Claimed as the first detective story in the English language, Wilkie Collins weaves his classic mystery through a series of narratives by various characters in the book who had first-hand knowledge surrounding the disappearance of a large valuable yellow diamond (the Moonstone) from the room of its young owner, Rachel Verinder. Miss Verinder was bequeathed the diamond by a ne'er-do-well uncle who looted the jewel from the statue of the Hindu Moon God during the siege of Seringapatam-since which, Hindu Priests were bound and determined to recover the diamond and return it to its rightful place in the forehead of the statue of the god.
William Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889) was a very popular Victorian novelist and a close friend and collaborator of Charles Dickens. Collins was a prolific writer, publishing not only novels, but many plays, short stories and works of non-fiction.
The son of a successful landscape artist, Collins developed a early interest in storytelling to disarm bullies at boarding school. As a child, Collins lived and traveled throughout Europe, and to please his father, became a lawyer. All major influences on his writing.
Collins sold his first short story at 19, his first novel at 24. Collins had a very successful career as a master of suspense with a distinct narrative voice, filled with social commentary. Wilkie Collins never actually practiced law, but his knowledge profoundly impacted his writing and he is considered one of the godfathers of the "Detective Novel".
Public Domain (P)2009 Alcazar Audioworks
An intriguing story that is well read. The characters are fascinating and their recollections (the first one in particular) are charming. The problem is the editing of the recording - by far the worst I've come across. As an example at 4' 52" into the second part of the book one hears the narrator say "I'll do it again. I'll do it all again, it'll be better", though he's correct, but it is not part of the book and should have been edited out. At other points the musical interludes are sometimes prematurely and abruptly curtailed.
Such a disappointing interruption to a story that I was thoroughly enjoying. If the editing was better this would be a 5*
My mom read The Moonstone in the 20's and I have read it several times... but this version read by Mr. Thom was pure enjoyment.... It is a very long story, along the lines of the Cantebury Tales, but being a classic the plot has been duplicated in modern movies.... viewpoints of various witnessess.... that is what makes a true classic: It withstands all the duplication, and remains wonderful. Thank you for presenting it to us.
"What a mystery should be."
After listening to The Woman In White, I was anxious to see if this could meet that standard. I enjoyed this story even more. The characters in The Moonstone were more "real" to me. Even though there were two very minor blips in the editing of the narration, the narration itself was excellent. I gave a lot of thought in this selection since there are several editions of this book and was never disappointed in David Thorn's performance. If you like mysteries, I would highly recommend this selection.
"Great performance but audio has glitches"
I've loved this book for years and David Thorn did a fantastic performance. The audio, however, had some skips or glitches and at one place, the audio forgot to edit out a goof and Thorn states that he'll "re-do the passage". Otherwise, a great book!
This version glitches, and parts of the story get skipped. The book is (famously) amazing, of course, and the narrator does a wonderful job - the problem is solely on the production side.
"Engaging mystery brought to life by a great reader"
It's a fine story and a fine performance. Oddly, the production included quite a few bad edits and even some accidental commentary by David Thorn during difficult passages.
"A story I read when I was a kid. Good not Great."
I read an abridged version of this book when I was a kid. I wanted to go back and listen to it so I did. I thought the story would be compelling through out, but it drags in some parts and the over emphasis of old English etiquette and Christian beliefs bothered me a bit, although the characters are some what amusing.
The narrator was good but there were a few stumbles and the Indian names were mispronounced. I think his natural voice and accent are much better and should have been used to better effect. The variation in personalities was not well captured but this might be because of the characters in the book itself.
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