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The Woman in White Audiobook

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 (1315 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (1088 )
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Story
4.3 (1082 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    nikki lorel Chicago, IL, United States 11-02-12
    nikki lorel Chicago, IL, United States 11-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TZVI SZAJNBRUM 11-01-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    "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
  •  
    Karin 10-01-12
    Karin 10-01-12
    ratings
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    8
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    Story
    "How did I miss this classic?"
    Where does The Woman in White rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks very high!


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

    Yes, the story unfolds through the voice of multiple characters. The reader/listener discovers the details of the story just as the characters in the story would.


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

    Oh, the characters come alive through the voices of the reader! Especially Simon Prebble did a fantastic job of reading. I especially enjoyed his interpretation of the character of Mr. Fairlie!


    Any additional comments?

    I've read a lot of classic novels, but somehow I had never even heard of Wilkie Collins, let alone "The Woman in White". I started listening on the recommendation of my sister and now I'm eager to read more of his writing. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good classic novel- full of flowery language and a story where everything is not as it seems.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States 09-24-12
    Diane Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States 09-24-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    5
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    "Unique storyline in the framework of a classic."
    Would you listen to The Woman in White again? Why?

    No - It's a long narrative


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

    Yes and No. At times the characters were a bit hard to keep straight but for the most part it kept you engaged


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene when the husband of the aunt was introduced to the household along with his physical description and psychological presence


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither - Just absorbed in the plot


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie POMPANO BEACH, FL, United States 09-23-12
    Debbie POMPANO BEACH, FL, United States 09-23-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Classic"

    A little bit long, dragged at some times, especially at the beginning. Also seemed a bit repetitive in a few sections, but very good narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ListensAll Day Los Angeles 09-11-12
    ListensAll Day Los Angeles 09-11-12 Member Since 2011

    YesAllDay

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    "Thoroughly enjoyable!"

    Great characters and interesting plot twists make this story of treachery come alive.
    Despite the publication date, the language does not feel dated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Holden, MA, United States 09-10-12
    Andrew Holden, MA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
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    "Simply Awful"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Super slow story, lousy characters, predictable ending. Waste of time, kept waiting for this story to develop some sort of plot and it never really happens - was hoping for a cool twist ending but that didn't happen either.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Wilkie Collins again?

    Yes


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

    Simon very good - Josephine sounds like a computer generated voice, didn't think it was a real person


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    happy ending


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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