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The Moonstone Audiobook

The Moonstone

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Considered the first full-length detective story in the English language, T.S. Eliot described The Moonstone as 'the first and greatest English detective novel'.

The stone of the title is an enormous yellow diamond plundered from an Indian shrine after the Siege of Seringapatam. Given to Miss Verinder on her 18th birthday, it mysteriously disappears that very night. Suspicion falls on three Indian jugglers who have been seen in the neighbourhood. Sergeant Cuff is assigned to the case and though it looks simple nothing can be taken for granted.

The story is recounted by several narrators including the bemused butler, the love-sick housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff and the drug-addicted scientist, who in turn, speculate on the mystery.

This enthralling tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired the detective genre. In a sense, Collins wrote the rulebook on detective stories as many features of The Moonstone have become conventions in the literature of others.

Charles Dickens was a close friend and mentor of Collins, and the two collaborated together on drama and fiction. The Moonstone, as well as some of his other work, was first published in Dickens' journals.

Narrator Biography

Beginning his career on stage, Peter Jeffrey became a recognisable face on British television while enjoying thirty years with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as working with all the other great British theatre companies. He was soon in demand for television character parts, playing roles in shows such as The Saint (1964-1965), The Avengers (1966-1968) and Doctor Who (1967 and 1978) as well as being involved in many BBC Radio 4 audio dramas such as The Pickwick Papers. Though a versatile actor, he was often cast in roles of authority such as Inspector Carter in Dixon of Dock Green (1966) but occasionally guest starred in comedy roles such as "Napper" Wainwright in Porridge (1975). He continued to act during his final years, with roles in the BBC adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper (1996), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999) and Where the Heart Is (1999).

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (561 )
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4.2 (365 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Somewhere around the world 09-16-17
    Michael Somewhere around the world 09-16-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Victorian era mystery novel "

    I was surprised how intriguing and enjoyable this was. It started a bit slow and confusing with many disconnected details, but the author managed to weave them together into a suspenseful mystery worthy of modern detective dramas. Perhaps a bit long, but but the last 5 hours especially were enthralling. The narrator, Peter Jeffrey, was absolutely perfect with his many different and idiosyncratic characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne 04-19-17
    Jeanne 04-19-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow start but gets better."

    This story line was so boring at first that I would have turned it off if I hadn't been driving. However it gets better about one third of the way into the story. It's probably worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary Hallgarth 09-02-16 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    36
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    Performance
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    "Go to the Barbershop and watch hair grow instead"
    Would you try another book from Wilkie Collins and/or Peter Jeffrey?

    Infactiically NO


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

    Whatever the genre is, I certainly am turned off of it now.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Cut about a million superfluous words from the script


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Moonstone?

    Not agree to publish such an obvious waste of paper


    Any additional comments?

    How this thing ever got the ratings it did is beyond me, so many of the books I see are rated so much higher than they should be, I wonder if the authors didn't write the reviews themselves sometimes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole 01-03-15
    Nicole 01-03-15 Member Since 2013
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    25
    4
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    Performance
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    "Good Story Line but really long"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, the book is too long


    Which character – as performed by Peter Jeffrey – was your favorite?

    The humble house servant who like Robinson Crusoe.


    Was The Moonstone worth the listening time?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    not a bad book, just really long

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fara Longmont, CO, United States 11-15-14
    Fara Longmont, CO, United States 11-15-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Some of the best narration Anywhere. Ever."
    What did you love best about The Moonstone?

    Quite apart from having an ingenious plot, this story is brimming with characters you will either come to love or come to love to loathe! Peter Jeffrey's narration is simply brilliant.


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

    The plot kept me guessing the whole time.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Jeffrey – was your favorite?

    Like the great Cuff, I would go into service and work for Gabriel Betteredge if Peter Jeffrey were playing him. The book is worth the price of admission just to hear Betteredge talk about himself. Miss Clack is deliciously hateful.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a story you can listen to over and over again with the same enjoyment as you had the first time you heard it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Casper, WY, United States 04-06-14
    Janet Casper, WY, United States 04-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing story, fine performance"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Moonstone to be better than the print version?

    The audio gave a real flavor of the different characters' speech patterns and dialects, and added to their sense of personality.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Jeffrey – was your favorite?

    Mr. Jeffrey did a marvelous job with all the characters. This was vital to this story, since it is told from different people's points of view. Each character sounded totally genuine.


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

    A few characters certainly made me laugh, mostly because they were so totally unaware of their flaws and foibles. This humor made a nice break from the suspense, while adding to the depth of the story. But at the same time, a few characters lead almost tragic lives, and Collins shed light on how hard it is when we feel genuine sympathy but are unable to help.


    Any additional comments?

    A terrific story, with lots of plot twists and cliff hangers from it's original serial format. Although some characters voiced typical Victorian attitudes, overall Collins shared a remarkably modern sensibility, enouraging us to never judge people by their background or appearances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas More 11-27-13
    Thomas More 11-27-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Wonderful Mystery"

    I was to read this book in college, got through a piece of it, but failed to finish it at the time. It's so nice to come back to it now, with the added patience and wisdom of adulthood, so that I now can appreciate it fully. Aside from being one of the first examples of the mystery/detective novel (one can easily see the Sgt. Cuff/Betteredge dynamic emulated later by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), it is incredibly funny and satirical, also. Drusilla Clack is one of the most hilarious, well-meaning buffoons in all of English literature!

    I can't say enough about the narration of British actor Peter Jeffrey. He was so insightful in illuminating all the novel's great characters. There's a temptation with an epistolary novel to get a full cast together to read it, as when I read Dracula a few weeks ago. But this man was amazing at voicing all characters, male and female, old and young. I was confounded in trying to guess his age at the time of the recording!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 07-30-13
    Amy 07-30-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A many-layered treat worth savoring more than once"

    This is a classic for a reason. Despite its impressive length, the listener doesn't want it to end. (Well, this one didn't, at any rate.)

    At its heart, this is a mystery story - the first great detective novel, in fact - centered on the question of the theft of the moonstone. (This layers irony upon irony, as it is stolen no less than four times - and, for that matter, the tale is built on the original theft of the stone by a British officer from its native Indian setting.) Collins skillfully builds the novel upon the foundations of the real-life Constance Kent murder case of 1860, basing the police inspector, Sergeant Cuff, on the living model of Detective Inspector Jonathan 'Jack' Whicher. He also captures some of the burgeoning method and mindset of forensic science through the theories and experiments of his character Mr. Candy.

    What sets this novel apart, beyond its claim to many "firsts," is the remarkable multi-layered texture of the tale. Collins uses a variety of narrators - male and female, highborn and lowly, of various ethnic and racial backgrounds - to convey his story, and he shows remarkable sympathy and sensitivity in writing about the outcast and marginalized characters as well as the mainstream and traditional ones. The Moonstone may be a read as a work of social criticism, an indictment of imperialism and the white man's (or woman's) burden, and a commentary on a crucial moment in intellectual history in which custom, faith, superstition, prejudice, reason, and science were colliding in a particularly powerful way. Even Collins's minor characters and asides are weighty and thought-provoking.

    The Moonstone outsold Great Expectations by Dickens when it was originally published, and it's easy to see why. As a novel - not simply a detective novel, or a Victorian novel, or an English novel - it holds up extremely well to multiple modern readings/listenings.

    Peter Jeffrey's narration is as flawless as they come. He manages to distinguish many characters' voices from each other with seeming effortlessness, and he fills his reading with warmth and humor, dread and pathos at all the perfect places. I simply can't recommend this highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. 03-26-13
    S. 03-26-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Author - Great Performance"

    I am a huge Dickens fan, and given their similar writing styles how I missed this author all these years I do not know. But I am happy now to have found him now, and this performer is fantastic. I am not in love with the ending - and his other book "The Woman In White" is a better story - but this is definitely worth the time. The man could really write ~

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharon middletown, MD, United States 03-18-13
    sharon middletown, MD, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok story, just too wordy which makes it boring"
    Any additional comments?

    The story was too wordy. The telling of the story by each person involved made the story long and took away from the events that were happening. The plot was decent but you just get bored by too many words

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Joanne
    Oxford, oxfordshire, United Kingdom
    6/29/08
    Overall
    "An absolute gem"

    Please excuse the pun! This is the best audiobook I have ever listened to. Peter Jeffrey's reading is superb, bringing each character to life - from the trusted family butler Betteridge to the faintly ridiculous religous spunster Miss Clack. In terms of the story - it is superb piece of Victorian derring-do with a spirited young hero and heroine, a conspiracy involving mysterious foreigners, a lovelorn housemaid and opiuos use of laudanum. The writing is witty and sympathetic. The plot is complex, and though perhaps not as tightly plotted as a modern day thriller this would be enjoyed by lovers of detection fiction as well as fans of victorina.

    Highly reccommended!!

    45 of 46 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    10/8/08
    Overall
    "Excellent Reading"

    Not only is this a compelling and masterful story, but the narrator Peter Jeffrey brings the book alive with a most accomplished reading. Each character and textual narrator is given a unique and highly sympathetic voice that captivates the listener with a flawlessness that can only add to the magic of the book itself.
    Highly recommended.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Choosy
    East Midlands
    1/20/11
    Overall
    "good listening"

    Wilkie Collins' best book, beautifully read by Peter Jeffrey. I had to look again at the description to double-check that it wasn't a dramatisation, so consistent and well-differentiated are his voices. A delight to listen to.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Nadia
    Didcot, United Kingdom
    9/9/08
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    I'm loving this. I read it years ago and didn't remember the details. The story is great, the reading fantastic. I'm about half way through, listening whilst commuting, and it has turned the drive into a real pleasure.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    Bradford on AvonUnited Kingdom
    2/4/10
    Overall
    "The original detective story brought to life"

    This is the first audiobook I've listened to for a long time. In the past I'd always found them inferior to "the real thing" but this one has totally changed my mind. Wonderfully narrated in a way that transmits the pace and energy of the story, this audiobook is excellent. I don't know whether books written in the Victorian era especially lend themselves to this format, I suspect that they do. I'm going to test my theory with some Dickens next!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Tei
    Banbury, Oxon, United Kingdom
    8/21/09
    Overall
    "PURE PLEASURE"

    This recording of a fabulous classic is an absolute joy. Peter Jeffrey, the reader, is a superb interpreter of Collins' writing. I longed to hear more. Thank you Peter Jeffrey!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Mr.
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    7/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to beat."

    I don't usually listen to fiction, being much more of a narrative history fan. However, I was an admirer of the late Peter Jeffrey and bought the Moonstone because of his narration. I could not be happier with this audiobook. The story, one of the earliest examples of detective fiction, fully deserves its high reputation among the great British classics, and Peter Jeffrey's handling of the epistolary nature of the narrative is magnificent. Old or young, male or female, Yorkshireman or Indian, he voices each with skill, taste and intelligence creating a wonderful recording. Highly recommended, my only regret is that Peter Jeffrey didn't leave more of a legacy for us to enjoy.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • H
    Richmond, United Kingdom
    4/14/09
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    This is yet another wonderful audio book - Peter Jeffrey's brilliant reading of a book that keeps one guessing till the end gave me great enjoyment. I did not think there could be a narrator that could match Stephen Fry but I think Peter Jeffrey does!! Highly recommended

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Kate
    Windsor, United Kingdom
    4/19/11
    Overall
    "A mystery that keeps you guessing."

    This was a lovely book and beautifully read with excellent characterisations. A good whodunnit with a bit of love interest. Very enjoyable.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • SnapWriter
    London, UK
    9/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant performance of the famous mystery"

    This is a brilliantly performed edition of the great mystery novel. Peter Jeffrey brings all the characters off the page. One of the best downloads I’ve chosen in a long while.

    Immensely enjoyable, and thoroughly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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