The Moonstone: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Moonstone is one of the most famous suspense novels of all time: a masterpiece of construction and the ultimate page-turner. First serialized in Charles Dickens's magazine All the Year Round, this classic work introduced one of the world's most beloved genres, the detective story.

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The Moonstone: A Novel

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Overview

The Moonstone is one of the most famous suspense novels of all time: a masterpiece of construction and the ultimate page-turner. First serialized in Charles Dickens's magazine All the Year Round, this classic work introduced one of the world's most beloved genres, the detective story.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

T.S. Eliot
“The first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
“Probably the very finest detective story ever written.”
G. K. Chesterton
“Probably the best detective tale in the world.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062227300
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 206,142
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins (January 8, 1824-September 23, 1889) was the author of thirty novels, more than sixty short stories, fourteen plays (including an adaptation of The Moonstone), and more than one hundred nonfiction pieces. His best-known works are The Woman in White, The Moonstone, Armadale, and No Name.

Biography

Wilkie Collins has long been overshadowed by his friend and collaborator Charles Dickens -- unfortunately for readers who have consequently not discovered one of literature's most compelling writers. His novels are ceremonious and none too brief; they are also irresistible. Take the opening lines of his 1852 story of marital deceit, Basil: "What am I now about to write? The history of little more than the events of one year, out of the twenty-four years of my life. Why do I undertake such an employment as this? Perhaps, because I think that my narrative may do good; because I hope that, one day, it may be put to some warning use." It's a typical Collins opening, one that draws the reader in with a tone that's personal, but carries formality and import.

With his long, frizzy black beard and wide, sloping forehead, Collins looked like a grandfatherly type, even in his 30s. But his thinking and lifestyle were unconventional, even a bit ahead of his time. His characters (particularly the women) have a Henry James–like predilection for bucking social mores, and he occasionally found his work under attack by morality-mongers. Collins was well aware of his books' potential to offend certain Victorian sensibilities, and there is evidence in some of his writings that he was prepared for it, if not welcoming of it. He writes in the preface to Armadale, his 1866 novel about a father's deathbed murder confession, "Estimated by the clap-trap morality of the present day, this may be a very daring book. Judged by the Christian morality which is of all time, it is only a book that is daring enough to speak the truth."

Collins began his career by writing his painter father's biography. He gained popularity when he began publishing stories and serialized novels in Dickens's publications, Household Words and All the Year Round. His best-known works are The Woman in White and The Moonstone, both of which -- along with Basil -- have been made into films.

Collins often alludes to fantastic, supernatural happenings in his stories; the events themselves are usually borne out by reasonable explanations. What remains are the electrifying effects one human being can have upon another, for better and for worse. His main characters are often described in terms such as "remarkable," "extraordinary," and "singular," lending their actions -- and thereby the story -- a special urgency. In one of his great successes, 1860's The Woman in White, Collins spins what is basically a magnificent con story into something almost ghostly: The fates of two look-alike women -- a beautiful, well-off woman and a poor insane-asylum escapee -- are intertwined and manipulated by two evil men. One of those is among the best fictional villains ever created, the kill-‘em-with-kindness Count Fosco. Fosco is emblematic of another Collins hallmark -- antagonists who manage to throw their victims off guard by some powerful charm of personality or appearance.

The Moonstone, published in 1868, is regarded by many to be the first English detective novel. Starring the unassuming Sergeant Cuff, it follows the trail of a sought-after yellow diamond from India that has fallen into the wrong hands. Like The Woman in White, the novel is told in multiple first person narratives that display Collins's gift for distinctive and often humorous voices. Whether it is servants, foreigners, or the wealthy, Collins is an equal-opportunity satirist who quietly but deftly pokes fun at human foibles even as he draws nuanced, memorable characters.

Though The Woman in White and The Moonstone are Collins's standouts, he had a productive, consistent career; the novels Armadale, No Name and Poor Miss Finch are worthwhile reads, and his short stories will particularly appeal to Edgar Allan Poe fans. Fortunately in the case of this underappreciated writer, there are plenty of titles to appreciate.

Good To Know

Collins studied law, and though he never practiced as a lawyer, his knowledge of the subject is evident in his fiction. He also apprenticed with a tea merchant in his pre-publication years.

He was addicted to laudanum, a form of opium that he used to treat his pain from rheumatic gout.

Collins never married, but he had a long-term live-in relationship with one woman, and a second romance that produced three children.

He is named after popular artist Sir David Wilkie; both his parents were painters who counted Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth among their friends.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Wilkie Collins (full name)
      Wilkie Collins
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 8, 1824
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Date of Death:
      September 23, 1889
    2. Place of Death:
      London, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 179 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(95)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(18)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 180 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    My own personnel Moonstone is....THIS AWESOME BOOK!!!

    O My Gosh. You just love the narrators in the story. Especially sweet, sweet Betteredge!! At first in the mystery i started to hate Lady Verinder and thought that Sergeant Cuff was figuring out the mystery when BAM!!! Sergeant Cuff, the GREAT Sergeant Cuff, had it all wrong!!! It made you want to read on and on and on! But at the same time if you had to stop reading you sort of could-like even though it was soooo annoying as to find it all out you weren't always thinking about it once you had to stop reading it. And then only to think that the actual person who had stolen it was that certain person(totally can't say who!) was astounding!! I mean, they mentioned suspicions towards the person and i myself had had some too but not strong ones so it was it was still sort of hard to believe, and not only that but the person in which the stone was passed onto was also unexpected--and that person's true character was yet also surprising!Gosh, i LOVE THIS BOOK. And heck yeah!!! You better darn read it!! This book is my wonderful treasure---My Moonstone!!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 10, 2011

    Great Classic Mystery

    I love this book! This is a really great story told from several different viewpoints which makes it more interesting. Fans of Victorian literature will not be disappointed!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 29, 2006

    Collins hasn't let me down yet

    I started reading this story about a month and a half ago. For the first 40 pages, I wasn't sure if I could stay interested in the first narrator's tale. But as the story went on, I realized that everything he was saying was key to the mystery. I could hardly put it down even when my eyelids started to droop uncontrollably at night. I was relieved to get sick over the weekend and decided to devour the last half of the book on a Sunday afternoon. It was soooo good, that I even forsook my favorite TV program to finish it. I was BLOWN away by all the events. They got better and better and built up to an amazing finale. The only narrator who annoyed the socks off of me was Miss Clack. But then again, everything she told was key to the story. I was amazed at how each narrator had a voice of their own even though it was all written by ONE person. And when certain evidence was revealed, I gasped from shock as though I was seeing the whole thing with my own eyes. By far, the most incredible, captivating mystery I've ever read. I don't care what anyone else says. The change in narrators keeps you from getting bored with the writing style and I will recommend it to ANYONE and EVERYONE who truly appreciates British literature. Thanks to this book, I'm now going to pursue the rest of his works.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Well Written

    This was a very entertaining book and despite how long ago it was written seemed more modern at times than it actually is. The book is written in a series of letters that give each character's viewpoint of the story and how it progressed concerning the Moonstone. I only found one character's account a bit trying but I think that was the point as she was a most pompous and sanctimonious individual. Well written.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Not bad!

    I love novels from this era, but at points it was difficult to keep reading. I had to remind myself that Collins is the godfather of mystery crime novels and they have come a long way since this one! Knowing that about this story gives you great appreciation for his skill and inspiration this has given others to push the envelope a little farther.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Not a page turner....

    Moonstone is a long and very well written and presented detective mystery which failed to engage me very much: A well written tale about people who are all decidedly uninteresting.

    I could have put Moonstone down at any given point and not thought about it further. Collins's Moonstone lacks both the genius, flare and humor of Dickens and the warm, personal and utterly engaging style of Conan-Doyle's Holmes stories.

    Consider the three stars "Style Points".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Genesis of Mystery

    The Moonstone is dated. That's not surprising; it was written over a hundred years ago. But this is the father of all mystery novels, so there's no better place to start than here. A classic, and one every mystery fan should read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2010

    Moonstone

    Reading this mystery was a pleasant surprise. The plot had all the undertones of England in transition. The characters were unforgetable. The B&N presentation was excellent.
    Thank you very much for offering this very enjoyable and quick reading novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enticing

    I found Wilkie Collins quite by accident on the B&N online shop...well, what a wonderful find. Look for some of his other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 7, 2005

    Best of Wilkie

    A real page-turner. Better than The Woman in White. Lots of surprises to keep you from putting the book down. A classic!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

    The prophecy

    Sun and moon. Night and day. Ash will fall to the ground. And Jaguar will be dragged away. When they meet ,two will come along...the frosty air will chill the bone...the wolf will run away alone...the shade will leave the clan and life alone...a battle is bruing...and only three will be left...but one will come back from the dead...a gift but yet a curse that haunts the victim forever....darkness must be desovled...with the only thing that will keep it down...the love....and when the danger is thought to be long gone...the story had just begun...life and death are one again...though thought to be long forgotten...

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

    Posted July 21, 2014

    Ash

    I know im a prophicised cat and a starclan chosen cat as well as darkjaguar but does that mean i will kill her?!

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

    Posted July 21, 2014

    To host

    Yea and pigs fly. I dont believe that anyone and especially you can see into the ROLEPLAYING future and see what at least FIFTY RPERS are roleplaying at once. You sure as heII cant tell me anything about how im going to roleplay or who I roleplay from a dream. Prophetic dreams my a<_> ss. Get your head out of the da<_>mn clouds because if you are dreaming and seeing roleplay and thinking that you can come in with your 'dreams' and other bullsh<_>it and tell me how im supposed to roleplay, you can just shove it up your a<_>ss! Why do we listen to the dumba<_>sses who make prophecies? They include their friends and their cats to become 'special' in the clans that other cats(like me!) Are overshadowed and ignored and have no other choice but to leave because no one gives a da<_>mn abiut any other cat than the ones in the prophecy. So I will not go along with this, and I reccomend everyone else does the same ~ a very fu<_>cking old rper(since 2009)

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

    Posted July 22, 2014

    To all about prophecy

    It has been moved to '11' res two. Fatespeaker's prophecy

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

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Oceanwind

    A she cat padded forward to the stone and with a cry of vengance she slamed aganst it and died

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

    Posted March 13, 2014

    DONT RECAMEND THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND UR MESSED UP

    I COULDNT FIND THE FIRST CHAPTER STUPID STUPID ! DONT EVEN TRY TO UNDERSTAND

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

    Posted March 4, 2014

    ANSWER ERGENT

    WHT IS THE BOOK ABOUT IT SOUNDS GOOD BUT IS IT REALLY THATS WHY YOU NEED TO ANSWER BEFORE I GET THE BOOK. PLEASE ANSWER BACK TO THIS PERSON - HALO LOVER

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

    Posted January 30, 2014

    MOONCLANS BIOS!

    ^^ **?$+@r (moonstar <)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Flamepelt

    Sandpelt are you here

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

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Sandpelt

    Smiles t the app. Ae youva med so?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 180 Customer Reviews

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