A tremendous success when it was first published in 1860, The Woman in White still enthralls over a century later.
© and (P)1987 JimCin Recordings
I read somewhere, a long time ago, that Wilkie Collins was one of a handful of 19th & 20th century authors whose works were best when read aloud. I've enjoyed reading the works of Mr. Collins for 35 years, but this is the first time I've listened. What a delight! I think I made the right choice too in selecting the version with multiple readers. It provided added dimension. On to "The Moonstone". I hope it's as good.
i worry about longer books if they are lots of blah blah and filler... but this was quite a tale of the victorian world, and lots of twists and turns... started a little slow but picked up quite swiftly. it pulls you in, and if you appreciate the mystery agatha chrystie/inspector pitt type stuff, you are in for a treat.
The use of different narrators was like witnesses at a trial. Each witness had a biased viewpoint, but were there more sinister goings on and hidden by the narrators? Who really married and lived happily ever after? What were the relationships between the threesome that lived happily ever after? Were they more involved in the murders and the accidents that befelled those that got in the way? Collins wove a real thriller that forces us to re-hear and to re-visit the narrators for clues.
work as an artist and art restorer. read at least 48 books a year, because I can listen while I work.
If you like the language and writing of Dickens or Austin, you will like this writing. why say "not likely" when you can say "doubtful in the extreme"? so much better. An absorbing victorian mystery, with vivid personalities. the melodrama makes it all the more humorous, but really such a good story and memorable characters.
The four stars are awarded because it was a well written story, with well developed characters and an interesting plot. I did not find it difficult to follow the storyline though different readers took over at different parts as a means of developing the narration. (Somewhat like a testimony in a court of law) While, the narrators were good, a few times the actual taping device seemed to have restarted at a different volume, so it was not a flawless recording. (This is why I did not give it a 5 star rating.) For parents: There was no language or inappropriate descriptions that would prevent an adolescent from being able to listen along with the parents, though I am not sure the story would be interesting to a younger child.
For a book that was written in the 1800's, it is very well done. I liked the method of reading with different narrators from different points of view. I liked the mystery and the setting. On the downside, the last quarter of the book was very anti-climatic. It was way too long of a book to end so slowly. Still, the rest was worth the listen.
Good story, but spoiled for me by some of the narrators, all of whom were Americans trying to do British accents. One narrator evidently learned his accent from watching Boris Karloff films. The narrator who played Mrs. Mitchelson was awful, dull boring monotone, studded by mispronunciations. I'm a Brit, so I may be unduly critical; American listeners may find the narration acceptable.
"The Woman in White" provides what those of us who love long 19th century novels crave: rich characterizations and detailed descriptions of social relations, daily life and moral concerns of that era. I liked this precursor of modern mystery novels more than I like modern mysteries, which seem thin by comparison.
On the other hand, "The Woman in White" suffers from the standard bugaboos of the serialized Victorian novel... too many words, bizarre plot contortions, ridiculous coincidences, suspense which becomes tiresome rather than intriguing and of course, a happy ending.
While it's been some years since I read "The Moonstone," I liked it enough to read it twice. "The Woman in White" is not as good.
"The Woman in White" is divided into sections written from the points of view of different characters, each read by a different actor. Unfortunately two or three of the sections are read very poorly by an unskilled actor, but the rest are fine.
DEFinitely a period piece and not really my normal cup o' tea ...but entertaining nonetheless. Not really terribly suspenseful for the modern reader but that's not the point as it' was written in a MUCH earlier time frame (Victorian?). The funny thing is that at certain points it actually played like a 1940-ish black & white murder movie in my head (starring Betty Davis, etc.). The fact that different parts of the story are read from different character points of view is part of what makes it an interesting read. Just keep in mind that this was DEFinitely written for a different audience with DIFferent agendas. Yes, it IS slow paced so KNOW this in advance :)
Wasnt the best ive read but not too bad. I was dissapointed with the narration as the voices change and its confusing but pretty good story.
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