Young Walter Hartright meets the mysterious woman in white in what soon became one of the most popular novels of the 19th century. Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelations, amnesia, locked rooms and locked asylums, and an unorthodox villain made this mystery thriller an instant success when it first appeared in 1860, and it has continued to enthrall ever since.
From the hero's foreboding before his arrival at Limmeridge House to the nefarious plot concerning the beautiful Laura, the breathtaking tension of Collins's narrative created a new literary genre of suspense fiction, which profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing.
Generally considered the first English sensation novel, The Woman in White features the remarkable heroine Marian Halcombe and her sleuthing partner, drawing-master Walter Hartright, pitted against the diabolical team of Count Fosco and Sir Percival Glyde. A gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness, and mistaken identity, Collins's psychological thriller has never been out of print since its publication in 1860.
While Collins's other great mystery, The Moonstone, has been called the finest detective story ever written, it was this work that so gripped the imagination of the world that Wilkie Collins had his own tombstone inscribed "Author of The Woman in White."
Public Domain true(P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Collins was a master craftsman, whom many modern mystery-mongers might imitate to their profit." (Dorothy L. Sayers)
It is a completely different experience
Yes, it was certainly gripping
Everything about this book was excellent. Characters, plot, narration, atmosphere - all spot on. If you enjoy a good gothic mystery, you cannot go wrong with The Woman in White.
By far the most compelling thing about this audiobook are the performances which are absolutely first-rate.
The fact that it is told in the first-person by a number of the characters, both male and female, was quite interesting. The mystery of the woman in white does carry you along for quite a while and then the mystery of how Hartright will set things right takes over. Unfortunately, the ending is somewhat fortuitous and contrived.
The section which Frederick Fairlie narrates is hilarious.
I managed my way through this period work full of over zealous manners and sensibilities. I was hoping for a much better and gripping mystery but alas I found myself wishing ill on the main characters for the book to end. I wish I'd stopped and switched to Jane Austin.
This story is old.. The language is dated to the 1800s and all mannerisms as well. It's pretty good. But after reading more modern mysteries it was hard for me to enjoy this one. I'm sure it was very popular in the early 19th century and maybe it still is which I'd 3hy it popped up on a list of the best mysteries of all time. But I'd like there to be a more relatable story line. Hope you enjoy it.
It allows us to appreciate one's true value. The right perspective makes the impossible possible .
It was way too long. Too much information about the characters. I kept thinking, "I don't really want to know how everyone feels, get on with the story." I quit listening about half way through.
No. I like mysteries, but not too wordy.
All the narrators were good. It was just the material was too lengthy.
I quit halfway through- too much detail. Others might find a lot of detail of English life at that time period interesting.
I am what you might call a literary philanderer...
Was this book worth my time? Yes, but only if it aids in helping most others to stay away from it.
I enjoyed the framework of the storyline, and, with a more brief narrative, I would have enjoyed it much more. The length of this story is well justified, though not by the woven strands of plot. Rather, the justification for its length is derived in the circumstances of the story's original publication. Interestingly enough, the history of this work of fiction is far more interesting than the work itself. Pieces of the storyline, which held the most notable weight, were absurdly underdeveloped.
"the wonderful woman in white"
This has been a lovely, gentle book to wallow in - the easy flowing narrative, the delightful style harking back to a finer age in time and the clever weaving and wandering of the story line. There is simplicity in the romanticsim and ideas of the book but this really doesn't mattter when on a higher plane there is much to enjoy: beautifully constructed characters, delightful descriptions of people, places and scenes and the inevitability of where the story eventually ends up. A wonderful audio book that I recommend highly - for a historical setting with a relevant theme (jealousy, greed, love, boys-meets-girl, etc, etc), gentle pace with no shocks (no bad language, no violoence, etc) and a mystery cleverly woven through PLUS its an enjoyable listen! I think that the 'listen' is half the pleasure of some audio books - I would never have the time to have read The Woman in White but I was able to 'catch it' in the car, doing the housework, etc.
This was a really excellent way to read The Woman in White. I would strongly recommend purchasing this version of the audiobook over any other which doesn't have such an extensive cast. The narrator changes many times throughout, and the shifts in narrator (each embodying the character very well) made this highly enjoyable, in a way which a single narrator may have lacked.
If you're looking for something short and sweet, um, stay away from 19th Century literature? But the mystery, plot turns, and suspense work for a modern reader, although some of the social anxieties about asylums might not.
"The first thriller writer"
Wilkie Collins is sometimes thought to be the first thriller writer, and this book bears out that idea. It is ideally written for translation into spoken word as it's in several parts, each written by a different character. This particular version exploits this by having several readers which greatly enhances the book.
Unlike many nineteenth century novels, 'The Woman in White' jumps into its plot from the very beginning and one is engaged with the characters right away. It has fewer characters than a Dickens novel, where you've often lost sight of someone long before they turn up again and so the story is tightly woven.
If you haven't read 'The Woman in White' or 'The Moonstone' I'm envious of the pleasure you have in store!
'The Woman in White'
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At first the pace of the narrative seemed quite slow & took a while to get used to but as the story moved on it seemed to fit right in with the Victorian characters and period. I wanted to know what was going to happen next and couldn't wait for an opportunity to listen. It's a story of the time - forbidden love, oppressed women, with sinister characters and a mystery thrown in. Highly recommended.
"Beautifully written and told!"
I chose this book because it was a historical novel, narrated in part by John Lee (who i particularly like to listen to!) and because it was one of the longest books and I wanted a story to last me throughout my holiday and what a good choice....! I really enjoyed this book, it was beautifully written by a fabulous wordsmith! I particularly liked the way Wilki Collins tells the story through the memories of the characters in the story, it is a psychological thriller with suspense, secrets, frustrations and it keeps you interested throughout.
"so long and drawn out"
very well done, but sooo long and drawn out. Turns out to be quite a simple story but twenty words are used when only a couple are needed. I guess it's the old English language. Took me several attempts to get to the end but it's ok.
"Really enjoyed this!"
The Woman in White was a set book in my Uni course. This version broke up the monotony of reading and gave a fresh insight as there was a variety of narrators.
Definitely recommend this.
Well written and extremely well read. A very long winded account excellently handled by the several narrators, most entertaining overall.
"Mind-numbingly boring :("
I really fail to understand why there are so many positive reviews. Although I daresay the story has some interesting twists and turns, it took soooo looong to get anywhere that I gave up about half way through. I think the story could have been told just as well using far fewer words! A case in point is an early chapter where the central character is set up to take up his new job via a very rambling conversation- why did it take so long??? The story-telling was not well balanced; conversations frequently go into excessive detail on certain points, while a major plot development (2 central characters falling in love over a few months) is summarised in a few sentences.
Get to the point more quickly - less rambling dialogue!
Narrators did a reasonable job in the circs, although I wasn't convinced by the male narrator's portrayal of the woman in white - made a young girl sound like an old dame
I'd have cut out a lot of the more long and rambling conversations/ descriptions
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