2020: #26 – The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)
Published by Modern Library on August 1, 1868
"The Moonstone is a page-turner", writes Carolyn Heilbrun. "It catches one up and unfolds its amazing story through the recountings of its several narrators, all of them enticing and singular." Wilkie Collins’s spellbinding tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired a hugely popular genre–the detective mystery. Hinging on the theft of an enormous diamond originally stolen from an Indian shrine, this riveting novel features the innovative Sergeant Cuff, the hilarious house steward Gabriel Betteridge, a lovesick housemaid, and a mysterious band of Indian jugglers.
I don’t really “review” classics, because I don’t feel qualified to do so! This is the first Wilkie Collins I’ve read, and it was a pleasure to have it read to me by Phoebe Judge on her “Phoebe Reads a Mystery” podcast. It’s a bit long, but I liked hearing the different points of view and seeing how the pieces were revealed and fit together. Now I can say I’ve read the original detective novel!
- “The prose can be a bit tough going for someone not used to 19th-century novels, but in general, I agree that The Moonstone does hold up and is well worth reading 150 years after its debut.” — The Saturday Reader
- “Speaking of timelessness, the thing that impressed me the most about this book was the ending. For a novel about a precious jewel that was stolen from an Indian tribe, the ending is very respectful towards different cultures.” — Booking in Heels
- “The Moonstone, altogether, is not so horrible. Yes, it has long explanations, unnecessary side story lines and a lot of repetition but it also has great characterisation, something which is lacking in a lot of novels.” — The Literary Circle
One thought on “2020: #26 – The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)”
Thanks for quoting my review 🙂
I’m really glad you liked this book – I’ve read it twice now and it’s one of my all time favourites. Druscilla Clack’s narrative really amused me!