I didn't know anything about this book when I started listening to it, other than it came highly recommended, and that it was pretty long. And it was a mystery novel. So, it turns out that Wilkie Collins was a Victorian author, and was good friends with Charles Dickens until Dickens' popularity took off, but Wikie's not so much. I understand, though, that Collins' popularity is starting to grow now. Too bad he's not around to enjoy the benefits.
I didn't know it was a Victorian novel, and as such has the characteristics of being long, very wordy, mostly about the upper class, etc. etc. The reason so many of them are long and wordy is because they were serialized, forerunners of the soap opera of today. People could not wait to get the next installment to find out what was happening. I read a book in the newspaper in serial form one time, and it was great fun. Nowadays, we seem too impatient to read a book like that. We want to know right now what happens in the end. So we read all day and half the night instead of doing other things that we should probably be doing instead. But we find out what happens a lot sooner than waiting for the newspaper every day.
As far as the mystery part, yeh, it was a pretty good mystery, but a bit predictable. There were some pretty good twists and turns, but *** spoiler alert*** (sort of), they all lived happily ever after. Except for the people who died, of whom there was a fair number.
In any case, I did enjoy this book a great deal, but it did move slowly and was very wordy. It won't go on my favorites list, but I am glad I read it. I enjoyed the narrators very much, except for the reading of Count Fosco. He was supposed to be from Italy, but sounded 100% English. Every time he was called a foreigner, I though, Wait, where is he from? Oh yeh, Italy. Hmmmm.
The only part that didn't work for me was the voice of Marian, it didn't fit my picture of her and at first seemed to hint a "lower class" accent. Everyone else was spot on for me.
This brilliant adaptation -- masterfully narrated by a series of gifted actors -- is compelling from first to last. I had read the novel some 15 years ago and while remembering the overall arc of the story, had forgotten some of the particulars. In any event, this version held me spellbound throughout its 27-plus hours. Not only is this one of the greatest thrillers ever written, it's also one of the best 19th-century works of English literature. This magnificent audio recording does justice to the plotting, pacing, characterization, suspense and storytelling mastery of Wilkie Collins. Now, if only Audible would release other Collins novels such as "No Name" in audio form! But just get your hands on this one -- this is a treasure.
There is nothing which produces fully developed characters quite like a Victorian novel. Drama, mystery, suspense. The characters within its pages are everything you could hope for.....those to cheer for, those to despise, those to pity. One which makes your eyes roll as soon as he is introduced in the paragraph. And, then, there is Fosco!! The narration for this character is superb!! I truly enjoyed this audio. It's a treasure!!!!
Excellent characters, a sense of time and place, suspense, superb narration: who could ask for more.
This book was amazing! I was engaged with each character and invested in the plot. The readers were great but, the story makes this one a don't miss!! Plot twists, complex characters and intrigue this book has it all. It is not fast and there is some redundancy in the characters recollections but I found it added to the plot and deepened the mystery. It is long and will take some time to get through but Collins masterfully develops his plot and sucks in his readers/listeners. This one is the granddaddy of modern thrillers and it set the bar pretty high!
This book was so fun to listen to! The dramatized dialogue made the story come to life!
The narrators were able to capture the author's intention characterizations.
I've never heard their narrations prior to this audiobook.
The narrators were able to portray hilarious Italian accents which were consistent with the novel's intention.
The best audiobook for driving/cleaning the house/walking/anything that doesn't require paying full attention.