23 Responses

  1. Amanda
    Amanda August 20, 2009 at 8:37 am |

    I think this is a classic mystery/thriller because it seems to be the grandfather of the modern mystery and thriller genres. Just like Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the books that become the basis of the horror genre, even though they aren’t really horror themselves. Collins set up a mystery, with a lot of suspense, that eventually resolved, and I don’t know if anyone was really doing that before him. Maybe they were, I don’t know, but that’s what I’ve been told about Collins. I can’t wait to discuss this with my book group in November!

  2. Lezlie
    Lezlie August 20, 2009 at 8:43 am |

    This was my first Wilkie Collies also, but it won’t be my last! The characters really were wonderful.


  3. StephI
    StephI August 20, 2009 at 8:54 am |

    I’m so glad you liked this one! I have the exact same copy sitting (un-read) on my shelf, and I’m looking forward to it. I know I have to conquer my fear of big books… maybe this one will start the trend! I think I will need to wait until I finish 2666, because I don’t think I can handle having two such big books on the go, but the timing will work out well, since the end of 2666 will coincide with the start of October, which is the perfect month to dive into Victorian ghost stories!

  4. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am |

    Amanda, yeah I wouldn’t have pegged Robert louis Stevenson as the father of horror either, but I guess I’m thinking of his poetry….I did like the suspense.

    Do you read all the books this far in advance? Do you reread them? I’d worry I’d forget the details for the discussion! If I were reading this for a discussion, I wouldn’t have listened to it. I already can’t remember certain particulars.

    Lezlie, I’m glad the characters came across in the writing. I wondered if it was just the narrators voices building them.

    Steph, I don’t own the book, but that was the prettiest cover I found! I didn’t even know how long it was so it didn’t intimidate me: with physical books, I skip to the end and see how many pages. With this audiobook, I just kept listening until it was over. :) I think it would be a good October book!

  5. Kathy
    Kathy August 20, 2009 at 10:23 am |

    I haven’t read any of Wilkie Collins work, but I’d like to since I read Drood. I love epistolary novels!

  6. Molly
    Molly August 20, 2009 at 10:43 am |

    I’ve only ever read The Moonstone, but I loved loved loved it. The Moonstone is one of the first and finest examples of a detective novel. (It’s also very suspenseful!) Since then, I’ve bought No Name and am excited to start it. Your review of The Woman in White makes me want to read that one too! I think that your description of the characterization in Collins novels is spot on–while reading The Moonstone, I felt like I really got to know the people in the book.

  7. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid August 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm |

    Kathy, I think Drood was the first place I heard of Collins. Haven’t read it, but heard about it in the blogging world.

    Molly, I look forward to that one! Sounds great.

  8. Emily
    Emily August 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm |

    I loved The Woman in White too! Wasn’t Marian an amazing character? I was so impressed with Collins for his positive and complex depiction of a “masculine” woman in the Victorian period, when women were usually punished for not conforming to the “Angel in the House” stereotype. I echo others in recommending The Moonstone as well. Oh also, in addition to the loss of his literary mentor, Collins’s career suffered because of a serious opium addiction he developed. Such a waste!

  9. Nymeth
    Nymeth August 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm |

    I’ve been saving this for the RIP challenge the whole year! I’m really looking forward to starting it. I’ll read your and everyone else’s thoughts more carefully once I’ve read it myself. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it, though!

  10. Bruce Oksol
    Bruce Oksol August 20, 2009 at 6:51 pm |

    One more reason I love the blogosphere. I have not read “The Woman In White,” but after a close friend said her reading club in England read it, and now I see you enjoyed it, Wilkie Collins has moved to (near) the top of the list. I’m currently in my Daphne du Maurier phase.

  11. Eva
    Eva August 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm |

    I’ve read three Collins and loved them all! This one, The Moonstone, and No Name (which is probably my fave). I definitely want to read all of his books one day.

    Earlier this month, I finished listening to Portrait of a Lady on CD, and it was a wonderful audio experience. :)

  12. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid August 21, 2009 at 7:10 am |

    Emily, I look forward to the Moonstone. Too bad about the opium. I wonder how the end of his life’s work would have been otherwise.
    Nymeth, I think it would be perfect for the RIP challenge: nice and mysterious.

    Bruce Oksol, isn’t blogging fun? I hope you enjoy it when you read it. I’ve only read one duMauier and I enjoyed it. Should revisit her too, I supose!

    Eva, Oh, I hadn’t heard raves on No Name, I should look in to that one too! I have Portrait of a Lady on my shelf, probably not until next year. Glad you hear that you liked it!

  13. Jenny
    Jenny August 21, 2009 at 8:13 am |

    The musical was really awful – I misguidedly saw it the first time I was in London and it hurt my brain with so much awfulness. But the book is a delight, and I think The Moonstone is even better. Collins uses the same technique of having different narrators tell the story, and it’s both more amusing and more effective in The Moonstone.

  14. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid August 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm |

    Jenny, I just read the summary on Wikipedia and I can’t believe how they bastardized the story. Egh. But thanks for the Moonstone rec. Looking forward to it!

  15. claire
    claire August 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm |

    I’ll be reading this soon for the COlorful Reading Challenge, so am excited I’m hearing nothing but good.

  16. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid August 23, 2009 at 6:47 am |

    claire, I hope you enjoy it!

  17. Pam @ iwriteinbooks
    Pam @ iwriteinbooks August 23, 2009 at 7:42 am |

    hm, Wilkie Collins is new to me, too. It sounds interesting despite the flaws. I may check into it.

  18. Rebecca Reid
    Rebecca Reid August 23, 2009 at 8:46 am |

    Pam, i didn’t think it was overly filled with flaws, and maybe the end felt rushed because I was listening to it much quicker (i.e., I couldn’t stand stopping so I went out of my way to find time). I hope you like it!

  19. Bruce Oksol
    Bruce Oksol May 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm |

    I forgot to get back to you. As noted above, I moved “The Woman in White” to the top of my reading list and completed it some time ago. I forgot to come back and tell you. It turned out to be an excellent book; I loved it. I am now reading Robert D Richardson’s bio of William James. It turns out he was a fan of “The Woman in White,” also.
    .-= Bruce Oksol´s last post on blog ..Mythology and Romanticism: The Minor Poets =-.

    ELIZABETH BROWM August 21, 2010 at 9:07 pm |


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