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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 (1043 )
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4.3 (845 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Terry 09-04-12
    Terry 09-04-12 Member Since 2010

    TJ

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wordy, but well worth the listen"
    What did you love best about The Woman in White?

    Engaging plot, well-developed characters, great narration.


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

    This is a lengthy, involved and quirky plot. The wordiness is indicative of the time the book was written, but it is a great listen. Not sure I would have read the whole thing. The plot has a lot of intriguing twists and turns, but carries a lot of suspense in the latter portion of the book.














    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last days at Blackwater Park were very intriguing, can't say more, or the cat will be out of the bag. The later days in London were also great!


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

    Not, unless I wanted to stay awake for 18 hrs! Have a long drive or flight coming up? This is a great book for something like that.


    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book based on several references to it made in Diane Setterfield's "Thirteenth Tale". Am surprised I hadn't run into it before then.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 08-24-12
    Robin 08-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    91
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    17
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    "A classic that should be better known"
    Would you listen to The Woman in White again? Why?

    Probably not because of the length but I did enjoy it


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

    Some of the plot was predictable but there were several dramatic surprises.


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

    Walter was my favorite, although he doesn't appear in large parts of the book. I chose this book partly because I have enjoyed Simon Prebble. The largest part narrated by Josephine Bailey is of the character Marian and I disliked how she did that character, she sounded too mechanical, as if she was reading rather than speaking.


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

    There is a great surprise around the middle of the book which I didn't see coming and which introduced many questions answered in the later part of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I will probably listen to others by Collins.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. G. Bawden Gold Canyon 06-04-12
    J. G. Bawden Gold Canyon 06-04-12

    Book giver

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    "Long listen but worth it."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is a tour of Engish custom and manners as well as a passable mystery. I enjoyed the character development and ability of the author to transport the reader to the setting the novel takes place in.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne H NYC 04-19-12
    Suzanne H NYC 04-19-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Loved every word"

    I enjoyed every word and throughout the book I could not wait to find out what would happen next. This is one of those books you do not want to stop listening to. The characters were fun and interesting and very well developed. Somehow, even trivial events in this book are written in a way that makes them intriguing. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Waverly, OH, United States 11-20-11
    Judy Waverly, OH, United States 11-20-11 Member Since 2011

    I have worked so hard for so long that I've had very little time to read. Enter iPhone4; now an earbud has cut driving time while I enjoy!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Highly Recommended"

    Set in 18th Century England, this book held my attention throughout. The reader learns a lot of the social classes, the restrictions, the heartbreak. The reader's performance is excellent; Sometimes edge-of-your-seat thrill, but always intriguing. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn Smithville, GA, United States 05-25-11
    Jenn Smithville, GA, United States 05-25-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but long"

    This book was interesting but it should have been a lot shorter. They went over the same ground too many times. I liked the switching of story tellers and I thought the story was good.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Quitman, GA, United States 07-16-14
    Deborah Quitman, GA, United States 07-16-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Almost lost me at Mrs. Mickleson (sp?)..."
    Would you try another book from Wilkie Collins and/or Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble ?

    Josephine Bailey does an adequate job with most of the female characters in this work, although she delivers a rather wilted and insipid Laura- but I nearly had to give this wonderful book down during offering of Mrs Mickleson's account. Has to be heard to be fully appreciated, ugh, but sounds as if she is speaking down a long pipe-- tones bearing down on air (think Jan Brady as a fussy noblewoman down at heel and full of pride). Her vocals would have sent poor Mr Fairlie to his grave!


    Would you be willing to try another one of Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble ’s performances?

    Simon, yes. Ms. Bailey, doubtful- depends upon the story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Oh, yes.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elly heemstede, Netherlands 12-24-12
    elly heemstede, Netherlands 12-24-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Not really an evergreen"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, not really. I admire the currage of the writer to write such a story in that time frame but it would have been better to publish it on audible in an abriged version. The whole story endlessly dragged on.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The mail narrator was rather ok but the woman I didn't like.


    Could you see The Woman in White being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. But if you find the best scenario writer maybe.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Baltimore, md, United States 12-23-12
    Helen Baltimore, md, United States 12-23-12 Member Since 2008
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    Story
    "Too long"
    What disappointed you about The Woman in White?

    It took too long to tell the story. And the ending was contrived


    Would you ever listen to anything by Wilkie Collins again?

    Probably not


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

    Performance was good


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nikki lorel Chicago, IL, United States 11-02-12
    nikki lorel Chicago, IL, United States 11-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Should have known better"
    Would you try another book from Wilkie Collins and/or Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble ?

    I'd rather pull my own 2 front teeth than go through another Wilkie Collins book.


    Has The Woman in White turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Its certainly turned me off the genre for a good long while. At least male authors of the period.


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

    The simple fact these narrators didn't even give a HINT of a yawn while suffering through all the surplus verbage entitles them not only to a chance to read to me again, they positively deserve medals for their efforts here.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I am very well acquainted with the writing style of this period: florid, loquacious, verbose.... but this? Collins made me want to scream. Collins made even the "heroine" female lead so insipid as to show her as barely conscious of her surroundings and helpless, timid, .....vapid.
    The turns the story took were always apparent beforehand; the ending no surprise.
    Bummer bummer bummer.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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