I do plan to listen again. It was a fantastically woven story. I have to say, it really had me guessing and reevaluating right up until near the end. There were so many threads to follow, and many interesting characters to try to figure out. It was quite the tangled intrigue. It's almost difficult to talk about without many spoilers, so without divulging, let it suffice that it kept me gripped. I thought I'd been developing a knack for cracking whodunits pre-reveal, but this one was well beyond my powers. As it turns out, this is probably the earliest of what I'd deem a detective novel, and was distinct in character from my usual mystery favorites by the later writers like Conan Doyle and Christie. Some aspects struck me as a bit sensational, too fantastic, like the myth surrounding the stone and deadly foreigners come for revenge and to return their relic... but other parts of the story-line were perfectly down to earth and believable, like the maid's story of unrequited love. Not my usual type of mystery novel at all, but well worth the read.
Definitely the detective. I felt rather sorry for Inspector Cuff, how things were turning out, after all of his work and sound theories.
I don't know if I could have tackled this book in print form, it might have been a bit tedious. With the narration, it helped keep track of players, and brought it more to life.
Well, I might have if I could, but it was too long, and there weren't enough free hours in my day.
I recently read the non-fictional Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, which tells the story of a sensationalized murder in 1860 and the investigation and fallout. Remarkably, as I was reading, the thought occurred to me that many of the events, characters, and suggestions sounded familiar, like a plot out of a book- like the Moonstone. "Suspicions" later went on to mention the author Collins and his writings, and how his novel and many other new "detective" stories of the day were drawing from the headlines and that crime. Gave an interesting new perspective. I liked the fictionalized goings-on better, in the end.
The audio gave a real flavor of the different characters' speech patterns and dialects, and added to their sense of personality.
Mr. Jeffrey did a marvelous job with all the characters. This was vital to this story, since it is told from different people's points of view. Each character sounded totally genuine.
A few characters certainly made me laugh, mostly because they were so totally unaware of their flaws and foibles. This humor made a nice break from the suspense, while adding to the depth of the story. But at the same time, a few characters lead almost tragic lives, and Collins shed light on how hard it is when we feel genuine sympathy but are unable to help.
A terrific story, with lots of plot twists and cliff hangers from it's original serial format. Although some characters voiced typical Victorian attitudes, overall Collins shared a remarkably modern sensibility, enouraging us to never judge people by their background or appearances.
Unafraid to read from any genre.
I was to read this book in college, got through a piece of it, but failed to finish it at the time. It's so nice to come back to it now, with the added patience and wisdom of adulthood, so that I now can appreciate it fully. Aside from being one of the first examples of the mystery/detective novel (one can easily see the Sgt. Cuff/Betteredge dynamic emulated later by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), it is incredibly funny and satirical, also. Drusilla Clack is one of the most hilarious, well-meaning buffoons in all of English literature!
I can't say enough about the narration of British actor Peter Jeffrey. He was so insightful in illuminating all the novel's great characters. There's a temptation with an epistolary novel to get a full cast together to read it, as when I read Dracula a few weeks ago. But this man was amazing at voicing all characters, male and female, old and young. I was confounded in trying to guess his age at the time of the recording!
Although the book was originally published in the 1800s, the story is just as enjoyable today. I have a hard time believing I had never heard of this book until recently.
I found the storyline great fun, keeping me guessing throughout the course of the book. The reader did a great job giving a distinct voice, including varying the accents, to the many different narrators who take their turns telling their tales.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a more classic style of mystery novel.
I am a huge Dickens fan, and given their similar writing styles how I missed this author all these years I do not know. But I am happy now to have found him now, and this performer is fantastic. I am not in love with the ending - and his other book "The Woman In White" is a better story - but this is definitely worth the time. The man could really write ~
Wilkie Collins, also author of The Woman in White, is a 19th-century British author I have just recently discovered, thanks in large part to the 1000 Books to Read Before You Die list. Think Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes. The mystery is ever-evolving, and the detectives, unlike Holmes, are not infallible. Indeed, it is difficult to tell who to trust (the mark of any good detective story), and the shifting narrators make for another layer of character development.
All in all, the book is good fun. Not only was I interested to see how the plot developed, but I also developed a genuine affection for many of the characters, one of whom has ensured I will never think of Robinson Crusoe the same way again.
The character development and story intrigue. Mr Jeffrey's narration was first class.
Ahhh, Rachel and her mother during the investigation, Any moment with Sergeant Cuff (?).
Every scene with the butler and his daughter Penelope was fun. Of course, I love a happy ending.
It was too long for one sitting, but I was always anxious to get back to the story each morning during my walk.
Some reviewers felt it was over-long, but I don't know how the fascinating story could have been told in fewer words,
Outstanding use of the English language, read beautifully.
Outstanding use of the English language, read beautifully.
I know this is a genre classic but it has subsequently been improved upon. The characters lack depth and the story drags like a dray hauling stone blocks on a skiff. What would have made it better would have been characters not chaicatures.
Perhaps a re-listen to the Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
There appear to be about half a dozen audio versions and I chose Mr. Jeffrey's because I liked his voice and cadence.
A desire to check my watch
When there is more than one version of a book it would be nice if the sample read might be the same for each author so one might compare apples with apples.
I would have to say that the narrator makes this book. The story is told from multiple characters point of view and it could become very repetitive, however the narrator is so entertaining that it makes it all worthwhile. It really is a delightful listen.