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The Moonstone > First Impressions

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message 1: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Have you read any Wilkie Collins before?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I read "Moonstone" a few years ago. Some of the side bars are as interesting as the novel.


message 3: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
I've just started the book but the narrator is such a rambler. He walks the plot around in circles!


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

It is well known that he was a friend of Dickens who could really complicate a plot. The literature academics said Wilkie used the "multi-narration" method whatever that means. I guess you've noticed. Believe or not I didn't. I had read "Don Quixote" in the same time period and found it very redundant. I had also recently read "Moby Dick". I didn't like it. I found "Moonstone" a refreshing change of pace.

I had read " Robinson Crusoe" a few months before and found it interesting how it was used in the Moonstone. I actually found that as interesting as the plot of the novel.

I often get more out of books that challenge my sense of proper process. Its makes you think differently. There are exceptions of course. In my case, " The Sound and the Fury" by Faulkner comes to mind.


message 5: by Sadie (new)

Sadie I, too, had just read Robinson Crusoe when I picked up The Moonstone and really enjoyed the references to it. I do have to say that my copy of the book had an intro to it that gave away the whole thing! I was so mad! I've stopped reading introductions because of that!


message 6: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
I'm about a third through right now and I can see how detective novels evolved from this work.

The most frustrating thing for me is still the narration. It feels like authorial intrusion. It lengthens the book but doesn't further the plot in many respects.


message 7: by Sadie (last edited Sep 15, 2009 09:06AM) (new)

Sadie I agree with you duckthief. I struggled with the flow of the book for the same reason.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

I have found that quite a few authors of the 19th century intrude in the novel to ensure the reader gets their point or they just like to add a bit of their own philosophy to the text, Dickens,Trollope,Butler are authors that did it with some success. I did like Butler's "The Way of All Flesh" because it dealt with hypocrisy and sort of broke the taboo of criticizing the father.

Virginia Woolf who wrote in the "stream of consciousness" style criticized a lot of the traditional writers of her day, such as Arnold Bennett. I much preferred " The Old Wives' Tale" by Bennett compared to "To the Lighthouse" or " Mrs Dalloway" . Different strokes for different folks.

In the 20th/21st century authors are much more inclined to let you think for yourself. I find it rather strange that authors are giving us more freedom of thought and the literary critics are still trying to tell us what the author was trying to say.

I don't consider Wilkie a great writer. I'm sure his relationship to Dickens helped his career.


message 9: by Sadie (new)

Sadie "Tom Jones" is another book where the author has to put in his two bits. I believe every other chapter was some dissertation from the author itt stunted the movement of the plot and the enjoyment of the novel. It started to pick up for me once I started skipping those chapters.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm afraid I suffer through as I'm afraid I might miss something. I agree "Ton Jones" is in the same class. I would still rather have the author tell me what he wants to emphasize rather than a critic.

I love the part of " Back to School" when Rodney Dangerfield has the author of the book write his essay on the subject for his English instructor and fails the assignment.


message 11: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
I'm sure it also had something to do with providing entertainment for the readers. At the time there were no computers, tv or radio. People had to pass the time somehow and for the upper class I'm sure reading helped to break up the day.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with you. There was a much larger audience who was interested in what the author actually was wanting to say. It was often political comment on issues of the day. It's harder to do today because the audience is much larger and much more varied in social status.

It's often hard to understand why the author is so intent on intruding in the novel unless you also know the social history of the day. It was often the only option open to him to voice his opinion.


message 13: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Finally finished this thing last week. Very disappointing. It only got interesting after the first 200 pages. I won't be reading it ever again.


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