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The Woman in White | [Wilkie Collins]

The Woman in White

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"Collins's mid-Victorian novel is one of the first, and possibly still the greatest, of all literary thrillers." (The Irish Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1221 )
5 star
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4.1 (1007 )
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4.3 (1001 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan Kanwal, Australia 02-25-13
    Susan Kanwal, Australia 02-25-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great if you are having trouble sleeping"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I have trouble getting to sleep at night and this audiobook put me to sleep every night within 5 minutes.


    What didn’t you like about Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble ’s performance?

    Joesephine's performance had a very clipped unemotional voice that made it hard to be involved with the characters. Simon's performance was better but still not very inclusive.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharon middletown, MD, United States 02-11-13
    sharon middletown, MD, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The way it was narrated


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The title is threaded thru the enitre book and you were always trying to figure out the story


    Have you listened to any of Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. John D. Reed Arkansas 02-06-13
    Dr. John D. Reed Arkansas 02-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    10
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    "A great listen"
    What made the experience of listening to The Woman in White the most enjoyable?

    Wonderful but delicate suspense. Character development was clear with their associations a part of the mystery. The performance was excellent and the experience was very entertainment.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The suspense, the mystery, the surprise.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Trouble in Old England


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg E Dobson United States 12-21-12
    Meg E Dobson United States 12-21-12 Member Since 2014

    Avatar by The Domestic Goddess at allavatars

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    "Not that well known classic hits home!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Woman in White the most enjoyable?

    I was looking for a good read that didn't have a contemporary feel. Occasionally, I enjoy that. For example, Doyle's Complete Sherlock Holmes or even the modern author Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog. I'm not a Jane Austin fan, but once in awhile I have that urge to sink into something that comes at you slow, without profanity, and without wild crazy stuff.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It had its moments of boredom like every book in this style, but the point of view changes saved it. Never did I want to reach over and click it off or move it to the next chapter..


    Which character – as performed by Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Neither out classes the other and they mixed well. I am just finishing a Baldacci book, First Family, where the two narrators didn't mesh well at all, leaving me with a disgruntled discomfort until I finally accepted it. In contrast, Bailey and Prebble worked well together and the audio mixing was excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Of course not! That was the whole point of choosing it! I wanted to be immersed in the times! The book delivered.


    Any additional comments?

    For the right listener and at the right time, I would recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Dahlonega, Georgia, United States 12-07-12
    Tom Dahlonega, Georgia, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Outstanding story and performance"
    Any additional comments?

    Since joining Audible, I have used audio books to help me get through my daily fitness commitment on the treadmill and other similar machines. I have listened to many good books by outstanding readers, and am constantly searching for a good mystery/thriller. After recently starting several mystery/thrillers, written by Audible Best Sellers, I had difficulty making it halfway through the book. Is seems that today's writers feel it necessary to include plots involving child molestation, serial killers, dismembering bodies, torture, and the like. Whatever happened to the bank robbery, diamond heist, or singular murder that had a convoluted plot, interesting characters, a little romance, and a clever detective to eventually find the culprit?

    This was the case until I happened across The Woman in White. What beautifully crafted story and mystery. In my opinion, Wilkie Collins is comparable to Jane Austen in character development, and in a total command of the English language. I have started and am thoroughly enjoying my second book by Wilkie Collins, Moonstone.

    I highly recommend both of these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy North Richland Hills, TX, United States 11-22-12
    Kathy North Richland Hills, TX, United States 11-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Held my interest throughout!"
    If you could sum up The Woman in White in three words, what would they be?

    Very enjoyable!


    What does Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nice vocal characterizations, enunciation, easy to follow story


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Mystery! Romance!


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't wait to turn it on for my daily drives, hard to stop when arriving at my destation; beautifully performed, great character & plot development.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Lohse outback NSW Australia 11-12-12
    Wendy Lohse outback NSW Australia 11-12-12

    Born 1949, living in outback New South Wales, Australia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Early Crime, and Sensation, Fiction"
    Where does The Woman in White rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's not the very best, but certainly very good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Best of all, I love its history and the fact that I'd never heard of it! Nor of its author, whose name must be American, I thought. Always happy to learn. Wikipedia sold this book to me. First published as a book in 1860 London, it was written throughout 1859 as a serial for monthly or weekly newspaper.

    From Wikipedia: "It is considered to be among the first mystery novels and is widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of 'sensation novels'." This sentence convinced me: "The use of multiple narratives draws on Collins's legal training, and as he points out in his Preamble: 'the story here presented will be told by more than one pen, as the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness'."

    At the time of purchase, I was researching family history in England and Australia during the 1850s. What better way to gather a feel for the class and gender inequalities of 1850s England, than through its fiction. I wasn't disappointed.


    What about Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble ’s performance did you like?

    The readings were exceptional. I absolutely detested the sound of the most loathsome male character in the book. Likewise I detested the voice of the superior house keeper of the property and her inability to distinguish between nobility and decency. Where each participant is given the time and opportunity to tell their story uninterrupted, the bore or the shrew will be difficult to tolerate in an audio book. As it is in life. Sigh.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    35 hours would be difficult at a sitting but I must confess that I do have my books playing night and day. These readers use the nuances of the language rather than volume to control the variations of pitch, tone and accent.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm surprised that it wasn't heralded during struggles for women's rights, votes and legislation. Maybe it was. I missed it. I'm glad that I've found it and I do recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TZVI SZAJNBRUM 11-01-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Incredible story!!"

    I was astonished and so pleasantly surprised by this book. Although it is more than 150 years old it is just as relevant as any thriller written now. Actually I would say much better. The characters are developed superbly, the psychological insights into the characters and their motives are right on target and the story itself is so original.

    I could not stop listening to this book and being amazed anew at each chapter at the brilliance of the story. The narration, told by a man and woman, are also very well done.

    Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy D. Lewis Dunedin, FL United States 10-04-12
    Amy D. Lewis Dunedin, FL United States 10-04-12 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "A fun piece of mystery history"
    What made the experience of listening to The Woman in White the most enjoyable?

    Listening to The Woman in White brought out the drama of the moments and the flavor of the different characters.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story itself is a little drawn out and sometimes melodramatic. The idea is refreshing and the mystery kept me guessing the first time I read it.


    Which character – as performed by Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    I loved to listen to Count Fosco as read by Simon Prebble as much as I love to hate the character himself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Frisco, TX, United States 10-01-12
    Amazon Customer Frisco, TX, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Book"
    If you could sum up The Woman in White in three words, what would they be?

    Terrific story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Although the plot was a bit slow at times due to a ton of descriptions, it was exciting and so much fun.


    Which character – as performed by Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Walter Hartright - Simon Prebble; Marion Halcombe - Josephine Bailey


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Walter Hartright finally had the chance to tell Laura he loved her.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a terrific book. It was so much fun to actually get a real glimpse of life in the mid-1800's. Especially the role of women - even if the book was written by a man. I would put this book on par with other classic Victorian novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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