Customer Reviews for

The Woman in White

Average Rating 4
( 159 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A lost classic

Where has this book been all my life? Written in the time of Dickens and Stoker and as good as either, this is a shockingly modern thriller/mystery.

This United Holdings Group edition is very good, with no typos or scan errors that I noticed. Worth the buck over ...
Where has this book been all my life? Written in the time of Dickens and Stoker and as good as either, this is a shockingly modern thriller/mystery.

This United Holdings Group edition is very good, with no typos or scan errors that I noticed. Worth the buck over the free version which is riddled with errors.

posted by 6739614 on June 15, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

A good read

The Woman in White is a Victorian mystery that is considered to be one of the best mysteries ever written. Written in 1859, it takes the form of an early detective novel with an amateur sleuth. The plot (man marries woman and schemes to get her money), albeit predictabl...
The Woman in White is a Victorian mystery that is considered to be one of the best mysteries ever written. Written in 1859, it takes the form of an early detective novel with an amateur sleuth. The plot (man marries woman and schemes to get her money), albeit predictable by today's standards, is plausible, entertaining and, at times, slightly suspenseful. I attribute this slightness to the Victorian language itself. I'm not a fan of that style of speaking and found myself frustrated at times and thinking just get on with it all ready, stop dragging things out. The story is told from the viewpoints of several characters - much like a legal deposition where each character relates what he/she knows about certain events.
-----
The characters were interesting and memorable; however, I was disappointed in the characterization/treatment of women - weak and inferior. Was this an accurate portrayal for the times? I don't know. I have read other Victorian novels and didn't come away with the same feeling. Because of his portrayal of women, Mr. Collins didn't do justice to Marion Halcombe, one of the more memorable characters in the novel. A greater role would have been appreciated more by today's society but, in 1859, who knows. Creating a lead woman character who 'out thinks' a man may have been taboo. The other memorable character was Count Fosco, the mastermind behind everything evil in the world. I am being a bit facetious; however, the character was so full of himself that I couldn't help but inflate his imaginary ego a little more. His character was fully developed - I didn't like him and found him frustrating - once again this could be attributed to the Victorian language.
-----
Overall, I did like the novel; however, the above issues prevent me from giving it more than three stars. I recommend to those who enjoy Victorian literature and those who would like to read one of the first mystery novels. This is a long book and not a quick read - you will be in it for the long haul - which you will enjoy.

posted by CathyB on July 2, 2009

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good read

    The Woman in White is a Victorian mystery that is considered to be one of the best mysteries ever written. Written in 1859, it takes the form of an early detective novel with an amateur sleuth. The plot (man marries woman and schemes to get her money), albeit predictable by today's standards, is plausible, entertaining and, at times, slightly suspenseful. I attribute this slightness to the Victorian language itself. I'm not a fan of that style of speaking and found myself frustrated at times and thinking just get on with it all ready, stop dragging things out. The story is told from the viewpoints of several characters - much like a legal deposition where each character relates what he/she knows about certain events.
    -----
    The characters were interesting and memorable; however, I was disappointed in the characterization/treatment of women - weak and inferior. Was this an accurate portrayal for the times? I don't know. I have read other Victorian novels and didn't come away with the same feeling. Because of his portrayal of women, Mr. Collins didn't do justice to Marion Halcombe, one of the more memorable characters in the novel. A greater role would have been appreciated more by today's society but, in 1859, who knows. Creating a lead woman character who 'out thinks' a man may have been taboo. The other memorable character was Count Fosco, the mastermind behind everything evil in the world. I am being a bit facetious; however, the character was so full of himself that I couldn't help but inflate his imaginary ego a little more. His character was fully developed - I didn't like him and found him frustrating - once again this could be attributed to the Victorian language.
    -----
    Overall, I did like the novel; however, the above issues prevent me from giving it more than three stars. I recommend to those who enjoy Victorian literature and those who would like to read one of the first mystery novels. This is a long book and not a quick read - you will be in it for the long haul - which you will enjoy.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    A lost classic

    Where has this book been all my life? Written in the time of Dickens and Stoker and as good as either, this is a shockingly modern thriller/mystery.

    This United Holdings Group edition is very good, with no typos or scan errors that I noticed. Worth the buck over the free version which is riddled with errors.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    bad

    This book is horrible

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    Charming.

    I'd forgotten how charming books from that time can be. I totally enjoyed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    Too long

    There were aspects of this book I really enjoyed. I love the Victorian, Jane Austenesque language of the book. The plot is also intricate and promising. But it was just too dang long to get where it was going. Somewhere along the way I read that this had been a serialized novel published in a paper. I could see that and I had the same problem with another book compiled from a serial. Also while the plot was good on its own merits, the way it gets tied up at the end is disappointing in terms of the characters involved. That being said, if you love the writing coming from this time period, you will find this book satisfying. If you love intrigue and mystery you will also find something satisfactory in this book. But, Wilkie, couldn't you have just gotten to the point quicker!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Quintessential Mystery Novel

    Often lauded as the first true mystery novel, "The Woman in White" is as intriguing as it is original. The plot is carefully crafted and often surprising in its twists and turns.

    The characters are painstakingly crafted and beautifully developed (particularly Count Fosco) and, by the middle of the book, I found I was worrying over the fate of the hero and heroine in spite of myself.

    Admittedly, I found this novel slow to start, but once all of the characters were on the proverbial stage, things moved rather quickly. All in all, this novel is worth the read for avid mystery novel readers interested in how the mystery genre first became popular. Incidentally, Collins wrote some wonderful psychological/ghost thrillers, which I have recommended it below. Happy reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2014

    Boo

    It sucked all i read were summarys of the storys

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    I had a really hard time with this almost 600 page book.

    This book was published in 1860. It has almost 600 pages. By today's standards it is a squeaky clean book. If I read correctly, it is one of the first paranormal mystery books published. Unfortunately, it did not transfer to e- book format very well and the antique, english style of narration almost drove me bonkers. I found this a very difficult and time consuming read. At least with a book of this age, I do not have to worry about hurting the author's feelings. For ages 16 and up, if they can stick with it. I could not.

    AD

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Classic - Excellent NOOK version

    This is a classic book, so my review will be of this particular NOOK publication. For an inexpensive product, this version had no printing flaws or typo errors that may be seen in other public domain publications.

    Highly recommend.

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  • Posted December 8, 2013

    I began reading this book because of Andrew Lloyd Webber's music

    I began reading this book because of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of this book. I am a huge Michael Crawford fan, and he was in the musical in England. I even have the soundtrack. I had listened to soundtrack once, but of course, I didn't understand it. I had read a couple people's reviews of the story, and I thought I should give it a try.

    I began reading this, and it did not begin slowly as so many classics do. I used to joke that classics were always slow for the first 50 pages. It was rare to find one that captured your attention from the beginning. I think this one captured me almost from the beginning. Wilkie Collins puts you right into the midst of the story, and you, as the reader, are not even truly sure of what is going on. You want to keep reading.

    My two favorite characters were Marian and Count Fosco. (That is actually ironic. You'll have to read the book to catch my meaning.)

    I liked Marian because she was such a strong woman. I love it when male authors--especially the classics--are able to write about strong women who really impact the story. And yet she remains feminine in spite of it all. The only sad thing is that she never marries. It's the wimpy Laura who gets married and has a child. Go figure. I guess strong women back then didn't get married. At least according to Wilkie Collins.

    I enjoyed the character of Count Fosco because he was so devilishly evil and yet so likable. I kept imagining how Michael Crawford would have played the part--he would have been ideal.

    I truly enjoyed the mystery in the book. I did not have everything figured out--there were so many layers and twists and turns! Goodness! Easily the best mystery I have read in ages.

    I would say the only reasons someone would not like the book is that it is long, and it is written in Victorian language instead of our modern-day lingo. I would recommend this as a mystery and as a classic. I look forward to reading more Wilkie Collins!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Oh and i almost forgot(wrote tht review abt agreeing w/ that othr person)

    Does anyone else think of Supernatural??

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Sorry, I just couldn't.

    What can I say? I'm terrible. I want to try to read classics. I really do. But then when it happens I drive myself nuts for an entire trying to get into them with no avail. Same here unfortunately. I can honestly say, I have no idea what this is about. It didn't help at all that my ebook had insane typographical errors that inserted random punctuality into the middle of any sentence or word. That being said, I'm just not an old soul, just an old guy I guess.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Gibberish

    Unreadable. Very bad OCR.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Recommeded

    Excellent turn of the century page turner! Can't put it down.

    BUT, formatting terrible. Often reads like one long, small type paragraph and there is no using normal Nook features to adjust the type size or to break text into chapters with number of remaining pages shown. Book is formatted as one long narrative without breaks. Pages remaining show as pages remaining in book. Not helpful.
    BN should quit acting like they have a huge store of free and low cost give-away classics. These are quick scanned library books. I have much better luck with Kindle...and YES, that is where my next e-reader will be coming from. Amazon has MUCH better customer care. I guess they really CARE about their customers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    great read

    this one kept me interested, it is a goodbook to curl up with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Liyla here

    It was pretty good nice job wilkie!!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Great mystery

    A very long book but a great read and model mysery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Wonderful mystery!

    A great classic novel which starts with a mysterious woman in white, a young art teacher and two distinctly different sisters and then proceeds to envelope you in a twisted plot of murder, mistaken identities, arson and and secret brotherhood. It will definitely keep you guessing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Highly recommended for readers of Victorian Novels

    I had never heard of Wilkie Collins before I read The Woman in White recommended to me by my wife though she had not read it either. It's an engrossing Victorian Novel with interesting characters ranging from an artistic narrator to a frail heiress. The writing is very good. I could summarize the first half of this long book in one sentence, yet lounging around in the language and the characters makes the experience worthwhile. This book is not for people who like quick reads!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    .

    I dont like all the typos

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