The Moonstone (Collins Classics) [NOOK Book]

Overview

HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.?The horrid mystery hanging over us in this house gets into my head like liquor, and makes me wild.?Centred around a glorious yellow diamond that carries with it a menacing history, The Moonstone tells the story of Rachel Verinder, who inherits the stone on her eighteenth birthday. That very evening, the diamond is stolen and there begins an epic enquiry into hunting down the thief. At the same time, three Indian men, Brahmin ...
See more details below
The Moonstone (Collins Classics)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - ePub edition)
$0.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics.‘The horrid mystery hanging over us in this house gets into my head like liquor, and makes me wild.’Centred around a glorious yellow diamond that carries with it a menacing history, The Moonstone tells the story of Rachel Verinder, who inherits the stone on her eighteenth birthday. That very evening, the diamond is stolen and there begins an epic enquiry into hunting down the thief. At the same time, three Indian men, Brahmin guardians of the diamond are attempting to reclaim the stone in order to return it to their sacred Hindu Idol.Told from the perspective of 11different characters, Wilkie Collins’ tale of mystery and suspicion was considered the first modern English detective novel at its time of publication.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007477401
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/31/2012
  • Series: Collins Classics
  • Sold by: Harper Collins UK
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: ePub edition
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 192,194
  • File size: 598 KB

Meet the Author

Wilkie Collins
Wilkie Collins
If you think Victorian literature is quaint, you haven’t read anything by Wilkie Collins. Often considered the father of the English detective novel, Collins has thrilled readers with suspenseful gothic tales such as The Woman in White and The Moonstone.

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.

Read More Show Less
    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
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2006

    A Compelling Detective Novel!

    I wanted to read this book because I love mysteries and classics and it seemed to be getting good feedback. However, this is one of the highest level mysteries I have read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I loved how there were several narrators to keep it flowing and all of them were very different people. It has many twists and turns and I was very surprised at the ending! The only thing that stops me from giving it a 5 is that at times it was very dull and confusing but the rest of the novel makes up for it! I will certainly be reading more from Collins!

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 3, 2006

    Enchanting from the first page.

    I have never read any of Wilkie Collins' books before (although I look forward to doing so) and found this book to be extraordinarily intriguing. He is able to capture the reader's attention from the very first page and continues doing just that throughout the rest of the book. His characters are very well chosen and distinguished and his style of writing is very captivating.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Great Stuff!

    This is really a simple detective story that has been written in a likable manner. Three main protagonists tell the tale of the stolen diamond. Among the three the narrative of Miss Clack is quite enjoyable. This book pokes fun at religious fanaticism, sycophancy and stratified social norms of Victorian England. But what attracted me was the way Indian Characters are treated by the writer. Absence of condescension and racial bigotry marks the writer¿s sympathetic viewpoint of the Indian Characters and even rationalizes their murder of the perpetrator. One is then surprised to note that this novel is way ahead of it¿s time, as Indians characters are still either patronized or vilified albeit couched in innuendoes. Though not exactly in the league of the great classics it is undeniably exquisite piece of work! The writer was a great friend of Dickens ¿ who I believe mistreated him and as a result Collins was often depressed. That could well mean that Dickens was jealous of Collins and rightly so. Except for Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, I find Dickens¿ writing boring and unnecessarily convoluted. For instance, one does have a hard time reading Hard Times, especially considering that Emile Zola had taken the same subject in Germinal and made it interesting and a delight to read.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 18, 2010

    Not For Teenagers

    For her 18th birthday Rachel Verinder is given the dazzling Moonstone, an enchanting diamond stolen from an Indian temple. In the dark, the diamond has an eerie glow, making it subject to stories of curses and superstition. It was gifted by her infamous late uncle, only to be stolen that very night. When Sergeant Cuff is brought in to investigate, he realizes that no one in Rachel's household is above suspicion. This mystery is exciting, but it's aimed at a middle aged audience. For any teenager the plot is too slow and the language difficult to understand. It's a brilliant read if you're patient. A classic mystery story, and one of the very first mystery novels.
    Wilkie Collins was born in 1824 and died in 1889. He was one of the most popular novelists of his day, and wrote many great mystery stories. You could call him a mystery expert because the way he wrote this book showed a deep understanding of the way mysteries are solved. A good mystery novel should have suspense, crime, and a enticing detective . The Moonstone covered them all. Near the start of the book there is already some foreshadowing. As the narrator Mr. Betterage tells us, "If I could only have looked a little was into the future, I would have taken Rosanna Spearman out of the house, then and there, with my own hand." Also, throughout the story the people around Sergeant Cuff, including the readers begin to get 'detective fever'. This is when you get an urge to continue reading, and you desperately want to find out what is going to happen next.
    In many detective novels, the object of the story was to trace the influence of circumstances upon the character of the people. In other words, use how the people behaved to find out who committed the crime. Collins has reversed this process. The attempt in this story is to figure out the character of the people using the circumstances. In a lot of ways, it is a physiological experiment. Another one of the story's assets was that the story of the diamond is not entirely fiction. The inspiration for the moonstone was actually the stone that sits on top of the Russian Imperial Scepter, which was once the eye of an Indian idol. The idea of the curse came from the famous Koh-i-Noor, another sacred gem of India. It is prophesied to bring certain misfortune to the people who divert it from its ancient uses. It was these realistic objects, along with a new way of solving mysteries and the intricate patterns of character's lives, that made the book so unique. I have read no other mystery books that are as complicated as this one. In a book like The Orient Express by Agatha Christie the mystery story follows the pattern that most mystery stories do. The crime is committed, the detective solves the mystery, the criminal is caught. Still an enjoyable read, but it doesn't have the kind of depth that the Moonstone has. In the Moonstone you not only find out about the crime being solved, but you get the opportunity to observe the nature of human activity. It tries to explain what makes people tick.
    In conclusion, the Moonstone was a long but unique read, most suitable for anyone from the late thirties up. The story's high points were the suspense, the detective fever, and the realistic approach in the setting. The book would not appeal to a teenager because of the complexity and consideration put into the details of the story. This book is highly recommended to anyone who likes a challenge and a game of wits.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 2, 2008

    deathly boring

    it starts off really really really slow.. but after a few hundred pages it picks up pace and gets into the plot.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Victorian sleuthing done right.

    Wilkie Collins is great fun to read. His philosophies are somewhat (and refreshingly) liberal for his time, particularly those in regard to servants, foreigners and women. His stories are sprinkled with just a dash of wit and satire, yet his characters and their motives are crystal clear and believable. In this, arguably one of the first mystery novels, (Poe began it all, after all, did he not?) the plot revolves around a stone, a great gem that has been stolen from an Indian idol. A birthday present to our heroine, it is stolen the same night it is given, and through a series of changing narratives the mystery is uncovered. It's a clever twist of plotting to make the hero the villain and then the hero again, but how it comes about I will not say. No one likes to have a mystery spoiled. The Moonstone is a thoroughly enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 13, 2007

    Wonderful

    It is incredible!!! I never guessed who it was, a must.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Excellent Read

    Fun, thrilling, and utterly captivating from beginning to end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT!!!

    I READ WILKIE COLLINS'S "WOMAN IN WHITE" AND I LOVED IT, BUT THIS BOOK IS EVEN BETTER, THE ACTION AND MYSTERY FROM THE FIRST PAGE TO ALMOST THE END OF THE BOOK.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Moonstone--Better to Stick w/ Sherlock Holmes

    Bought for Book Club; found hard to read author's circuitous style; planned to serialize in newspaper; kept waiting for plot to get better, but it didn't.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 14, 2005

    A great classic that entertains the modern reader

    I highly recommend Collins' The Moonstone. It kept my attention throughout with a storyline that was both interesting, entertaining, and a quick read. It reads like a combination of Indiana Jones, Sherlock Holmes, and Edith Wharton...part mystery, part romance, and part social commentary.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Awesome

    So cool!,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Thorn

    Because. Its kind of hard to explain.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Wonderful Mystery Novel-A must read!

    In The Moonstone, Collins introduces us to a variety of characters, situations, and a great mystery. I found the novel to be so absorbing, that I was hardly able to put the book down. Even when he unravels a part of the mystery, Collns only makes the story more mysterious(an amazing feature)! After reading The Moonstone, I decided that I had to buy The Woman in White to get more of Collins distinctive writing style.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2011

    An underrated masterpiece.

    I have a couple small flaws with this book, but they're insignificant compared to the genius within it. The first is the length of it; the book is over 500 pages long, and for over 400 of them, the Diamond (being The Moonstone) is lost. This leaves a reader such as myself plowing through the thick of the book wanting the Diamond to reappear just so it is over with. But that is a selfish laziness of mine. The second flaw with the book has to do with the narrative style; I found myself wanting Betteridge to write the entirety of it. After reading his entire piece, and noticing that it was the first part (and approximately half of the story), the other ten narrators paled in comparison. In addition, the descriptive styles in which they wrote rarely differed from one another. We as an audience felt as if Collins were simply filling their mouths with words as they spilled them out. Overlooking those two flaws, the book itself is incredible. Keeping in mind throughout the entire story that it was the foundation of the entire mystery genre help make us realize just how incredibly well the story is written. Collins gives us multiple false leads and red herrings on the journey, and leaves us wondering exactly how the sacred Diamond escaped from Miss Verinder's drawer that fateful night. The remainder of this review contain easily conceived spoilers, and it is recommended that those wishing to read this novel ignore it. I will say that my conclusion is The Moonstone is an absolute must read for anyone who enjoys detective novels. As we slowly but surely piece together solid evidence of the path of the Diamond following its disappearance, we suddenly are jilted back to the fateful night; who exactly did the deed? We find out this critical turning point, and shortly after, the puzzle, assembled in reverse, comes to a close. Throughout it all, we grow to dislike the Indians, who are actually the rightful owners, and are finally snapped back into this correct focus and given a satisfactory ending. Incredibly well-constructed plot and a happy, restorative ending make The Moonstone to be an absolute must read for anyone who enjoys detective novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club.com

    A diamond is stolen from the English country estate of Lady Verinder and the renowned Sergeant Cuff is brought in from London to help solve the case. The diamond, said to bring bad luck to its owner because it was stolen from a temple in India, was given to Lady Verinder's daughter, Rachel, on her 18th birthday. It was bequeathed to Rachel from her uncle (who stole it when he was a young soldier) on his death. The story unfolds through several narrators, all of whom know a piece of what happened. As each of them writes his or her side of the story, the reader gets just a little more information that helps to solve the mystery.

    Considered to be the first detective mystery, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins offers a glimpse into the times it was written-the 1860s. It was published serially, with new pieces of the story unfolding one section at a time for around six months. It reveals the understandings held about English ladies and gentleman, especially the thought that no well brought up young man or woman could ever commit a crime. It touches on a common occurrence at the time, the looting of jewels by English soldiers from temples in India. And, it's fun to read once you get into the rhythm of Collins's writing style (writers at the time were paid by the word, so you won't find sparse descriptions and conversations here).

    Each narrator brought a different perspective and style that was refreshing, and each break kept the story moving in unexpected ways. My daughter and I both found it fun to guess what had happened the night of the theft and in the days following it. My guesses were invariably wrong, but that didn't stop me from developing new theories as the story progressed. My daughter's guess about the culprit was right, although neither of us anticipated some of the twists and turns The Moonstone took before the mystery was actually resolved.

    The Moonstone is longer reading for mother-daughter book clubs, but it is easily divided into two separate sections that can be discussed at two different meetings. Groups could read The Loss of the Diamond, then gather to discuss their theories about what happened. They could also write predictions down and compare them to what actually happened during the rest of the book when they meet again. I recommend The Moonstone for reading groups with girls aged 14 and up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Opal

    Alright! Yeah I'm going on vacation soon for a week too this next week.

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

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Goldenstripe

    Cool, so I'll pass on the message to Shadow and let you know when he's back. It's kinda hard for him to rp because he doesn't have a real nook anymore. Right now Velvet let him use hers, and he forgot to bring it back before he went out of town. But anyways, tell Lilywolf if you want or I can, and sometime when we're all available we can figure out the details.

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

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Opalburst to Goldenstripe

    So, I have a feeling that the tjing with Shadowstar isn't complete, especially when he sees Lily gone. And I have an idea about that. I was thinking that Opal could be useful in this so here's my idea: Shadowstar can visit Opal and try to get him on his side. Like try to convince him that he has to get Lily for him. Either that or Shadowstar can "ask" to take over Opal for periods of time whenever he wants so he can do it himself. Obviously this isn't a full description because I would like your opinion and input now instead and figure out specifics later if we do do this. And I'm not gonna mention it to Lily either unless you want me to. So, yeah, ideas? Questions? Yay/nay?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Not the best

    I have read other books by Wilkie Collins and found them to be acceptable, not great but not too bad. 'The Moonstone' was on a list of books that everyone should read, so I was expecting it to be exceptional. I was severely disappointed. The story is told in sections, each section is written by a different character, each relating the events from their perspective. Set in the 1840's (when it was written) the language may be a hurdle for anyone that is not familiar with that era. I was comfortable with the language and the era however the story seemed to drag on forever. The characters were very one-sided and not very likable. Some things were described in complete detail, when no detail was needed, while other things and scenes were not described well at all, leaving me trying to picture who was where.
    If you want to read a 'classic' mystery just so you can say you have read it, this may be the book for you. If you want a good mystery that draws you in, a story that you can become emotionally invested in the outcome, you should pass on this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)