One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.
The story begins with an eerie midnight encounter between artist Walter Hartright and a ghostly woman dressed all in white who seems desperate to share a dark secret. The next day Hartright, engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie and her half sister, tells his pupils about the strange events of the previous evening.
Determined to learn all they can about the mysterious woman in white, the three soon find themselves drawn into a chilling vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue.
Masterfully constructed, The Woman in White is dominated by two of the finest creations in all Victorian fiction: Marion Halcombe, dark, mannish, yet irresistibly fascinating, and Count Fosco, the sinister and flamboyant "Napoleon of Crime".
Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor
"Collins's mid-Victorian novel is one of the first, and possibly still the greatest, of all literary thrillers." (The Irish Times)
Australian, living in beautiful central Victoria. Audio book addict otherwise fairly well balanced.
A phenomenal best seller in its day, this book is engaging as a great example of the behaviour of the era. Very well written and retains enough mystery to attach to it but the inability of the women at the centre of the story to cope emotionally with the ongoing dramas was thoroughly annoying. Falling about with the vapours was obviously an accepted reaction in those days, doesn't wash now.
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!
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.
Former steelworker from Buffalo NY retired after 40 yrs. as a Registered Nurse. Viet Vet, did a lot of theater in HS... e-Clectic for sure
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.
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.
I ran across this book while reading Dickens, Tolstoy, and other classics, along with some Game of Thrones - like books. I liked the mystery in this novel. There is a who-done-it vibe. The characters are well developed and believeable. I enjoyed it!
If it weren't for Audible I'd never get any reading done.
I picked this up because there's a reference to it in Ulysses, and Joyce owes a tiny debt to Wilkie Collins for developing the idea of a multi-narrator novel. With Collins' The Moonstone, it has a place in history as the original mystery novel.
That said, it's very hokey stuff, a bad gothic story that relies on a string of coincidences and a very Victorian concept of foreigners. Some of the descriptions of action are just hideously long and dull. I almost gave up halfway through.
The readers trade off, Prebble reading the male narrators and Bailey the female ones. Both are masters of the craft.
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.
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.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
I know many readers loved this novel but I was interested for the first third. In the second third of the book, I was getting eager to gain a little info to resolve the puzzle and became increasingly frustrated as I waited for details to emerge. In the last third of the book, I just plain gave up. It was a book with a lot of build-up and the resolution was like a dud firecracker, nothing. The quality of the writing is well-done victorian style but it's a "go nowhere" book as far as I am concerned. I would like my time back. The reader was good and I gave it two stars for the very intriguing first third of the book and the beautiful descriptive writing.
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