I like to rate books based on how excited I feel about diving back in each day and this story did not disappoint. Highly recommend for Jane Austen readers.
In spite of being 3 segements long this tale keeps the listener in suspense through out. The use of several different narriators to move the story along is fun, interesting and well written. It was a surprise when both "good guys" and "bad guys" wrote their part of the adventure. I think this was the best book of the summer!
OK it's long but if you like listening to eloquent English it's for you. Villian's , sleuths, victims, innocents, love , passion, longing, regret and victory need I say more. Very easy listening but it really is Raymond Chandler stretched out over time. Part of me wanted the guys to grab the dames and waste the villian. Worth listening to overall.
As a fan of the detective genre, I enjoy reading the early fiction tracing the development from Poe to the present and on both sides of the Atlantic. This is considered to be one of the earliest examples of British detective fiction.
To put this into a time line, Edgar Allen Poe wrote 'Murders at the Rue Morgue' (considered to be the first detective story) in 1841 in the United States. Sherlock Holmes didn't show up in London in 1887. In 1860, in England, Charles Dickens began the serial publication of 'Great Expectations' and Wilkie Collins wrote "The Woman in White'.
Written in the tradition of British romantic fiction, this book is full of love and loss, evil and retribution and it takes a detective to bring it all together. I loved the book, it is a literary treasure, long and lovely and full of twists and turns, reversals that are typical of the era.
I had read this book years and years ago. Fortunately, I had totally forgotten the plot so I was able to enjoy it 'fresh' in its audible form. I love Wilkie Collins -- and Simon Prebble and Josephine Bailey do a great job with the narration.
It was an interesting story and I liked the change of character narration, so you experienced the events through the perspectives of different characters. I thought it layed out a few good story threads within the overall mystery and kept a good pace, even though it is long book.
I liked how the ended played out.
It's too long to do that! You will want avoid putting down for too long though because you don't want to forget where you are in the story, as it builds upon earlier accounts of other narrators.
Some people commented that having both male and female narrators (for different chapters or sections of the book) was distracting, but I didn't have a problem with it and I think it worked well.
I may listen to this book again. I found this book needing more of my full attention than some other books, so I'm sure I missed some interesting bits along the way.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
A great Victorian/Gothic novels most people never hear about. If you like the Bronte sisters and Middlemarch, you'll enjoy this.
Early on we are introduced to the mysterious woman in white when Walter Hartright is travelling to Limmeridge house to be a drawing tutor for two young ladies, Laura Fairlie and her half-sister Marian Halcombe. They rest of the book tells the the story of Walter, Laura and Marian.
Wonderful evil characters - Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco. Excellent fun, and the narration of Simon Prebble and Josephine Bailey was superb.
Interesting note - Wilkie Collins was a friend of Charles Dickens.
I listened to this book and, even though I thought the readers were ok (I didn't really like the voice of Marion, and thought it almost sounded computer-generated at first), I really loved the whole thing. Some of the characters, especially Marion and the sinister Count Fosco, are just amazingly well portrayed. Poor Laura Fairlie, the central figure in the story, is just lovely, but frail and pale, and allows herself to be married to a creepy guy whose single-minded interest in her fortune becomes very clear before the wedding. Percival Glide, is SO easy to hate. The mystery of the woman in white and all the strands of the twisted plot are woven together a bit at a time. The keys to the mystery become revealed towards the end.
The main narrator is Walter Hartley, a drawing master who falls in love with lovely Laura at first sight. But Laura is betrothed to Percival, a Baronet, in an arrangement made by her father before he died. Laura and her half-sister Marion live at Limeridge at the sufferance of their uncle Frederick Fairlie. Now there's a character! He is a petulant invalid who misuses his servants ("right now, he (the valet) is a drawing stand") and claims his nervous weakness as an excuse to selfishly disregard his niece Laura's situation, even when the family attorney tells him specifically that it's a startlingly poor deal. The reader has Fairlie's weak whiny quavering voice to perfection! Later, Walter refers to Uncle Fairlie's communications, but spoken and written, as "insolent politeness."
There are many other wonderful characters and terrific twists and turns in the plot. I was just a bit disappointed in the "easy" ending. I would have liked to know more about how it all came about, although the irony of the ending was rather satisfying.
Evidently, Mr. Collins gave Charles Dickens a run for his money back in the day. This novel is Gothic and juicy and wonderful. If you think you might not enjoy reading the sometimes convoluted Victorian narrative style, consider the audible version.
This was released in pieces for a regular publication. To that end sometimes the author seemed to be trying to make a word quota for the week. I found myself yelling "OK, she's beautiful, we get it." After getting well into it that seemed to ease up and I was compelled to finish the book. The story had plenty of depth and plot. The readers were fantastic, carried the story well.
The story was intreging and I could not put it down.