Wendy's Reviews > The Moonstone

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
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's review
Jan 09, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, mystery

This was tremendously fun to listen to, though like many Victorian novels, it's a bit slow going at first. The moonstone of the title is a large Indian diamond, which was stolen from the idol of the moon god, and came, by a long series of events related in the book, into the possession of a respectable young English woman named Rachel Verinder. Then it is stolen, and that's where the real plot of the book lies: in the quest to discover the thief and recover the moonstone. It's a quest that takes many twists and turns, and leads into some far-fetched places, but it was always entertaining.

I was expecting the plot to be entertaining. What I hadn't really expected was how funny Collins can be - he has a very wry sense of humor, and a bit of a satirical bent. The sections narrated by the old servant, Gabriel Betteredge, and the poor but pious cousin, Miss Clack, are by far the funniest, but there are wonderful little bits of sly humor scattered through the text. I particularly enjoyed this one, where Collins gets in a dig at some of his literary forebears:

Mr. Blake idly turned over the books on his bedroom table. I had taken the precaution of looking at them, when we first entered the room. The Guardian; The Tatler; Richardson's Pamela; Mackenzie's Man of Feeling; Roscoe's Lorenzo de' Medici; and Robertson's Charles the Fifth-- all classical works; all (of course) immeasurably superior to anything produced in later times; and (from my present point of view) possessing the one great merit of enchaining nobody's interest, and exciting nobody's brain.

The narrator of this 2001 BBC Audiobooks edition does a great job of giving character a distinctive way of speaking, and is a pleasure to listen to.
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message 2: by Rita Crayon (new)

Rita Crayon Huang I read this once in high school (on my own) and once for a class in college, yet all I can remember now is "piebald."

I think I even wrote a paper on it.

Looking forward to your thoughts. :)

message 1: by Rita Crayon (new)

Rita Crayon Huang Hm, I forgot to say that each time I read it, I really enjoyed it!

That's the other thing I remember. :)

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