gravel" Collins does a great job putting flesh on the bones of the characters. We learn more about every major character than is necessary for the advancement of the plot. By the end of the novel I had the feeling that I was not only closing the cover on a great book, but also leaving behind some dear friends.

Another narrator, that I was not fond of, in fact, she made my skin crawl is Drusilla Clack. A cousin of the family, Drusilla, with her tendency to eavesdrop and make herself in all ways intrusive on her family and "friends" is a born again christian. The novel is set in 1848 and the term born again was not in use until much later, but she fits the profile. She was determined to save everyone and carried about her person tracts of her hero Miss Jane Ann Stamper. Once she has invaded a house she would leave tracts scattered about in places where people would eventually find them, and hopefully receive the edification that Drusilla felt they needed.


She seemed like this on first appearances.


But like Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer she would pounce on people, not for blood, but for a chance to save their immortal souls.

As I have mentioned, all the characters are well developed and Drusilla is no exception. She is a person, that after a previous encounter, you would go to great lengths to keep her from buttonholing you again.

This book delivers. You will not be disappointed. If I read it again I will put on a kettle of good English tea, light some candles, and tuck myself into an armchair, suspending myself as well as I can back into a Victorian age. I had such a great time I will certainly be reading more Wilkie Collins.

"You are welcome to be as merry as you please over everything else I have written. But when I write of Robinson Crusoe, by the Lord it's serious-and I request you to take it accordingly!"


If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
June 17, 2020
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. He has 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.
In 1799 a British soldier steals a large yellow diamond from a Hindu statute in India, ruthlessly killing three Indian men protecting the statue, and earning himself a curse from one of them in the process. He gets a bad reputation as a result and is shunned by his extended family in England. So when he dies, he leaves the Moonstone to his niece Rachel (whose mother refused to receive him as a guest in her home), knowing he's leaving her not only a 30,000 pound fortune in the jewel, but also a load of potential trouble: there's not just the amorphous curse, but three Indian men who have been following the owners of the Moonstone for years and are determined to steal it back, one way or another.

Rachel's relative Franklin Blake is entrusted with bringing her the diamond for her 18th birthday, and falls in love with her as he gets to know her over several days. The Indians are lurking, looking for their chance to grab their gem. Rachel wears the Moonstone at a dinner party the night of her birthday, puts the jewel in a drawer in her bedroom ... and the next morning it's gone. The odd thing is, it looks like an inside job. The bumbling local police are of little help, and even the renowned outside detective, the estimable Sergeant Cuff, is unable to bring the case to a satisfactory conclusion, though part of the problem is that several people aren't cooperating with him.

Wilkie Collins doesn't try all that hard to hide the villain in the tale, but the "how" is fascinatingly revealed over the last half of the book. I don't think Wilkie was particularly interested in giving readers all of the clues; this isn't really a mystery that is supposed to be solved by readers before the big reveal, in my opinion (the final reveal of exactly what went down that fateful night pretty much comes out of left field, though there are a few clues in the story). He's more interested in telling an exciting story, and he pulls just about everything into the mix: a massive jewel, star-crossed love, people hiding things for their own reasons, a servant with a highly suspicious past, dangerous quicksand, and a loyal servant with an amusing and rather touching devotion to Robinson Crusoe, which he treats as a sort of Bible. Better him than Rachel's cousin Drusilla Clack, an annoying Christian evangelist given to preaching and leaving tracts with titles like "Satan in the Hair Brush" around people's homes!

This proto-detective novel does get a little slow at times - Victorian authors typically weren't in a hurry to tell their stories, especially when they were serialized in magazines, like this one was. But once the storyline really started moving along in the second half I thought it was a great read. Bonus points for handling the Indian subplot in a manner that's unusually sensitive for books written in the Victorian age.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
March 19, 2023
Holy shit! This was actually funny and I was not expecting that at all.
It was a serialized story, so it tends to ramble in places and not wrap up as quickly as it probably would have otherwise. However, it didn't feel tedious or drawn out like some of those stories do. This was truly entertaining. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves locked-door mysteries because this one definitely stands the test of time.
The book is told by four different narrators who have been asked by Franklin Blake to write what they were witnesses to in regard to the crime. Franklin himself had inadvertently become deeply embroiled in the mysterious disappearance of the Moonstone and was looking to record the hijinks for posterity.


My favorite voice is that of Gabriel Betteredge. He's an elderly and much-beloved servant who has been in service to this family all of his life. He's loyal to a fault, and a truly humorous narrator in that grumpy but loveable old man way. The descriptions of his marriage made me laugh out loud, and his certainty that his favorite book, Robinson Crusoe, held the answers to all of life's problems was endearing.
And also made me realize that I need to read Robinson Crusoe.


Drusilla Clack is our second narrator. She's a hilariously accurate busybody who lives her life for the church. She spends her days handing out unwanted Bible tracts, giving unwanted advice, and drooling over Rachel's cousin (and rebuffed suitor), Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey is that guy. You know, the one who champions all the women's charities and basks in the worship of all the local spinsters.
Oh god. He's awful but in the absolute best way possible for a story like this.
Collins added in so many funny little extras that I wasn't expecting and they caught me off guard because so many of these older classics tend to be so dry.
For example, Miss Clack annoys one man so much that he starts cursing, then she proceeds to hand him a tract on swearing called Hush for Heaven's Sake. I loved that! Mostly because it makes you realize that people aren't really all that different now than they were back then. It's nice to know that the Drucilla Clacks of the world have always been universally...avoided.


Mr. Bruff is the family's solicitor, loyal champion during some hard times, and the third narrator of the tale. He's not as funny to listen to as the first two narrators, but he's a very likable guy.
You feel like you are getting the real story from him.


Ezra Jennings is the 4th narrator. He's Doctor Candy's foreign assistant with the dark and mysterious past and a heart of gold. This is the guy who's got the clue no one else has and his information may just crack the case wide open.


Each of these people tells what they know through their firsthand experiences with the events surrounding the theft of the Moonstone.
Now, underneath all of this mystery is a love story between a guy, Franklin, who is on the cusp of getting his shit together (but still has a few debts to pay off), and a girl, Rachel, who is so up her own ass with her version of morals that I kind of wanted to smack her. But they love each other and you're rooting for those two silly kids to get together and balance each other out.


Ok, so the gist is that Colonel Herncastle murdered some holy men in India and stole their sacred Moonstone while a battle was raging. Nobody could prove what he did, but everyone knew. And the end result was that his family turned their backs on him. So while he had the jewel, he lost all credibility and had to slink off into a dirty corner somewhere.
Fast forward toward the end of his life, and because he's a complete fucktard, he wills it to his niece in the hopes that it ruins her life as it did his, therefore taking his final revenge on his sister. <--who had had enough of his shit by the time he killed the holy men.


When this dude finally keels over, it kicks off an entire circus of crazy events that somehow interconnect in random ways to make for one of the best classic mysteries that I've ever read.
As I was listening to it there were so many things that seemed like one thing, but by the end of the book that part of the story was revealed to be something else entirely.


This? This is one of those books that I'll be recommending to my friends. A lot.
Profile Image for Sean.
72 reviews63 followers
October 28, 2011
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

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 true “page turner” in every sense of the word. I am also taking the liberty to take this compliment a step further by stating that this is one of the finest mystery novels of all time.

I must confess that I have never actually read a book such as this that captures the sensation of a mysterious theft and a thorough investigation that follows it. It was a fascinating read throughout as the solution to the mystery was also entirely above my suspicion. I also thoroughly enjoyed the use of multi-narration where the reader obtains various different viewpoints during the inquiry concerning the loss of the Indian diamond.

I believe that this novel, The Moonstone, has successfully maintained the same exceptional level of quality as your masterpiece, The Woman in White, and it ranks among the top tiers of the written pages from our fellow countrymen. I have not the shadow of a doubt that this book will continue to enthrall readers for centuries to come. The Moonstone is a best-seller at the local bookseller here in Kent and my excitement for your continued success is immense. Well done, my dear friend Wilkie. We shall celebrate this achievement over a glass of Cognac. Best wishes and I look forward to reading your future works.

Your friend always,

Charles Dickens
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,455 followers
September 3, 2014
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 not-obvious person (how could the little spinster with the gammy foot batter the ten foot Guardsman to death and scale the west wall on the fateful night? Well, she was on Victorian crack is how) I say – wow, how obvious. She was really not obviously the murderer, so she was obviously the murderer.

However, I really liked Wilkie's novels The Woman in White and No Name, so I read this.

In a modern detective tale, you have your detective, and there is a detective in this one, but he only occupies a short part of the story, he quickly retires to grow roses, literally, that's not a euphemism for some kind of rent boy scandal, so the rest of the story is made up by narratives from five or six main characters.

Now comes the dance of the seven veils.

Because if two narrators had been given their voice, the whole novel would have been over in 50 pages. You get the longwinded thoughts of all the people who DON'T know what actually happened. By page 350, after being mumbled at, prevaricated over, and digressed to for what seemed days, NAY, weeks, by Wilkie Collins' five narrators, all of whom suffer from amusing psychological tics and endearing human flaws, or was it the other way round, and all of whom could have summarised their tales onto two pages of foolscap, I was ready to shrink myself to the size of a capital R (pronounced "aargh") and insert myself into this novel Fantastic Voyage-style and grab a passing amateur sleuth and confess loudly I STOLE YOUR DAMNED MOONSTONE, ARREST ME, AND THERE'S AN END OF IT!

(Memo - write future review of Victorian novel as if invested into it Fantastic Voyage-style. Should be hilarious.)

Actually, there is a point to all this 430 pages of Moonstone. The whole plot, and this, strangely enough, is not a spoiler, hangs on the attempt of one guy to give up smoking. So The Moonstone is a very elaborate warning that going cold turkey is a bad idea,

you must use the patches.

The Moonstone is often cited as the earliest medical warning story – later examples are Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, which concerns self-medication and its dangers, and Henry James' Daisy Miller, which explains to tourists that they must get all their vaccinations. The genre is still thriving - the recent movie Bad Lieutenant – Port of New Orleans is all about inappropriate methods of combating severe back pain.

In the end I thought this was the Monkees instead of The Beatles, Pleasant Valley Sunday instead of Tomorrow Never Knows.

Profile Image for Piyangie.
517 reviews412 followers
February 15, 2022
The Moonstone is probably the most popular work of Wilkie Collins in his day. Perhaps it still is or perhaps The Woman in White rivals its rank at present times. But no matter, its popularity in Collin's day is no secret. Named as the first detective fiction of English literature, The Moonstone paved the way and laid the ground rules on modern detective novels. In that sense, The Moonstone is pioneer of the genre.

With his customary use of different narrators, Collins works on his story on a good plotline. The story is very cleverly built. We meet a professional detective and a few amateur detectives working hard at discovering the mysterious disappearance of a valuable Indian diamond named the "moonstone" from an English household. Suspense and intrigue are two vital features of detective fiction. Collins seems quite aware of this, for he slowly unfolds the story behind the moonstone, how it comes to be in English soil from the forehead of an Indian deity. The atmosphere is dramatically built informing the reader of an upcoming possible theft. Collins makes the reader impatient until the contemplated event takes place. The theft of the moonstone is one climax of the story; one can even say it is the first part of the story. The next part is to discover the thief (if it was stolen) and to recover the moonstone. Again Collins goes to the bottom and starts building the tension and suspense on the reader till the second climax, where the mystery is finally cleared up.

I have always enjoyed Collins's use of multiple narrators. Their different styles of narration influenced by their own perspectives provide different tones and colour to the story. There were six narrators and I found each of the narration to be different. The story begins with a pretty humorous narrative of Gabriel Betteredge. This then is followed by the eccentric Miss Clack. Mr. Bruff then proceeds with a matter-of-fact narrative before passing the baton to Mr. Franklin Blake. Blake's narrative is passionate. Of all the narratives, I found his narrative to be the most intense. His narrative is then followed by the sympathetic narrative of Ezra Jennings and the professional narrative of Sergeant Cuff. It is difficult to account for the reliability of these narrators, but these different narratives made the reading more interesting and engaging.

There are many characters involved in the story. However, unlike in other works that I've read of Collins, I found myself a bit detached from the characters. We find a spirited young woman with an independent mind in the guise of Rachel Verinder. But unfortunately, the flow of the story is such that it was difficult to like her till the very end. I didn't dislike any of the characters; rather, I was a little aloof from them. If I came close to liking any, it was Sergeant Cuff, Blake, and Jennings. However, my indifference towards the characters did not impede my enjoyment of the story as a whole. This was one novel where the story was more interesting for its plot than the characters.

The one complaint I have is that the story was very slowly developed. For detective fiction, the pace was not fast enough; at least it was not enough for my impatient self. However, being the first in the genre and that Collins wrote this for serial publication under severe suffering from attacks of 'rheumatic gout', one has to make allowances.

I liked the book, no doubt there. But I expected more from it given the immense popularity. To me personally, the book didn't live up to the standard of The Woman in White and No Name - the two other books of his that I've read and loved.
Profile Image for Daniel.
203 reviews
February 5, 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 few advancements being made to the plot in the process. The latter parts of the section narrated by Gabriel Betteredge, chief servant to the Verinder household, and almost all of Drusilla Clack's section really could have used some judicious editing.

I suspect, though, that long after I forget what a slog much of "The Moonstone" was to get through, I'll remember its many charms. Betteredge is a particularly fun narrator, given his obsession with Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" -- a book he treats as a cross between the Holy Bible and Nostradamus's "Prophecies" -- and his jaundiced eye toward male-female relations. Collins also must have had a ball making Drusilla Clack one of the most judgmental, grating Christian evangelists in English literature. Particularly priceless are the passages in which she wanders around the Verinder household and strategically places religious tracts in spots where family members, she hopes, would just happen upon them, instantly putting her relatives on the path to salvation.

Betteredge and Clack are so compelling that almost every other character in "The Moonstone," with the possible exception of opium addict Ezra Jennings, pales in comparison. Rachel Verinder -- despite being at the book's center as the recipient of the Indian diamond known as the Moonstone, the theft of which the plot revolves around -- isn't as fully drawn as the other characters, perhaps because she never takes over narration of the story. This, in a way, actually demonstrates one of Collins's chief skills as a writer: as each narrator takes his or her turn telling the story, that section of the book really becomes more about him or her than about the plot.

And that, ultimately, is what makes "The Moonstone" an interesting book. Despite being such an early and influential mystery novel -- it predated Arthur Conan Doyle's introduction of Sherlock Holmes by almost two decades -- it's really more about the characters themselves, their view of the world, and the decisions they make than it is about solving the mystery of the diamond's disappearance. It's a shame that more of today's mystery novelists haven't learned that lesson from "The Moonstone."

In retrospect, I realize I'm perhaps making "The Moonstone" sound like more of a four-star book, but trust me: the long, drawn-out sections of the book really are incredibly long and drawn out. I cannot overstate just how much this book tests the reader's patience, and for scores of pages at a time.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,381 followers
January 28, 2018
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 ludicrously entertaining book, almost on the level of Count of Monte Cristo for sheer kicks.

* Things I Was Super On The Watch For When I Was A Kid And It Turns Out They Are Not Actually Things
- Alligators
- Amnesia
- Chloroform-soaked rags
- Razors in apples
- Steamrollers
- Quicksand

It shares with Collins' other masterpiece, The Woman in White, a preoccupation with narrative - from different sources, in different voices, with varying motives and degrees of reliability. Like Woman in White, it's set up like a court case: a series of witnesses come forward to tell their part of the story in more or less chronological order, while commenting on (and insulting) each other's narratives. Many characters also cite other texts: Betteredge is obsessed with Robinson Crusoe; Miss Clack carts around a variety of religious tracts, all of which are made up, which sucks because how badly do you want to read "Satan in the Hairbrush" and "A Word With You On Your Cap Ribbons"? Pretty bad, man - and finally, Ezra Jennings will cite De Quincey's landmark drug memoir Memoirs of an Opium Eater.

Which, by the way: unlike Woman in White (1860), The Moonstone (1868) was written while Collins was deep in the throes of a laudanum addiction, and the whole thing can be seen as, more or less, about opium.

Also unlike Woman in White, which features one of my all-time favorite female heroines, the diamond-sharp Miss Halcombe, The Moonstone has an awkward relationship to women. Many of its narrators are prone to statements like this:
"Men (being superior creatures) are bound to improve women - if they can. When a woman wants me to do anything, I always insist on knowing why. The oftener you make them rummage their own minds for a reason, the more manageable you will find them in all the relations of life.
The first couple times you see stuff like this you can figure Collins means for you to laugh at it - but after like ten different people say things along similar lines, you do start to wonder a little.

Woman in White just edges out Moonstone for me as my favorite Collins. Its characters - Miss Halcombe and the mighty Count Fosco - are more indelible than Moonstone's. But The Moonstone includes a thinly disguised Richard Burton, as well as the terrifically bitchy Miss Clack...look, here's my secret: I like Collins better than his buddy Dickens. This book is a gang of fun.
Profile Image for Fionnuala.
778 reviews
June 10, 2021
I finished this book several days ago but couldn't motivate myself to add it to my goodreads shelves or write a review. It's as if the weight of the tons of words in the text has paralysed me. What's more, I knew what I was getting into. I read The Woman in White just before this one and it left me with a similar lethargy. The only thing I was able to do after finishing it was pick up The Moonstone as if my mind had been taken over by a rabid Wilkie Collins fan. Today, I'm beginning to emerge from the stupor, and I feel able to make a guess at why Collins's writing bewitched me enough to make me read two of his books yet numbed me so much at the same time.

The stories in the two books are told in the same long-winded way: each book traces the exact history of a series of mysterious events by making the characters who were most closely connected with each stage of the events, narrate their experience, word for word.

Word for word really means word for word in Wilkie Collins land. The many narrators outdo each other in the care they take to tell every single thing they observed while at the same time not revealing anything that they learned after the period which their part of the narrative covers. It's all very artificial and more than a bit painful. The narrators also specialize in adding extra details according to their particular brand of whimsy, and some of them are very whimsical indeed. The details in many cases have nothing to do with the central mystery of either book. What's more, the mysteries when finally revealed hardly merit all the time and effort spent on recording them so painstakingly...

Two days later.
I didn't finish writing this review the other day because I fell back into a stupor. I think it was the very fact of describing why I'd fallen into a stupor in the first place that caused it to descend on me again. I've read a book by a different author in the meantime—though not before I'd read a page of a third Wilkie Collins book I'd downloaded while my mind was still in the control of the Wilkie Collins fan. Fortunately I saved myself in time and deleted it from my kindle before it got hold of me.

Well, the refreshing book I've finished since has cleared the fog in my brain somewhat (though I'm still prone to moments of utter blankness) and now I'm able to explain why I was bewitched enough to read two Collins books. It's because of a few of the narrators: Frederick Fairlie in The Woman in White is so obnoxious yet so funny that he manages to relieve the ridiculous seriousness of that book, which is no small achievement; Sergeant Cuff in The Moonstone is amusing too, as is Miss Clack—when she isn't quoting from her huge fund of religious tracts. And then there's Gabriel Betteridge who really does know how to tell a story—I just wished he had a better story to tell. I wondered if his storytelling ability came from the fact that he'd read Robinson Crusoe so often he knew it by heart? It was impossible not to warm to a character who loved reading as much as Gabriel Betteredge did.
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,089 followers
April 21, 2020
“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 épocas desde que fue publicada allá por 1868 y que sigue cautivando aún hoy en 2017? Definitivamente sí y Wilkie Collins lo logra con la perfección de los más grandes.
Esta novela es para muchos, uno de las tres mejores novelas policiales de todos los tiempos y todos esos componentes que yo enumero en mis preguntas iniciales lo confirman.
Collins trabaja la historia en cada una de sus partes atada al evento principal que es el robo de un enorme diamante, llamado "la piedra lunar" durante el cumpleaños número dieciocho de Miss Rachel Verdiner, pero ese diamante posee toda una historia detrás que es la que el autor anticipa en los capítulos iniciales, puesto que de otra manera no entenderíamos cómo se suceden los hechos.
La preciosa gema ha sido traída desde un templo de la India en forma indebida y esto le acarreará a los que la posean un sinnúmero de inconvenientes en los personajes que formaron parte de ese cumpleaños y que son los que se relatan a lo largo del libro.
Para que todo esto tenga cohesión y solidez, Collins dispone la trama a partir de los testimonios, en gran parte del mayordomo de la familia, Gabriel Betteredge, cuya reconstrucción de lo sucedido, ocupa casi un cuarto de la extensión del libro pero que a la postre es clave para que el lector pueda guiarse en los hechos narrados.
Un dato muy pintoresco acerca de este particular personaje es que utiliza como guía para su vida el libro Robinson Crusoe de Daniel Defoe. Para él es su Biblia y siempre sostiene que muchas de las cosas que sucede en ese libro o las frases de Crusoe dice son casi proféticas para él.
Gabriel Betteredge es un personaje muy especial y esta característica logra que el lector sienta una profunda empatía para con este pintoresco anciano.
Ahora bien. Betteredge no es el único de los implicados en esto. No es tan fácil arribar al descubrimiento de quién se robó la gema ni de cuántas personas hay implicadas en ello y cuáles son las verdaderamente sospechosas. Es a partir de los relatos de los otros testigos que comenzamos a desanudar los secretos que la desaparición del diamante esconden.
Jorge Luis Borges, en su brillante prólogo de la edición del libro que yo tengo nos revela que Wilkie Collins tiene el honor de haber aportado en la figura del Sargento Cuff alprimer detective británico de la literatura y es verdad: Sherlock Holmes fue creado por Sir Arthur Conan Doyle recién en 1887 mientras que "La piedra lunar" fue publicada en 1868, o sea 19 años.
Para todo aquel lector desprevenido, comento que estos son detectives británicos en la literatura. Digo esto porque el creador del género policial fue mi querido Edgar Allan Poe a partir de "Los crímenes de la calle Morgue", cuyo detective Auguste C. Dupin fue el pionero, dado que ese cuento fue publicado en 1841.
Pero volviendo a esta maravillosa novela, nos encontramos con una serie de personajes tan disímiles como enigmáticos, sospechosos o carismáticos. Conoceremos a Rosana Spearman, la enamoradiza criada de la mansión en la que se desarrolla la historia, como dijera previamente, al Sargento Cuff, contratado para dilucidar el misterio del robo, a Franklin Blake, uno de los personajes principales, enamorado de Rachel y que tendrá un papel fundamental en todo esto junto al sargento Cuff, Gabriel Betteredge y el abogado Bruff.
También son de vital importancia personajes como Penélope Betteredge, hija del mayordomo, a Míster Godfrey Ablewhite, filántropo y en rivalidad con Francis Blake por el corazón de Rachel, a Miss Clack, la prima pobre de la familia Verinder dominada por un ferviente fanatismo religioso metodista, al abogado de la familia, Matthew Bruff, quien también tiene preponderancia en el asunto del esclarecimiento del robo y Ezra Jennings, un personaje que aportará datos clave hacia el final del libro.
Es destacable la manera en que Collins delinea a sus personajes. Con esto me refiero a que trabaja la psicología, las actitudes y las acciones de los mismo de manera convincente.
El autor puede tanto posicionarse en la piel de una caballero filántropo como en la piel de un inescrutable abogado, en la brillantez de un médico avezado o pasar del metodismo del sargento Richard Cuff hasta los desvaríos de una criada ardorosamente enamorada del apuesto Franklin Blake, como es el caso de Rosana Spearman.
En todos los personajes Collins deja su sello y cada una de las partes que interviene en el caso del robo de la piedra lunar aportan sus testimonios que son vitales para la resolución del caso.
El lector va de un personaje a otro intentado descubrir quién robó efectivamente la gema y las marchas y contramarchas de la trama lo mantienen atento a cada mínimo detalle.
Todas las piezas terminan encajando en un sorprendente final como sólo Wilkie Collins podía hacerlo.
Como establezco al principio, no cualquier escritor puede escribir una novela policial como esta y mantener la curiosidad, el misterio y la atracción del lector a lo largo de una novela tan extensa.
Tanto lectores como escritores expertos en la materia sostienen que esta es una de las tres mejores novelas policiales de la literatura. Casualmente este año también leí “Diez negritos” de Agatha Cristie, novela que posiblemente esté en ese selecto grupo.
Más allá de que no soy un lector habitual de novelas policiales me animo a asegurar que difícilmente pueda leer otra que sobrepase en misterio, riqueza técnica literaria y trama argumental como lo que me ha generado “La piedra luna” y la otra que indico en esta reseña.
Probablemente me recomendarán los que saben que lea más novelas de Agatha Cristie, quien es considerada la mejor escritora de novelas policiales de todos los tiempos (y creo que en eso no hay discusión).
Ha sido un placer llegar al final para descubrir el robo de la asombrosa piedra lunar.
¿Se animan, ustedes lectores, a intentar descubrirlo como yo lo hice?
Profile Image for Kyle.
121 reviews202 followers
November 1, 2022
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 vaunted Mr. Charles Dickens read, but the book I read was absolutely wonderful. It was hilarious, entertaining, smart, and everything else that makes a good novel. Beyond that, it was especially surprising! Being one of the first detective novels, I expected it to be rather dry. Maybe a little dull, or outdated feeling. Perhaps even a bit shallow and boring.

I'm pleased to say, that it was none of these things. For a book written in the mid-1800's this novel has a remarkably modern feel. Though the main plot is a detective-style mystery, there is a wonderful underlying social commentary aspect, all revealed through the lenses of the unique cast of characters. The story is brilliantly told by using various written narratives of different people, all which not only tease us with knowledge of the mystery at just the right pace, but also provide wildly entertaining character studies of the people writing them. From (my favorite character) the chauvinistic old butler, who wants nothing more than to serve his household faithfully while leaning upon the crutch of Robinson Crusoe and his tobacco pipe, to the absolutely, but painfully, hilarious distant cousin who is on a mission to convert everyone to her particular brand of christian values. Each character's narrative is written in their unique voice, and it makes you love them all even when you're hating them.

I think Collins himself puts it perfectly, when he said that, unlike examining the influence of circumstances upon character (as many other novels), this book examines the influence of character upon circumstance. This isn't some novel where you place an average person in an extraordinary situation, and watch what becomes of them. This is a novel where the extraordinary characters are the movers and shakers of the plot. Yet, even as wonderfully unique as these characters are, they are all at the same time, so wonderfully human. With the narrative style Collins chose, we are allowed insight into the characters' thought processes, and feelings; we are able to see more than what actually happens. In many other novels, this approach might generate superfluous noise, but in The Moonstone it keeps the book churning at a page-burning pace, and allows us to appreciate the smaller aspects of the novel, even when the larger parts might normally be prepared to overshadow them.

This book almost feels like one of those "guilty pleasure books" people always try to judge others for reading, but you can hold your head high on this one. It's fun, fast-paced, and riveting, but nobody can accuse it of being shallow. Each character brings not only a unique perspective on the main plot/mystery of the novel, but also a unique perspective on the world around them. Let's explore what I mean with a couple of my favorite gentlefolk, shall we?:

The old butler:
"People in high life have all the luxuries to themselves-among others, the luxury of indulging their feelings. People in low life have no such privilege. Necessity, which spares our betters, has no pity on us. We learn to put our feelings back into ourselves, and to jog on with our duties as patiently as may be. I don't complain of this--I only notice it."

"There's a bottom of good sense, Mr. Franklin, in our conduct to our mothers, when they first start us on the journey of life. We are all of us more or less unwilling to be brought into this world. And we are all of us right."

The self-righteous cousin, whose only want is to share her beloved religious tracts*:

"I paid the cabman exactly his fare. He received it with an oath; upon which I instantly gave him a tract. If I had presented a pistol at his head, this abandoned wretch could hardly have exhibited greater consternation. He jumped up on his box, and, with profane exclamations of dismay, drove off furiously. Quite useless, I am happy to say! I sowed the good seed, in spite of him, by throwing a second tract in at the window of the cab."

"When I folded up my things that night--when I reflected on the true riches which I had scattered with such a lavish hand, from top to bottom of the house of my wealthy aunt--I declare I felt as free from all anxiety as if I had been a child again. I was so lighthearted that I sang a verse of the Evening Hymm. I was so lighthearted that I fell asleep before I could sing another. Quite like a child again! Quite like a child again!
So I passed the blissful night. On rising the next morning, how young I felt! I might add, how young I looked, if I were capable of dwelling on the concerns of my own perishable body. But I am not capable--and I add nothing.

Even though I could go on and on with wonderfully entertaining passages, I realize I've already over done it on the quotations, so this humble reviewer must desist before he loses himself.

Basically, read this book. If you like detective novels, or if you like Victorian novels, or if you like novels in general, read this. It's quite fun! The true mark of a great mystery novel is that even if you know or "solved" the mystery, the book still manages to keep your attention and make you want to see the conclusion unfold for yourself. I can't imagine re-reading most mystery novels I can think of, but I can't imagine not re-reading The Moonstone again in the future. It's simply too much fun.

*A small, religious pamphlet.
Profile Image for Katie Lumsden.
Author 1 book2,804 followers
October 9, 2022
I loved the reading experience on this reread - a really intriguing novel, with some fantastic characters and twists and turns. I'm still deciding how I feel about Wilkie Collins but I do love his writing an awful lot.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
February 12, 2018
862. The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century British epistolary novel, generally considered the first full length detective novel in the English language.
The Moonstone tells of the events surrounding the disappearance of a mysterious (and cursed) yellow diamond. T. S. Eliot called it 'the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels'. It contains a number of ideas which became common tropes of the genre, including a crime being investigated by talented amateurs who happen to be present when it is committed, and two police officers who exemplify respectively the 'Scotland Yard bungler' and the skilled, professional detective.
Characters: Franklin Blake, Rachel Verinder, Godfrey Ablewhite, Gabriel Betteredge, Rosanna Spearman, Drusilla Clack, Mathew Bruff, Lady Verinder, Sergeant Cuff, Dr. Candy, Ezra Jennings, Octavius Guy, Penelope Betteredge.
عنوان­ها: س‍ن‍گ‌ م‍اه؛ الماس شوم؛ ماه­سنگ؛ ماه الماس؛ نویسنده: ویلکی کالینز؛ انتشاراتیها: (سنبله، مجرد، عطایی، نشر مرکز)؛ ادبیات قرن نوزدهم؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوم ماه دسامبر سال 2006 میلادی
عنوان یک: الماس‌ شوم (سنگ ماه)، نویسنده: ویلکی کالینز؛ مترجم: مهین قهرمان، نشر: ت‍ه‍ران، عطائی، 1384، در 364 ص.، ‏فروست: موسسه انتشارات عطائی، 649، رم‍ان، 48، شابک: 9789643136482
عنوان دو: ماهسنگ، مترجم: حمیدرضا ضرابی، نشر: مشهد، سنبله، 1383، در 107 ص،؛
عنوان سه: سنگ ماه (متن کوتاه شده)، مترجم: مهین دانشور، رمان پلیسی: ادبیات جهان برای جوانان، نشر: تهران، نشر مرکز، کتاب مریم‏، 1376، در 208 ص، مصور. يادداشت: چاپ قبلی: مجرد، 1363؛
این رمان به صورت پیوسته در مجله‌ ای به سرپرستی چارلز دیکنز منتشر می‌شد و نخستین بار در سال 1868 میلادی به صورت کتاب در انگلستان به چاپ رسید. رمان ماه‌ الماس در کنار رمان زن سفیدپوش از بهترین رمان‌های ویلکی کالینز به حساب می‌آیند. تی. اس. الیوت شاعر و نمایشنامه‌ نویس آمریکایی، در مقدمه‌ ای بر رمان ماه‌ الماس، آنرا «نخستین، بلندترین و بهترین رمان پلیسی مدرن انگلیسی» خوانده است. این کتاب در ایران در سالهای مختلف توسط ناشرین‌ متفاوت، تحت عنوان­های: «س‍ن‍گ‌ م‍اه» و «الماس شوم» و «ماه­سنگ» و «ماه الماس» منتشر شده است. رمان ماه‌ الماس را انتشارات نیلوفر در سال 1394 هجری خورشیدی با ترجمه منوچهر بدیعی به فارسی منتشر کرده است. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for amin akbari.
297 reviews126 followers
May 10, 2019
به نام او

" ماه الماس نخستین و بزرگترین رمانِ پلیسیِ انگلیسی است."
این جمله تی.اس.الیوت شاعر و منتقد معروفِ انگلستانی در موردِ شاهکارِ ویلکی کالینز ابداً اغراق و مداهنه نیست.
ماه الماس یکی از بهترین رمانهای کلاسیکی‌ست که تا به حال خوانده‌ام.
توجه بفرمایید جمله بالا را کسی می‌گوید که همواره به ادبیات انگلستان با دید تردید نگریسته است (هرچند با تاسف تمام هنوز اثری از چارلز دیکنز نخوانده است) و در بین رمانهایی که از این ادبیات خوانده کمتر اثری او را جذب خود کرده است.
باری حساب ماه الماس جداست.

همانطور که در جمله الیوت آمده ماه الماس رمانی پلیسی‌ست و آن هم اولین رمان پلیسی ادبیات انگلیسی زبان
ولی واقعیتش را بخواهید برای من باورکردنی نیست که ماه الماس اولین باشد چرا که نوع روایت داستان و گره افکنی‌هایش بسیار قوام یافته‌تر و پیشرفته‌تر از آن است که اولین باشد. اینگونه به نظر می‌رسد که کالینز از چندین و چند تجربه جنایی‌نویسی باید بهره برده باشد تا بتواند چنین رمانی بنویسد. یا کارگاه کاف را که اولین کاراگاه آثار ادبی می‌دانند بسیار پخته‌تر از هر اولینی رفتار می‌کند

کتاب در حدود ۶۵۰ صفحه است و جالب این است که داستان لحظه‌ای از ریتم نمی‌افتد (امری که در داستان پلیسی بسیار حیاتی‌ست) و نویسنده برای هر قسمت ایده منحصر به فردی دارد. داستان به شیوه پلی‌فونیک یا چندصدایی روایت می‌شود که این هم در نوع خود با توجه به سال نوشتن رمان (اواسط قرن نوزده) امری بدیع بوده است.
نکته جالب دیگر این کتاب به زعم من شخصیت‌پردازی رمان است. ماه الماس با اینکه رمانی کلاسیک است ولی در شخصیت‌پردازیها کمتر دچار رخوت و کسالتی که مشخصه غالب رمانهای آن زمان است می‌شود. و شخصیتها چنان پیچیده هستند که خواننده بارها در طول خواندن رمان نسبت به آنها احساسات مختلفی اتخاذ می‌کند. خود کالینز در جایی از رمان از زبان یکی از شخصیتها در مورد رمانهای کلاسیک می‌نویسد:
《همه از جمله آثار کلاسیک؛ و البته همه بی‌اندازه برتر از چیزهائی که بعدها منتشر شد؛ و همه (از لحاظ من) این مزیت بزرگ را دارند که دل هیچ‌کس را نمی‌ربایند و مغز هیچ‌کس را داغ نمی‌کنند.》

آخرین نکته ترجمه بی‌نظیر منوچهر بدیعی است نثر بدیعی خود یک اثر ادبی مجزا است پر از ظرافت و زیبایی. بدیعی علاوه بر آن که زبان مبدا را به خوبی میشناسد (بالاخره مترجم اولیس است). فارسی را در فصاحت و بلاغتی رشک برانگیز به کار می‌برد. در ترجمه رمان بارها با ارجاعت نحوی قرآنی یا تلمیح‌هایی به اشعار سعدی حافظ و مولوی روبرو هستیم که این خود بر ملاحت شاهکار کالینز افزوده است، به جملات زیر توجه بفرمایید:
《شنیده‌ایم که از "ابلیس آدم‌رو" سخن می‌گویند من معتقدم مثالِ "فرشته‌سیرتانِ دیوصورت" به مراتب به حقیقت نزدیک‌تراست》
Profile Image for آبتین گلکار.
Author 49 books1,131 followers
March 25, 2017
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
Profile Image for Kushagri.
34 reviews
March 10, 2023
The narrative structure is similar to that of The Woman in White with Mr Franklin Blake taking a role similar to that of Mr Walter Hartright, and collecting witness accounts from people concerned with the “scandal”.

These witness accounts are from first person point of view and thoroughly interesting to read. I was ensnared by this mystery.

The eponymous diamond, the Moonstone was like a character in its own right. It had its hold on people.

A twist came in the second half of the novel which I was not expecting and was completely enthralled by it.

The characters were unique and colourful. Some of their characteristics and narratives were quite humorous. (I have a new found respect for Robinson Crusoe)

Reading this book was like putting together pieces of a puzzle and it resulted in a similar satisfaction in the end. There were no loose ends. Every action in this suspense was accounted for, and explained. And oh, such fun was the journey we took with these characters!

Strongly recommended!
Profile Image for Lori  Keeton.
475 reviews106 followers
April 12, 2023
This was a read that was quite unexpected. I am familiar with Wilkie Collins’ work and have enjoyed The Woman in White but I had no idea how much I was going to love The Moonstone!

Wilkie Collins was a law student before he became an author. His friendship with mentor Charles Dickens played an important part in his success having collaborated together on several plays and stories. Dickens published the novel in his magazine, All the Year Round in serial fashion. The Moonstone is often thought to be the first English detective novel introducing Detective Cuff to readers in 1868. Victorian readers would have been utterly captivated by the compelling plot and the intriguing case of the mystery surrounding the Moonstone.

The Moonstone will have its vengeance yet on you and yours!

The story is told by various characters through letters that they write. After the gem has been missing for 2 years, Franklin Blake has entrusted each individual to help in getting to the bottom of the mystery. Each narrative presents its writer as responsible for getting at the truth of the mystery via the epistolary style. The longest narrative is written by Gabriel Betteredge, the overseer of the Verinder house. He catches the “detective fever” brought on by our significant Detective Cuff. Betteredge also seeks out life’s guidance from his well-worn and loved copy of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. It’s as if he gains some type of spiritual direction from the passages he reads and interprets. And this added personality quirk is just a joy to take part in. Betteredge finds joy in his favorite reading material and it translates to readers in the same way. He has some rather archaic views on women but I didn’t find them derogatory (some might) but just a quirk of his personality.

We also get the perspective of Miss Drusilla Clack who is a self-righteous Christian lady who is a cousin to the Verinder’s. Her eavesdropping tendencies and mission to save everyone from their sins with tracts that she disperses about the house for the purpose of edifying those who found and read them provide some humor. Her charity work for the Mother’s-Small-Clothes-Conversion-Society puts a satirical spin on her character. I found her a pitiable character for the way she just doesn’t give up her personal mission of soul saving. I just thought she could have used a bit of grace in her delivery.

Miss Rachel Verinder is the benefactor of the moonstone and a very independent minded young woman. We get to know her character through the narration of the other characters quite well and question some of her behaviors; however, patience in getting to the end of the complex story and plot that Collins has created will shine light on her stubbornness eventually. We never view the story from her perspective though.

As the plot unfolds, readers will wonder whether the moonstone has cursed the Verinder family. But there is a lot going for this story. There is romance, innocent characters wrongfully suspected, sinister Hindoo men lurking about, an English manor house setting and one of the most intriguing characters, the doctor’s assistant, Ezra Jennings who brings an enigmatic atmosphere to the narrative. And finally, the fact that we get to meet the eccentric rose-loving Detective Cuff makes this a perfect reason to pick up this story. And if you think you are a regular armchair detective and will be able to figure this mystery out, beware, Collins’ outdoes himself with keeping readers guessing until the very end!
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,734 reviews1,469 followers
March 19, 2023
Free for Audible-UK-Plus members. Do not miss this!

I am utterly amazed that I sat glued to this all the way through. Why? Because it is so very different from the books I usually enjoy. This is a fun and engaging mystery. It is said to be the first English detective novel! Usually, I am captivated by books more down to earth and realistic in style. That I enjoyed this so very much is what makes it amazing for me.

I want to explain the draw of this book.

A mystery is to be solved. Who has taken the “moonstone”, a diamond from India worth £20 000? Who did what and why is unraveled, as well as the specifics of how. Not once did I become confused. My lack of confusion is not typical of me. The explanation is twofold. Every detail and aspect of the story is meticulously and captivatingly laid out, in this, Wilkie Collins’ 1868 novel. You pay attention because the writing grabs you and holds you tight!

The story is told by those who witnessed it. Each of these narrators explain what he or she personally saw and experienced. These characters come alive. Each has a personality you are not soon to forget. Each lives and breathes. Each has a personality different from the others. None are duplicates. Some are amusing. Both Miss Druscilla Clack and the butler Gabriel Betteredge will leave you chuckling. No, they are not funny in the same way. This exemplifies the author’s marvelous ability to imagine, create and perfect unique characters. Miss Druscilla Clack is an ardent evangelist handing out “tracts of wisdom” right and left. The butler’s bible is, on the other hand, Defoe’s Robinson and Crusoe. With every new calamity, he has an applicable quote. It is Collins’ words and his way of telling the story that make the tale special.

Widely varied characters and humorous lines are topped off with words of wisdom about, for example, national traits. The idiosyncrasies of the French, Germans, Italians and English are noted. Those who enjoy a minute of serious thought are thus satisfied too!

Figuring out exactly how all the different steps are tied together becomes and enjoyable lark, despite that all is pure fiction from start to finish. THIS is what I find utterly amazing!

To top this all off, the audiobook narration by Peter Jeffrey is excellent. His intonations enhance the characters’ respective personality traits. He does not overdramatize, but he has a particular voice for each one of the characters. You easily recognize who is speaking, without being told. Jeffrey’s rendition is topnotch. Five stars for the narration.

And this is all free if you are an Audible-UK-Plus member! Grab it. Don’t just grab it, listen to it soon!


*The Woman in White 3 stars
*The Moonstone 5 stars
*Poor Miss Finch TBR
*No Name TBR
*Armadale TBR

I appreciate suggestions guiding me to Collins' other topnotch choices.
Profile Image for Jaya.
435 reviews222 followers
September 9, 2017
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 and accurate results! (to solve the aforementioned, unexplained events)
d) the multiple POVs (half of which imho added nothing to the story, except for making almost 60% of the content of the book)

Continuing with d) I wish the author had not made this such a lengthy story. Had been it been just the first 15% and last quarter of the book, it would have been a fast paced thriller.
So weighing the likes/dislikes, frustrations and fun that I had while reading this book.
I'l rate it 2.25 stars

It was not TOO bad.

P.S. I was immensely pleased that the natives got their stolen stuff back ;)
Readers Bias! I have a right to it.

P.P.S: somewhere the book mentions the Indian god Moon with four arms riding an antelope.

My search on the world wide web lead me to this link;
Borrowing the images here

Top: The American serial's 4 January 1868 Headnote vignette showing the Brahmins and the idol of the Hindu Moon God. Centre: An expanded version of the same illustration, The Idol of the Moon God in the Peter Fenelon Collier edition (1900). Bottom: An expanded view of the original 1868 vignette, The Diamond and the Ganges (1874, second edition, Chapter 11, p. 90.)
I would love to get my hands on those illustrated versions!
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
April 5, 2021
“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. Right now, I am perfectly and delightfully happy. And the final essay by T. S. Eliot delighted my literature-student crave for a little literary history.
Profile Image for Fuchsia  Groan.
162 reviews196 followers
August 1, 2019
T.S. Eliot opinaba que La piedra lunar era “la primera, la más larga y la mejor de las novelas británicas contemporáneas de detectives.” No tengo los conocimientos suficientes para rebatirlo, pero la primera afirmación es un tema bastante discutido y en la actualidad la mayoría opina que “la primera” fue El misterio de Notting Hill, de Charles Warren Adams. Lo que sí es más que probable es que esta de Collins sea la que tuvo una influencia decisiva en lo que vino después.

Con las 784 páginas que tiene mi edición, probablemente calificarla como “la más larga” sea correcto, aunque esto poco tenga que ver con la calidad de la obra y sí con la manera en que fue escrita y publicada, por entregas en All the Year Round, el semanario de Charles Dickens.

Sobre si fue o no “la mejor” habrá millones de opiniones. Me atrevería a decir que en su momento sí lo fue. Lo de menos es la trama, la intriga por saber quién robó la joya no es lo que engancha, ni es nada extraordinaria para el lector, al menos para el actual. Los giros son los típicos, el misterio no deja de enredarse hasta llegar al desenlace, que no creo que sea tampoco demasiado sorprendente.

La principal virtud de la novela es su forma: ocho partes, cada una escrita por un personaje o testigo diferente: un miembro del servicio, Gabriel Betteredge, que tiene una fe ciega en que toda la verdad se encuentra en Robinson Crusoe; la beata e insufrible prima Clack; el sargento Cuff, aficionado al cultivo de rosas… los distintos narradores se hacen referencias cruzadas, se dirigen al lector y buscan su complicidad en un relato que en este sentido resulta sorprendentemente moderno y bien llevado, dándole a cada uno una voz propia e inconfundible, sus narracinoes son interesadas, subjetivas, y por lo tanto poco fiables. Collins dice en el prólogo que la presente historia trata de analizar la influencia que ejerce la personalidad sobre las circunstancias.
Los personajes (los secundarios, la pareja principal es tan sosa y plana que diría que puede que su existencia sea puro sarcasmo) son interesantes, excéntricos y atractivos, aunque me ha faltado aquí un villano comparable al enorme, en todos los sentidos, conde Fosco de La dama de blanco.

Además, toda la novela rezuma ironía y refleja estupendamente la hipocresía de la sociedad victoriana.

Por tanto, las (escasas) tres estrellas se deben solo a mi gusto personal, la novela es entretenida, el misterio está bien llevado, la narración es ágil y aguanta el ritmo razonablemente bien durante sus cientos de páginas, pero en el fondo no deja de ser un folletín algo melodramático, con todo lo malo (y bueno) que eso lleva consigo.
Profile Image for Nikoleta.
680 reviews274 followers
January 9, 2018
Με την έναρξη του βιβλίου, εμείς οι αναγνώστες γινόμαστε γνώστες του ότι στο συγκεκριμένο χρονικό σημείο, το έγκλημα έχει γίνει και ήδη έχει εξιχνιαστεί. Η ανάγνωση που θα ακολουθήσει είναι οι διηγήσεις των προσώπων που έγιναν μάρτυρες της πολύπλοκης αυτής ιστορίας, τις οποίες έγραψαν έπειτα από την διαλεύκανση του μυστηρίου την οποία ακολουθούμε βήμα βήμα μέσα απο τις διηγήσεις τους.
Ένα έχω να πω, απολαυστική ιστορία, από απολαυστικούς χαρακτήρες. Το παιχνίδι ανάμεσα στον συγγραφέα και τον αναγνώστη, είχε κερδηθεί ήδη από την πρώτη διήγηση, αυτή του καμαριέρη Μπέτερεζ, αυτού του υπέροχου παππού, με την εμμονή στο μυθιστόρημα «Ροβινσώνας Κρούσος». Και σε αυτή, και στην επόμενη διήγηση, αυτή της εξαδέλφης μις Κλακ –καταπληκτική θρησκόληπτη, εμμονική φιγούρα γεροντοκόρης της εποχής εκείνης- ο Κόλλινς δίνει ρεσιτάλ αφηγηματικού μπρίου!
Υπέροχο βιβλίο!
Profile Image for Axl Oswaldo.
332 reviews145 followers
October 15, 2022
Victober (1)

Si tuviera que empezar a describir La piedra lunar, ¿cómo sería? Posiblemente si mencionara que es una novela donde la trama nunca decae estaría mintiendo inmediatamente, porque tiene sus partes donde sí que quería decir, 'ya para con esto, por favor'; si dijera que es la mejor novela de detectives que he leído tampoco sería del todo sincero, no porque no haya sido excelente en términos de la resolución del caso —que lo es— sino porque la novela es tan larga y tan compleja que no podría definirla como una novela de detectives, así sin más. Decir que es mi Wilkie Collins favorito, ahí iría otra mentira más, ya que en mi opinión La mujer de blanco sigue manteniéndose en el primer puesto por toda la trama compleja que incluye muchos giros y por supuesto, porque tiene al conde Fosco, y ¿cómo se olvida a un villano como Fosco?, honestamente no tengo respuesta.
No, La piedra lunar la describiría como un rompecabezas, donde mientras más lees, más piezas vas encajando en su determinado lugar hasta que llegas al final del libro, ves el resultado, y ¡oh, sorpresa!, el resultado es simplemente impresionante.

Sin duda, Collins se ha convertido ya en uno de mis autores victorianos favoritos, y tras mi lectura de La piedra lunar —que fue además una lectura conjunta de poco más de cuarenta días con mi madre—, no cabe la menor duda de que lo seguiré leyendo tanto como me sea posible, no sólo porque es un autor que lo que busca principalmente es entretener pero lo hace con una trama compleja y una prosa sencilla, sino también porque la sociedad victoriana ha sido y será uno de mis tópicos favoritos cuando se trata de leer clásicos.
Como dije anteriormente, a modo de rompecabezas La piedra lunar se va integrando hasta formar una historia completa, y es que a lo largo de dos épocas, y la segunda dividida en ocho narraciones distintas que corresponden a testimonios, cartas o diarios de varios personajes, la trama se va construyendo y desarrollando para conocer todo el misterio que se esconde detrás de la piedra lunar, robada en la noche del cumpleaños de Rachel Verinder. Lo que hay que recordar aquí es que La piedra lunar es considerada como una de las primeras novelas inglesas de detectives, y para ser tal el caso, el resultado ha sido más que satisfactorio.

Sí que he dicho que la trama tiene sus altibajos y hay momentos donde sentía que se estaba alargando de más, no la trama en sí, pero sí algún episodio en específico, como si algunos narradores dieran detalles de más a cosas que no nos interesan como lector, pero de nuevo, siento que eso no le quita lo positivo a la historia ni mucho menos la opaca. También mencioné que La mujer de blanco sigue siendo mi novela favorita del autor, pero considerando que las obras son totalmente distintas en términos de la historia al final todo es cuestión de gustos, e incluso sé que La mujer de blanco es una novela sensacionalista, mientras que La piedra lunar no encaja dentro de ese género. Como novela de detectives de época, funciona y funciona muy bien, porque a diferencia de una obra policíaca convencional, donde el objetivo es descubrir al criminal, cómo lo hizo y por qué lo hizo, y los personajes pasan a ser el medio para llegar a ese fin, en este caso la historia trata y desarrolla a sus personajes principales, terminamos conociéndolos a profundidad y entendemos aún más las motivaciones detrás del robo; en pocas palabras, los personajes tienen dimensiones, y he ahí el por qué de más de 700 páginas de libro (al menos en esta edición).

No hace falta que diga que recomiendo, no sólo leer a Wilkie Collins si nunca antes se le ha leído, sino también darse una oportunidad con La piedra lunar, que sin duda no fallará si lo suyo son las historias victorianas, historias de época en general, y donde el autor se toma su tiempo para desarrollar trama, personajes y ambientación.

Ojalá hallen en esta narración salida de mis manos lo que encontró Robinson Crusoe durante su aventura en la isla desierta..., por encima de todo, «algo que los resarza de la misma y que puedan anotar en el haber del libro del Bien y del Mal».
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,226 followers
March 17, 2017
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 their portion of this story.

What is the story? Well, it starts off like an adventure with a mysterious diamond discovered in a faraway land. The diamond is passed down as inheritance and then it is stolen. Lovers are torn asunder and the mystery of the missing diamond must be solved if love is to prevail.

In fact, love plays a large roll in this, so large actually that I'm inclined to call it a romance as much as a mystery. If memory serves, it is even referred to as such as a subtitle, as in The Moonstone, a romance.

Regardless, if you've come solely for the mystery you'll be disappointed in much of this. As I say, it started out great. The first quarter or so of the story is related by the butler and much of his portion of the tale involves the facts of the case. He's also a colorful character, who it seems Collins enjoyed writing about. After him, we move on to less charming characters such a fanatic Christian, a lawyer, a physician, detective and one of the principle suspects involved in the disappearance of the diamond.

The faults, for me, in this novel are its overlong explanations, its unnecessary sidebar storylines, occasional repetition, and the time spent dwelling on the mundane. Many scenes could have been easily reduced, some could have been dispensed with all together, and the book would've been all the better for it. All in all, it's not horrible. I'd put it in league with Dickens' middling work. Not worth rushing forth to read, but I wouldn't dismiss it altogether.
Profile Image for Katerina.
399 reviews48 followers
March 4, 2021
I greatly enjoyed reading this story which was told through various characters and I liked them all with the exception of miss Clack since I found her character unsympathetic to say the least.
The narratives which I enjoyed most were Betteredge's, Mr. Bruff's and Fraklin Blake's.
The narrative given by Betteredge was the one which amused me at many points and I found his relationships with the family members, his daughter and his employees very endearing and I liked his personality!
The most intriguing narrative was for me the one from Franklin's point of view and he was the character I liked most!
In the story we encounter many different characters that provoke the reader's sentiments each for different reasons like Rosanna with her past and unrequited love or Rachel Verinder with her sacrifice to protect a person she cares about or Ezra Jennings that despite his misfortunes who remained a wonderful person!
The mystery is also very intriguing and the resolution in my opinion very clever.
All in all I really loved the story as a whole and can't wait to read another story written by Wilkie Collins!
Profile Image for fคrຊคຖ.tຖ.
255 reviews62 followers
November 28, 2021
اولین، طولانی ترین و بهترین اثر در میان رمان های کارآگاهی انگلیسی.  
  "T. S. Eliot"
به سختی باورم می‌شه که قرن نوزدهم نوشته شده! سیر معمایی داستان کشش لازم رو داشت و وجود راوی‌های متفاوت باعث شدند داستان برام جذاب باشه
Profile Image for Enrique.
344 reviews84 followers
May 2, 2023
La piedra lunar me supone un regreso a un terreno conocido y antiguo. Mi pasión por la lectura tiene su origen en las docenas de novelas que leí de niño sobre personajes tales como Hércules Poirot, el padre Brown o Sherlock Holmes. En esos libros siempre buscabas el misterio, la historia, el final en la última página con un asesino inédito. Todo lo demás casi daba igual. Te daban unas pistas y en un tiempo casi siempre breve y a veces con algún atajo, el autor te llevaba a un final con fuegos artificiales y traca final. Lo que nunca me preocupé de conocer es que W. Collins había tenido una influencia tan grande sobre esos dos monstruos como fueron Agatha Christie y Conan Doyle.

Creo que las historias breves de Poe le sirvieron de referencia a Collins, pero este pasó a enriquecer absolutamente la narración de misterio: dota a los protagonistas de carácter, alma y personalidad propia, se demora con ellos en algún punto, en alguna descripción. No son ya meros instrumentos para construir una trama, debo reconocer que eso es lo que les faltaba a las narraciones de las que hablaba y que finalmente me acabaron fatigando. Collins ya arma novelas con entramados cruzados y bien tejidas.

“Las últimas luces del crepúsculo se diluían, y a todo lo largo del paisaje se extendía una
calma terriblemente silenciosa. El jadeo del mar, junto al banco de arena, fuera de la bahía,
era un rumor ahogado. El mar interior se perdió en la sombra, sin que el más leve soplo de
viento agitase su superficie. Asquerosos montones de limo de una tonalidad blancuzcoamarillenta sobrenadaban en las aguas muertas. Fango y espuma brillaban débilmente en ciertos lugares (…).”
Algo así es lo que les faltaba a esas narraciones. Esa es para mí la gran contribución al género.
Otra novedad de peso es la forma de ir construyendo el relato a base de aportaciones del testimonio de cada protagonista de forma sucesiva, en parte matizando y corrigiendo la versión de los anteriores protagonistas, permitiendo que sea el lector el que elija la versión que más credibilidad le dé de todas y vaya construyendo la historia.

Usa un arma importante como es el humor y la ironía como parte del relato, se mete en contexto de la historia sin prisas, con un poco de gracia a veces, demorándose en circunstancias que no tienen que ver con el misterio en pro de una buena narración. Otras veces como digo usa el humor de forma abierta y franca. A mitad de la novela hay una correspondencia entre la beata Sra. Clark y F. Blake desternillante, o las denominaciones de las asociaciones de mujeres cristianas piadosas a las que pertenece esta Sra. Clark en sí mismas son grandiosas: “Liga de Madres para la Confección de Pantalones Cortos” o bien “Sociedad Supervisora de los Amantes Dominicales de las Criadas de las Damas Británicas”
Otra novedad que aporta Collins:  las aficiones y peculiaridades de los protagonistas, dándoles un toque pintoresco. Aquí el investigador sargento Cuff cultiva rosas, prueba e injerta distintos tipos de rosas y es su pasión. El mismo Lorenzo Silva actualmente le da a su protagonista Belvilaqua la afición por el pintado de soldaditos de plomo, Chesterton en El hombre que sabía demasiado, le da al prota el hobby de la pesca, Sherlock Holmes (aparte de morfinómano) toca el violín… Todos tienen un toque peculiar y una afición calmada y alejada del trajín que supone la resolución de crímenes y misterios. Ese choque siempre va bien, es interesante el contraste.
Las historias policiales, ya se sabe que la mayoría de las veces son muy alambicadas y las más de las veces poco creíbles, pero es parte del género. El mismo Raymond Chadler fabricaba unas historias y unos comportamientos de sus protagonistas ciertamente curiosos, pero el estilo era tan bueno… tan envolvente, que les perdonabas todo y había que entrar en la propuesta. Aquí ocurre lo mismo, prevalece la buena narrativa.
Profile Image for Apatt.
507 reviews780 followers
August 29, 2017
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 the theft of an Indian diamond from a country house on the night of a birthday party for eighteen-year-old Rachel Verinder. The theft and its continued disappearance have serious repercussions for the two main characters of the novel throughout the book which spans about a year. It also, directly and indirectly, causes the death of several characters. First published in 1868, this novel is deservedly lauded as the “proto-detective” novel.

The novel is structured in the epistolary format where multiple characters narrate sections of the story through their written accounts of their involvement in the case. The different narrative tones are very skillfully written, with the distinctive personality of each narrator coming through clearly. Some of the narrators are rather eccentric and unreliable and this adds a lot of flavors and humour to the narrative. I particularly like the grumpy butler Gabriel Betteredge who uses the book Robinson Crusoe as if it is The I Ching , the fanatical evangelist, and – best of all – the almost Sherlockian Sergeant Cuff who would have solved the crime single-handedly if not for the stupid meddling kids (basically the two main characters Franklin Blake and Rachel Verinder.

There are quite a few other colorful characters I could mention but, if you are interested to read this book, the less you know about it the better.

There are a couple of issues with this book for me, the solution to the mystery stretches believability, but I suppose that is what makes it so memorable. The other issue is the depiction of Indian characters as inscrutable, sinister people, too foreign to be understood, not to mention evil. Racist much?

Sinister foreign types on this edition’s cover.

Neither flaws are too injurious to the overall quality of the book, it is a product of its time after all, and even ahead of its time in some ways. If you have never read Victorian literature before The Moonstone may be the ideal starting point, it is very readable even for modern readers who are not familiar with Victorian prose style. Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White is even better than this (a lot better I would say) so I would recommend that as a starting point also.

Rating: 5 stars for the first read, 4 stars for the reread.
fancy line
I mostly reread this book in audiobook format, provided free by Librivox . As with the printed edition the book has multiple narrators, unfortunately, this is to the detriment of the audiobook as some readers are better than others; ranging from perfect to awful. The Mrs. Clack chapters are particularly hard to listen to. Ah well, can’t complain, they all graciously narrated the book for free, for which I am grateful.

Addendum: I just found an alternate Librivox edition narrated by a single reader, Tony Addison, it does not sound like an improvement on the multiple readers one to be honest, but you may want to listen to some samples.
fancy line
“the nature of a man’s tastes is, most times, as opposite as possible to the nature of a man’s business. Show me any two things more opposite one from the other than a rose and a thief; and I’ll correct my tastes accordingly.”

“Sergeant Cuff never laughed. On the few occasions when anything amused him, he curled up a little at the corners of the lips, nothing more.”

“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!”

“The cook looked as if she could grill Mr. Superintendent alive on a furnace, and the other women looked as if they could eat him when he was done.”

Sergeant Cuff is awesome!
223 reviews195 followers
December 5, 2012
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 influence of books and more the signs of the menopause, but to them I come armed with Miss Clack’s irrefutable tracts of the early edition-only the twenty fifth-of the famous anonymous work by the precious miss Bellows entitled ‘The Serpent at Home’, where right past the chapter ‘Satan in the Hairbrush’ and ‘Satan under the Teatable’ there is Satan on the Tongue. (amongst the many others. I’m sure).

Now there will be those who say this is a poor sort of protracted mystery indeed with oodles of trivia and asides not pertinent to the matter at hand. To them, I would say something. But first, like Betteredge, in plain English I’m going stare hard and say nothing. Then I will instantly exert my wits but being of a slovenly English sort, they are consequently muddled until someone takes them in hand points out what they ought to do. In this case, things stand just like the relationship with Betteredge and his deceased wife, who seemed, with the best of motives, to be getting in one anothers way: if he wanted to go upstairs, she would be coming down, or when he wanted to go down, there she was coming up. And so it is here: its not about the mystery, but the parade of misbegotten, ridiculous characters bumbling about in their cloaks of self importance and delusions of grandeur, as Collins tears into them with unabashed irony.

No need to have read Robinson Crusoe to get the gist.

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